Affect Change

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Straw-bale home

Check out this straw-bale house in Ashfield, MA owned by author/dairy farmer Paul Lacinski.

Two things I'd like to point out. The roof looks green and stuff because it's a 'living roof'. The owners/builders laid down a rubber pond liner on the complete roof (minus shingles/metal sheeting/slate/what have you) then covered it with topsoil. Instead of planting something up there, they let whatever fell grow unless it was a tree. You can imagine that would be a bad scene in a couple years.

Also, there is a man on the roof of the house. When we first arrived on our NOFA Sustainability Tour, we walked around the house and found a short ladder propped up against the house and pieces of slate that looked like steps on the roof itself. I asked one of the owners if that was for servicing the roof or skylight but apparently they just like to go up there and sit. Cool eh?


  • That's nice. Bill McDunough and his group advocate living roofs. When he revamped the ford plant in Michigan he threw a lot of that on. Good Read: Cradle to Cradle talks about some of those issues. Also a good idea if you happen to be in an urban area and have access/permission to your roof. Some dude in brooklyn did that w/ his appartment building it turned out pretty nice (it's in Home Power magazine number 104).

    I think the living roofs are supposed to reduce the heating load due to sunlight. Makes sense: black ashfault = radiates plant matter = photosynthesizes. Probably increases the insulation value too.

    My only concern would be with the weight load. If it's like a normal living system with plants dying and microrganisms building up organic matter, over time I wonder if the roof's weight would increase substantially.

    By Blogger Reed, at 5:40 AM  

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