Sunday, August 07, 2005

Free Straw Bale Shelter Plans

For about $350 you can build a simple straw bale shelter thanks to the efforts of Matts Myhrman, Judy Knox and Owen Geiger. The Geiger Research Institute offers the free plans on their website. They include drawings, specifications and basic instructions, and are available in three formats - Microsoft Word, JPEG and HTML.

Based on straw-bale construction techniques in Build it With Bales, by Matts Myhrman and S.O. MacDonald, these free shelter plans show how almost anyone can build one in just a few hours. These plans are ideal for creating temporary shelter for refugees, disaster victims or anyone else in need of quick, easy-to-build, safe shelter using a minimum of tools.

The basic shelter design can be easily upgraded into permanent shelter by adding plaster (including earth plaster), a more durable roof, and other improvements. In addition, the plans can be modified to meet site-specific conditions. For example, the roof overhang could be increased in rainy climates to better protect the bales.