Home Plan Detail
Sun, Straw and Earthen Floor 2
Plan ID Number: DD-322
Designed by: Darrel DeBoer
Square FootageTotal living area: 2,160
Footprint: 40' 0" W x 51' 6" D
Master suite: Main Floor
Foundation: Slab Lot type(s): Flat
- Loft / Study
- Passive Solar
- Covered Porches
- Passive ventilation
Based on one of our most celebrated strawbale designs, Sun, Straw and Earthen Floor 2 is an expanded version of the original. In this variation, the master bedroom and one large bedroom are on the ground level, allowing the home to essentially function as a 1,800 square foot single level home. However, a 340 square foot upper level study is easily adapted to become a home office, guest bedroom or the home's third bedroom. Versatility, energy efficiency, excellent building design and healthy building materials all combine to make this passive solar home an excellent choice for a family looking to build both a beautiful and environmentally friendly home.
Entry into the home is via a custom front door and into the long expanse of the open floorplan of the dining and living room. An entire curved wall of windows to the left and high ceilings above, make this already large area feel even more open and larger than it really is. This wall of windows is designed to face towards the south to take full advantage of the home's passive solar design. As the name suggests, in order to minimize the amount of cement in the slab floor, for the majority of the main level of the original home the floor really was made from earth taken from the building site. Sand or clay is added as needed depending on soil type and it may be stabilized with a small percentage of cement. Its oiled surface has the deep rich look of high-end leather.
The home's long narrow U-shaped kitchen makes for plenty of storage and lots of counter space. At the dining room end of the kitchen, there is a custom half-round eating counter. There is a small pantry below the stairway, and a large one with room for a freezer adjacent to that. This large pantry is conveniently placed next to the informal mudroom entry, making the unloading of groceries much easier.
The master suite is also quite large given the home's relatively small footprint. It has the same curved window pattern as the livingroom area. An interesting architectural feature is a "floating" non-structural internal wall positioned so that the head of the master bed can be placed against it in the center of the room. This simple device allows both the bed and by extension the entire master bedroom, to have a more open, autonomous and free feeling, yet still be grounded and feel protected. A large master bath with a glass block walk-in shower, and a very large walk-in closet complete the master suite.
Bedroom 1 is also large like the master suite. It shares the main level full bath with the rest of the main level. It has its own private exterior door with direct access to one of the home's large covered decks.
The upper level on this version was intended to be a home office or study. However, it could easily become the home's third bedroom, much like the original home. The space is quite roomy, and already has a full bath tucked in below the curved roof of an eyebrow dormer. A balcony at the top of the stairs overlooks the living room below, and allows you to really grasp the spaciousness of the main level. This large opening to the upper level also allows for excellent internal air circulation, as well as passive cooling and ventilation of hot summertime air, via the high placed clerestory windows.
As with the original home, two of the most basic materials, earth and straw, provide the basis for this beautiful thick walled design. Straw was baled and used as a non-bearing infill due to its sculptural quality of wavy, thick walls, but the same thing can be achieved with wood framing infilled with any available insulation. Besides being an extremely sturdy building method, strawbales provide excellent insulation for energy efficiency as well as a sound barrier. This home has a post and box-beam structure, and its extremely strong wood frame meets the most stringent of seismic codes. Interestingly, the strawbale is technically not factored in as a structural element in the wall assembly, but rather is considered to be an "infill" between the post and beam frame. This is actually the most common way strawbale homes are designed, because it allows the home to be permitted and built in areas where load-bearing strawbale homes are not allowed. It also allows for substitution of the strawbales with nearly any kind of insulation should your climate or local building codes dictate a change.
Pioneering designer Darrel DeBoer has rediscovered the environmental and aesthetic virtues of thick walled homes - resulting in gentler, greener architecture that relies on plentiful and renewable materials.
To see more photos and learn more about the smaller original version, click to go to Sun, Straw and Earthen Floor.
(click to enlarge and view measurements)
|Set of Vellums||$1145.00|