Straw Bale Workshop at SD Pine Ridge Lakota Reservation

Permaculture Design and Ecoville ArchiTechs, specializing in homes of earth and straw, will conduct a Straw Bale Workshop on July 30, 31 & Aug 1 on the Pine Ridge Lakota Reservation in South Dakota.

“We are excited to be working on this project,” says Katey Culver from Permaculture Design and Ecoville ArchiTechs, who will join sustainability architect Howard Switzer in conducting the workshop.

According to the Permaculture website, “The building where the workshop is conducted is a large barn/workshop space used by for OLCERI, a sustainability school. The workshop is being hosted by the Permaculture Guild. the sustainability school located on an 8000 acre ranch on the reservation.  It will be a multi-use facility for classrooms, workshop, equipment storage and possibly student housing.  This project will greatly enhance our ability to deliver courses and also to execute ongoing projects like building high efficiency stoves/heaters.  It will also serve as a demonstration straw bale building for additional projects at Pine Ridge.”

Students are encouraged to stay after the class to continue to work on the building. “This workshop looks like a good opportunity to learn straw bale building in an indigenous cultural setting,” says Culver.

Ecoville ArchiTechs reports developing five Straw Bale house plans that will provide wall-raising opportunities, all in Tennessee. One of the projects is a straw bale retrofit of an old apartment building in Nashville, incorporating a living roof that can provide gardening space.

Additionally, a Vertical Garden in Patrick Blanc fashion (of which more will be reported later), will be developed. As featured on Inhabitat, Blanc’s wall system is described this way:

“Plants have found a home on walls for centuries, but are sometimes incongruous with architecture, often breaking down the structural integrity of a building’s facade. Patrick Blanc’s Vertical Garden System, known as Le Mur Vegetal in French, allows both plants and buildings to live in harmony with one another. The botanist cum vertical landscape designer is probably best know for his gorgeous living wall on the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris (shown here). But Blanc’s Vertical Garden System can be implemented anywhere: indoors or out and in any climatic environment.

To learn more about straw bale building and vertical gardens, these organizations provide a worthwhile visit.