Archive for the ‘Straw Bale Construction’ Category

The CASBA Annual Conference that encompasses all things Strawbale is coming April 21-24, 2016 in the beautiful setting of the California Corrizo Plains. Click here to find out all the event information. And remember to bring your good camera!


Well, technically it is white.

Step Forward Straw Paper has been getting a lot of use around the Semmes’ office this summer. We’ve been happily surprised with this paper’s weight, brightness and quality. It copies and prints equally well and as a bonus: it’s thick enough to use for 2-sided recyclable copy and printing. Click here and get your own sample pack.

wheat straw paper

We recently had our community workshop to perform the straw bale construction portion of this green custom home addition. Many of the owners’ friends and neighbors as well as other interested individuals came together for a day of education and progress.

This is a straw bale addition we have just begun in Templeton. We are also placing a number of small retaining walls and a workshop on this property to increase the available outdoor living space.


Semmes has finessed this large tree limb into the entry as a feature in this unique straw bale home.  Collaborating with the homeowner and architect, Paul Poirier and Associates, this creative vision is on it’s way to becoming a reality.


Check out this Ferro Concrete garden wall! Formed with coated rebar that was secured in concrete footings and wrapped with a special lath and waterproofing paper; this serpentine garden wall embraces the outdoor living space.  Privacy and a break for the wind are just a couple of the benefits of this landscape element. The free-form ability of this method of construction allows for ample creativity as sitting areas and fountains are easily incorporated into the shape.




Last Sunday, Semmes and Co. Builders held a workshop at the Santa Ynez Strawbale home. There were many community members, architects and friends of the homeowner in attendance. We would not pass up the opportunity to share this hands-on educational experience with eager minds. Also, the sense of community fostered is really priceless. If you would like to know about our upcoming events, just let us know, we would love to have you!


Well underway with the framing on this strawbale home you can see the roof sheeting in place. Also in this photo, the workshop completed by Semmes & Co. Builders last year, supports the solar electric panels providing the power for construction.

Note that Semmes and Co. will be hosting a strawbale workshop on August 21st for all of you who might be interested in a hands-on learning experience. Contact Jessica Steely at extension 203 for more information.


We have started work on this strawbale home in Santa Ynez. We are teaming up with Paul Poirier who consults with US Green Building Council on a national level. We are excited to collaborate with him and his team on this ultimate sustainable home.

Notice the slab insulation, and the dual drainage pipes for separation of black and graywater for future garden reuse.


The teams work diligently to complete this very creative structure. Strawbale construction allows for a great deal of flexibility with the buildings design and form.