Bale Raising in Prunedale


In early October, a determined crew of friends, family, designers and builders descended on the oak-studded Dommaschk-Broderick property in Prunedale to insulate a small guest house with straw bales. 

This project was a collaboration with BOA Constructors, helmed by Michele Landegger, a long-time CASBA (California Straw Building Association) member and the experience of the design and construction team paid off!  Michele and her foreman, Kita, gave a brief primer on the history of straw bale construction, carbon sequestration, and techniques and taught attendees how to use the compressor and bale mill (courtesy of the late Rick Greene’s estate).  Arkin Tilt project manager, Devin Kinney, was on-hand collaborating on his 5th bale raising, while our 2019 summer intern, Tavi Hillesland, her boyfriend, Nathan, and structural engineer, Colt Bender (with Verdant Structural Engineers), along with 9 others, were excited first-timers.’

The wall system used was a melding of prior ATA bale project details; it included a continuous 2x6 wood framed wall set to the interior allowing for clerestory windows above the bales. Additional 2x10 studs built out the lower framing to a 15” bale depth and 2x2 wire mesh will be used as structural lath to receive the final natural hydraulic lime finish on the interior and exterior. 

Thanks to everyone for their hard work, and looking forward to posting photos of the completed project!


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