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Straw Bale Building – Victoria (Gherang) – Creations In Parallel Design

Price Road, Gherang, Victoria

New Build, Off-Grid, Straw Bale, Natural & Recycled Materials

This straw bale home is located in a beautiful rural area of the Surf Coast in Gherang, Victoria, 20 minutes inland from Anglesea. The home is completely off-grid, and maintains a small footprint of 11 squares consisting of 2 bedrooms, a study nook, living/dining area, attic space, bathroom & kitchen.

The main building component is comprised of straw bale walls with locally sourced straw. Straw bale provides a high insulation value keeping the home warm in winter and cool in summer as well as being a natural and sustainable building material. The bales are rendered with a lime render externally, and a clay/sand mix internally.

Sustainable timbers have been used throughout including sustainable framing materials, locally sourced ‘bush poles’ for verandah posts, recycled timbers and reclaimed hardwood doors, reclaimed cedar windows for an attached greenhouse section and sustainable timbers for internal finishes.

The house is off-grid with a full solar system and battery bank installed along with LED lighting. Solar is used for heating hot water along with a combustion stove for boost during times of reduced solar gain. The combustion stove will also provide a means of heating and cooking for the home.

An internal recycled brick wall runs through sections of the bathroom, kitchen and living areas and provides a source of thermal mass. Internal thermal mass aids in reducing temperature swings inside the home, helping it to stay cooler for longer in summer and warmer for longer in winter. The wall forms part of the kitchen area where the combustion stove is located, further aiding in this process.

An attached greenhouse is an addition to the northern side of the home. This is built from recycled cedar windows and recycled bricks and will be an additional heat source for the home during winter as well as providing a sheltered growing area and additional living space. UV resistant roofing and temperature regulated awning windows will reduce heat gain during summer.

The house has been designed with passive heating and cooling in mind, with adequate eaves, north facing orientation for living areas, lots of cross-ventilation for passive cooling, attached greenhouse to the north, an internal brick wall for thermal mass, double-glazed windows throughout and a pergola to the north that will provide shading during summer by means of grapevines.

The house should maintain a constant comfortable living temperature year round, with very little additional heating and cooling required.

While the space is small, high ceilings make it feel generous and additional spaces such as the attic, the attached greenhouse and the pergola area to the north, provide additional living areas.

The house is still undergoing the final touches with Anne (the Owner) completing the rendering, painting and finishes.

Design: Creations In Parallel

Build: Creations In Parallel 

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