Oakland Home With Straw-Bale Insulation Up For Sale

Oakland Home With Straw-Bale Insulation Up For Sale

Susie Nadler
May 4, 2009
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The little pig of children's story fame didn't have great luck with his house built from straw, but in reality, straw has many advantages as a building material (over sticks and bricks and even fiberglass). Bales of straw sandwiched tightly between plaster walls provide excellent insulation from weather and noise, and they've been shown to perform well in earthquakes, naturally absorbing the shock. Rice straw is also sustainable, grown annually for agricultural use. The only house in Oakland built with straw-bale walls is going on the market for the first time...

99 Roble Road, a three-bedroom home in the Oakland Hills, near Rockridge, is offered at $1.125 million. On the upside, the energy bill evidently runs only $30-$40 per month! The straw-bale walls absorb the sun when it's out and radiate heat when it's dark. The owners also installed radiant heat in their wood floors, so the house represents an interesting mix of new green technologies and old.

SFGate has more details in yesterday's feature about the house. It's fun to read about how this home came to be; apparently straw-bale building requires minimal skilled labor, so the owners threw "raising" parties, inviting friends to come and stack the bales.

For more photos, see the home's online listing at Realty Advocates.

Photos: DSA Architects; Rajjiv Bhatia for SFGate; Realty Advocates

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