We're rather intrigued with straw bale construction; a few years ago, we saw it in practice in a community in Costa Rica. And that's when we decided to associate straw bale construction with rustic, rural communities. But take a look at this home in California's wine country; it's got walls two feet thick, stuffed with straw...
This home, featured at Dwell, utilizes straw bale construction to help keep the house cool in the hundred-plus temperatures of summer.
Straw bale construction isn't quite mainstream, but in areas where climate control is especially important, it makes a lot of sense. Find out more here, with Dwell's slideshow.