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Houzz Tour: California Cabin Ditches the Power Grid

Solar energy powers a modern, expandable vacation house among the trees for a family with two children Full Story
     Comment   last Wednesday
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Poppy Potts
Very nice design and great way to break into living off grid and doing with less. Any initial investments in this type of house pays you back in spades as the years go by. Nice private loft BR. a real plus for parents of kids
last Wednesday at 1:57pm   
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I noticed the windows allow for passive cooling and ventilation in the warmer months, but how does the building ventilate in the winter? Is there any ductwork for an air exchanger or something similar?
last Wednesday at 9:29pm   
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mcmennamy bookmarked an ideabook

Why You Might Want to Build a House of Straw

Straw bales are cheap, easy to find and DIY-friendly. Get the basics on building with this renewable, ecofriendly material Full Story
     Comment   April 13, 2014
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Mariana Pickering (Emu Architects)
ok. I genuinely thought my comment was fairly innocuous. Sorry to have apparently offended you. I certainly did not mean to say that you should not question things at all, nor do I think I was attacking anyone (certainly not you) for doing so. I'm not really sure what else to say.

I think this comment thread is probably getting a bit unproductive, and I definitely did not expect such emotional responses from both sides of the conversation. Let's try to keep on topic, which I think we all agree are the facts surrounding straw bale construction as a building method.

As with any construction method, and as I have encouraged in all of my Houzz articles, knowing more about your house can only benefit you. So it IS good to think about all of the things that worry you. And it IS good to get multiple professional opinions from several appropriate experts.

The final thing I'll mention is just reiterate that loose straw is a very different thing (with different material properties) than dried and compressed straw bales. Let's try to keep the comments to the bales, if that's ok with everyone.

Thanks, and, again... no offense was intended toward anyone. Happy Houzz reading to all.
last Friday at 12:47pm     
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I just found a resource for people in the British Isles for strawbale workshops - it's from a 1997 article in the British "Country Living" magazine .
I quote the article - " Barbara Jones , of Amazon Nails , an all-women building firm in Yorkshire , proved that a simple two-bedroom bungalow could be erected in a few days using only natural materials with the bales pinned in place with hazel rods[branches] and reclaimed wood for doors and window frames . Interiors are plastered with a lime-based render . The result is a well-insulated , low-fire risk home . "
The Center for AlternativeTechnology , Machynlleth , Powys SY20 9AZ (01654-702400) runs
strawbale building courses .
last Saturday at 5:47am   
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mcmennamy is following Ree Nguyen
April 13, 2014
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mcmennamy bookmarked an ideabook

Key Measurements to Help You Design Your Kitchen

Get the ideal kitchen setup by understanding spatial relationships, dimensions and work zones Full Story
     Comment   April 2, 2014
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Honestly, I think it's just attempt to transition one phrase into the other. After reading the houzz article describing 'work zones', it could just as easily describe my 'work triangle' kitchen. I Dishwasher & trash next to sink, check. Landing areas next to major appliances: check. Large island to keep guests a bay: check.....

I live in a small town filled with older homes. I know few people who upgrade their kitchens to look like the glam-fabulous photos here on houzz. Most people I know don't ever get around to kitchen remodeling and just make do with the old.

Another thing: I read that kitchens have come a long way because all the architects used to be all men and they seldom spent time in a kitchen, therefore kitchens weren't 'user friendly'. Once women came on to the scene, their input helped kitchens evolve into rooms that function well and are family gathering places.
last Monday at 9:32am     
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Studio Z Architecture
I don't have time to read all the other comments, so maybe someone has already said this, but I think it's a good idea to have the sink and the cooktop/range on the same run of cabinets, so that they are not separated by a walkway. This makes prep and cleanup easier and safer, since no one can walk between the chef and the sink while the chef is trying to drain pasta.
last Tuesday at 12:17pm     
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