A comprehensive hands-on guide for builders – both self-builders and professionals – and an essential handbook for designers that includes many construction details.

Straw bale buildings are warm in winter and cool in summer. The natural materials used create beautiful healthy homes that also have a low environmental impact. For self-builders, working with straw is affordable and enjoyable. In professional construction, a positive relationship between quality, price and long-term savings can easily be achieved.

Straw bale is also especially suited to community-based projects as it generates curiosity and often needs groups of enthusiastic volunteers.

This complete guide gives detailed descriptions about how straw bales react to different applications and enables anyone to design and build these natural homes in different climates.

Included are:

• Step-by-step instructions for many processes

• Tips, tricks, advice and warnings

• Over 600 photos, drawings and diagrams

• Materials, tools and building techniques

• Solutions to common problems

• Plans for a practice straw bale building

Since every build is unique (availability of materials, skills, budget, climate etc.), many different and varied building techniques are explained. Self-builders will learn a vast array of skills and the confidence to build on their own, while professionals will be enabled to successfully incorporate bale building into their portfolios.

“A valuable resource for homesteaders, off-the-grid, and DIYers for simple, yet artful structures that provide healthy, efficient and sustainable living environments. Each one created with intent and love by all those whose hands touch it. The way homes were meant to be!”
Miki Cook, Author, Green Home Building: Money-Saving Strategies for an Affordable, Healthy, High-Performance Home

Buy Now


Book Details

Published: November 2020

ISBN: 978 1 85623 313 2

Size: 275 x 222mm

Format: Paperback, 320pp, colour photos throughout


Rikki Nitzkin is the founder of Taller con Co (‘Co’ Workshop in English). Rikki is a professional builder of straw walls and earthen plasters, presently teaching straw bale building and earthen finishes in both practical workshops and online, for self-builders and professionals alike. She began as a self-builder, building her own home in 2002, and has given 100+ workshops since 2006. She is also the coordinator of the Red de Construcción con Paja (Spanish Straw Building Network) since its founding in 2005, and participates actively in both the European and Global Straw Building Networks.

Read more

Other Titles

Other Titles