Dorset Extension and Retrofit

Location: Bridport, Dorset
Built in 2014
Our Involvement:
Concept design, Planning, Building regulation and Construction drawings
Floor Area: Extension – 45 m2, Existing Bungalow 80 m2
Construction Method:
Loadbearing Strawbale Extension, External Straw Insulation to existing building

Claremont Road, Bridport is a street of similarly-built brick 1960s bungalows.

John & Anna have been building a loadbearing strawbale extension to one of them, and insulating the existing building by wrapping it with strawbales.  Their theoretical belief that strawbale building is a good idea was transformed into practical experience and total love for it through several fantastic strawbale-building and clay-plastering courses with Amazonails.

The last course was at Cropredy with Kuba Wihan, just as they were in the process of buying their bungalow, and Amazonails was evolving into new organisations. As Kuba had already wrapped his father’s home with strawbales and devised the system for doing so, it was an opportune meeting and he was the ideal person to work with on the designs for their own project.

Kuba and Straw Works ran a fortnight of volunteer bale-building during which the loadbearing strawbale walls for the extension were finished and compressed, and all but a few bales of the bale-wrap were in place.  Straw Works handled all admin and management of the volunteer weeks, which was brilliant and left John & Anna free to get on with finishing the foundation walls just before the volunteers arrived.

Kuba and Barbara provided continuing support, advice and good-humour throughout the process. Lots more details can be found on their brilliant blog:

Photographs Credit: John Butler