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New Type Of Bale House

I have talked about straw bale houses before (see post) but this house is a whole new take on bales, specifically cardboard bales.  For those who might not be familiar most retail stores and other truck/shipping places have a large machine in the back called a baler, basically you throw your cardboard in them and you have them recycled.  You can even make money off the sale.  But there are some cardboards that are simply not able to be recycled.  So check out this neat take on bale houses.


  1. How long will this house last and does it have any predators which migh try to devour it?

  2. Oh my gosh! This is awesome. Can it be covered with plaster like a traditional straw bale home?

  3. This is really neat but I’d have to worry about mold and mildew from moisture. Normal straw bale houses have this concern. Now its possible this is the wax impregnated type of cardboard and in that case, it would be good until the wax wears off.

    It certainly is a great idea though.

  4. How do you keep the walls clean and pest free?
    If you could plaster them its a great concept.

    • I was wondering this aswell, perhaps they are covered in a resin?


  5. I agree that this material seems to be lacking in a plaster coating.
    I just completed a 6-day straw bale (the traditional kind of bales) workshop that ended with plastering the outside with concrete and the inside with earthen clay. http://digginginthedriftless.wordpress.com/2010/08/17/earthen-clay-on-straw-bale-a-match-made-in-heaven/
    I would love to see plaster applied to these walls. Perhaps these photos were just pre-plaster?

    I found that plastering a bale wall was the MOST satisfying part of the whole process — and something anyone who is handy and enthusiastic can do.

  6. having lived in small spaces quite a bit of my life (my 1st daughter was born in a fixed up tool shed) i know the importance of keeping it clean. those walls are a dust and critter magnet. the idea is good but the finishing lacks a lot.

  7. Is it flammable?

  8. I agree with the previous comments, the idea is cute, but it’s really asking for critters, insects, dust and fire. I think that a finish that’d go well with these bales would be a stucco made of cardboard pulp, which would be much finer and ask for less trouble, although normal stucco would be better.

  9. Cute, but I can see a load of problems even if it was stuccoed. Rodents and insects will find a way in the most secure of homes, but this would be a huge “lunch” and “lodgings” for them. I could see it crumbling with-in a few years. Of course if you have nothing better to do with your time and resources then I guess it was probably fun for the builder.

  10. My Brother Jeremy writes from Chile that they are building a”small” houses there by SPRAYING concrete on a steel wire matrix…could do the same on cardboard bales…

  11. I’d spray it with some kind of gunite or even ferro-cement. Should be easy and fairly inexpensive.

  12. Is this not from the Rural Studio? Worth checking out http://cadc.auburn.edu/rural-studio/Default.aspx

  13. WOW! I’ve never heard of such a thing. It’s exciting what can be created with recycled materials! I agree with the comments that I would be concerned without having it plastered.


  14. I have done a straw building workshop and I assume the cardboard would act very much the same. BUT without plaster the straw bale building is in danger of burning down. I assume cardboard would smolder rather than burn BUT I would still render it with something. Does anyone know of the R value for a bale? They are soooo thick is must be high.

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