Strawbale Home with Permaculture Landscape Gardens

This is a home we built in 1994 with 24” thick straw bale walls, stuccoed on the outside and plastered on the inside. Designed on permaculture principles, it is tucked in out of the wind and surrounded with zones of landscaping from kitchen vegetables and herbs nearest to the house to bark covered walking trails around the property.

Water catchment off of the pitched metal roof is collected by bamboo gutters and delivered directly to various landscape areas. The walking paths incorporate gabion catchments on the arroyos to slow runoff and erosion and to provide planted areas with more water.

The septic system is comprised of a septic tank and a constructed wetlands utilizing reeds and other wetland plants to treat the wastewater which is then delivered underground to the surrounding trees.

In 2009 we added a bearmed in woodworking shop and office. The addition is covered with a gracious walking deck with bamboo railings.


Related Projects towards Energy & Resource Self Sufficiency

Southwest’s First “Passive House”
Featured in Su Casa Magazine - Spring 2012
Daniel Buck Construction was pleased to build the Southwest’s first certified “Passive House”. It is in the City of Santa Fe, New Mexico’s historic rail yard district. At the time of construction there were only 15 or so Passive Houses in the U.S. This “German Passivhaus” construction technique combined with proper solar orientation uses 90 percent less energy than houses constructed with standard building methods. The project received the highest sustainability rating by the National Home Builders Association, “Emerald” - joining just four others in the state.
New Mexico’s First “Energy Star Home”
Albuquerque Journal – March 22, 1999
In 1999 the Environmental Protection Agency - EPA certified this new home with a four star rating because it was 65% above the EPA’s national model energy code. Located in Santa Fe the home cools itself in the summer and heats itself during the winter months due to the trade winds and passive solar orientation. Water Harvesting catchments were planned into the landscaping and healthy building practices specified non-toxic paints, and wood treatments to reduce toxins.

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