all around the straw bale house

Thanks to Eric Plourde for taking us on a round-about tour of the CR house. As you can see it takes a plethora of skills to complete a house like this: brute force, intense balance, acrobatic kicking, and thousand-tooth grins.

Preparing for plaster.

The crew is preparing for a week of earth plaster. We’ve got the frames of the doors and windows nearly done. It’s a slow, muddy process, but it’s so rewarding once it’s done.

straw bale phase: complete-ish

These pictures are primarily to catch everyone up. As I write this, the house has been completely straw baled and is being plastered by the CR crew out on Desert Rd. We’re making such great progress it’s hard to keep up!

Wanna build straw bale?

Have you ever been inside of a straw bale house? Ever felt the coolness of earth plaster and adobe floors in the summer and the cozy warmth in the winter? Have you ever built something with a team, relied on them and had them rely on you? Ever wanted to be a part of something…

Who has Woody?

I looked at our natural building instructor today at lunch and said, “this is the most fun I have ever had on a construction job.” And then right after I said it, I realized it was completely true. How many other job sites can you sit on top of a huge stack of bales like…

Couldn’t do it without you!

The Community Rebuilds team wants to extend a huge hug and thank you to Sasha and Colleen, Mel Giles, and Grand Canyon Trust. Without your support, encouragement and and enthusiasm, we couldn’t be where we are now.

The Bale Out

The past two days we’ve learned a ton about straw bales, their structural integrity, their R value, their weight, their ‘cartoonish’ form (as our instructor puts it), but most of all, we’ve learned that it gets everywhere. Our ears, our bras, our beards, our socks and nostrils. The straw is unstoppable. Our process has basically…

Straw bales and Chuck Mangione

I think I was still dreaming about cakes and home-made pizzas from the birthday party the night before when I heard Kelly Ray Mathews, our natural building instructor knocking on all the doors saying ‘time to get up.’ It was 5:30am. Still bleary-eyed and tasting chocolate frosting (which was delicious, by the way, and made…

The dog days are nowhere near over

The afternoons seem to keep getting hotter and clearly (as you can see below) it’s starting to get to us. However, while the temperatures rise, so does the house … literally. With all of the trusses in place, we’ve started laying gravel for floors and, though we don’t look like it, we’ve managed to stay…


Serah spends the day away from the CR office and gets her hands dirty. For only working until lunch, we got a ton of things done today. While professionals put trusses on the house, the CR crew built forms for adobe bricks (roughly 14″ x 10″ x 3.5″) and then headed down the road for…