Straw Bale Construction Workshop 2022

June 10-13, 2022
Parkland County, Alberta

Are you looking to learn more about straw bale building construction technology? We are pleased to be involved in a hands-on straw bale workshop this summer for novices and aspiring builders alike! With our partners, Battle Lake Design Group (BLDG) has been a leader in straw bale building technology for almost 20 years for homes and buildings all over Western Canada. Learn from the pros at this limited offering workshop.

The workshop is being offered by Barb & Lorne Turner, Alberta farmers specializing in producing construction-grade straw bales for the building industry. The project is located on a farm near Eckville, Alberta. The straw bale building being constructed is a single-storey farm and home shop with our modified post and beam construction technologies. The workshop will cover the basics of off-the-shelf post and beam, non-load bearing straw bale wall construction that is used in residential straw bale structures. The methods being taught are based on tested building codes and prescribed standards that apply to Alberta and British Columbia building conditions.

Course Outline

The workshop will consist of presentations on the fundamentals and potential of cement-lime stucco plastered straw bale construction and modified post and beam framing and designing for straw bales. The remainder of the workshop will consist of hands on construction including wall raising-stacking, pinning bales and tensioned stucco wire mesh.

We will also explore specific installation and construction details around window and door frames, electrical wiring, plumbing, stucco wire installation, interior wall intersections, fire barriers (on the top of walls), shelf and cabinet mounting, flashing and stucco expansion joints.

All participants will have several opportunities at minimum to complete bale wall sections, complete with tensioned stucco mesh, sewn and ready for stucco, under the guidance of workshop instructors.

Full-time instruction will be provided Habib Gonzalez, and part-time instruction by our own Arnold Renschler, Managing Director of BLDG. Habib is known all over North America for his expertise in straw bale construction technology, including having worked on dozens of straw bale buildings over his career, as well as completed testing on straw bale buildings for Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). We have been working with Habib over the years to perfect various aspects of the technology and to make it accessible to our clients by ensuring the technology and our designs are code-compliant and easy to build.

About the Workshop

On-site camping with site amenities and services provided in the cost of registration.

The hosts are offering the following which is included in the course registration cost:

  • RV parking and camp spots are available (5 sites have electrical access, no charge) There are accommodations available in Sylvan Lake and Rocky Mountain House for those wanting to stay off site
  • Access to potable water
  • Fire pit and wood is supplied.
  • Porta-potties are on site
  • Food is provided for morning coffee, afternoon break with beverages and snacks, and dinner each evening. Participants are responsible for their own breakfast and lunch, and any special dietary needs.

Registrants should understand this is a private working farm. Bearing that in mind, unfortunately there are no pets allowed, no outside visitors and the site is secured by a locked gate at night.

Registration

The cost of the four day workshop is $300.00, plus 5% GST. A $100.00 deposit is required upon registration.

All participants will be required to sign a waiver upon arrival on site.

Please send us an email to contactus@bldg.ca to register. Registration deadline is May 15, 2022.

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