Headwaters Straw Bale Farm House and Education Centre brought to you by Ontario Natural Buildings Coalition

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24 September

10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Headwaters Community Farm and Education Centre


Headwaters Straw Bale Farm House and Education Centre brought to you by Ontario Natural Buildings Coalition

Linda Armstrong: Headwaters Community Farm and Education Centre
Email: linda.armstrong@mac.com

With the help of The Endeavor Centre in Peterborough, we designed a house that would be constructed out of the most eco-friendly materials using the best practices in the sustainable building industry. The construction industry is one of the largest polluters on the planet. We wanted to reduce our carbon footprint and showcase new ideas in sustainable building.

For every ton of cement manufactured, a ton of CO2 is released into the atmosphere. We chose to build a predominantly straw bale house and partnered with Deirdre McGahern from Straworks, a local straw bale designer and builder. Straw is natural, cost effective and has a high R-value. Straw walls, once coated with plaster, are beautiful!

The house is insulated with straw bale and cellulose insulation between double stud walls. The straw bale walls are about 14 inches thick and have an R-value of 35. The straw is wheat straw that was harvested from a neighbouring farmer’s field. We’re also insulating certain sections with cellulose fibre that is mostly recycled romance novels mixed with a fire and insect retardant! The rest of the walls are clad with a renewable wood siding from Cape Cod. The gables and the silo are shingled with Eastern White Cedar cut from our forest.

Our roof is a standing seam steel roof. A metal roof lasts a lifetime with very little maintenance. The silo roof is a standard Westeel grain bin roof. Our windows are fiberglass on the outside and wood on the inside. Fibreglass requires very low energy to manufacture, can be made from renewable resources and is very durable. Our front and back doors are being hand crafted from repurposed Douglas fir by Neal Pope, a local craftsperson.

These are just a few of the many cool features that make this home environmentally friendly and sustainable.

Learn more about this home at this year’s Green Energy Doors Open event happening all across Ontario a long with Alberta and B.C. This home tour is in collaboration with the Ontario Natural Buildings Coalition and their annual Ontario Natural Buildings Tour.

For more information, click here