Google+ The Last Straw Journal - The International Journal of Straw Bale and Natural Building

Tadelakt Lime Finishes
The gorgeous, ancient finishing technique from Morocco is expained by Ryan Chivers of Artesano
Tilt-Up, Prefabricated Straw Bale Panels Down Under
The SITUPS by Huff 'n' Puff are being used on a wide variety of projects across Australia
Hemp Lime Construction
Explore a relatively new wall-building technique that uses a combination of natural materials to creat durable, high-performing structures
Straw Bale Building in the Land of the Rising Sun
Kyle Holzhueter continues his exploration of natural building in Asia with a focus on Japan
Building with Hempcrete (Part 1)
From field to walls, the multi-use plant is gaining popularty for wall construction

The Benefits of Using Welded Wire Mesh

Welded Wire Mesh

padlock-closed_16x19 Andrew Morrison walks us through his desired way of using mesh on bale walls. His years of experience offer valuable insight at many different levels.

CASBA Rides Again!  Calling All Bicyclists for 2015 and Beyond


CASBA members participate in Climate Ride California 2014 and are calling all participants for next years ride

Jules Ferry Residence – Straw Bale Panels

Jules Ferry Residence Illustration (Courtesy of Le Toit Vosgien)LE TOIT VOSGIEN

padlock-closed_16x19 Jules Ferry Residence is an eight-story sustainable urban dwelling complex in the heart of France incorporating prefabricated bale panels in an efficient and unique way

Light Clay-Straw Mountain Home

South Walls Under Construction

This feature project is of a solar, light clay-straw house in Western Colorado with all the bells and whistles.

MORE Straw Building in Japan


Continuing his series on natural building in Asia, Kyle Holzheuter explores specific and appropriate examples in this latest article.

Building With Hempcrete (Hemp-Lime): Essential Tips For The Beginner (Part 1)

Hand-placed hempcrete cast around a central softwood frame

padlock-closed_16x19 Alex Sparrow begins a two-part series on hemp lime, or hempcrete. Hemp lime is relatively new but is fast becoming part of the natural building lexicon.

Rediscovering Lime Plaster In Costa Rica


padlock-closed_16x19 Ryan Chivers walks us through his recent experience running a lime plaster and tadelakt workshop in Costa Rica. Topics covered include qualities of lime and mixes used for tadelakt.

The Last Straw Issue #1- FREE

Click here for a free copy of TLS Issue #1

This is a gift from us and the founders of TLS. It is the original Issue #1 available for download. Learn what started this publication and the modern roots of straw bale construction.

TLS Issue #63 is Here


The latest issue of TLS is now available and ready to download for subscribers. Purchase a copy or subscribe today in order to not miss the best of natural building.

Tribute to Judy Knox

Judy and Matts at Sandhill Meadows, Nebraska

Judy Knox was one of two founders of this publication back in 1993. She passed away in late 2011. This article is a tribute to her work and how she helped others realize the power of straw bale construction.

Tribute to Alfred von Bachmayr


One of the most active and creative natural builders who dedicated his life to helping other passed away in 2013. Alfred von Bachmyr is remembering by Catherine Wanek.

A Mere Twenty Years


Much time has passed since that first straw bale code in Arizona. Reflect on the impact we have had and what kind of influence we have on the system with David Eisenberg.

Book Review: Rocket Mass Heaters, Third Edition


The latest version of the Rocket Stove book is the best ever. Don’t miss it if you enjoy saving wood and living comfortably.

Straw Bale Building in Japan


padlock-closed_16x19 Kyle Holzheuter takes on a tour of straw bale construction in Japan. This is the second in a multi-part series about natural building in Asia.

The Growth of Hemp Lime as a Natural Building Method

Hemp Lime wall immediately after shuttering has been removed

by Tom Woolley

Ed Note: More in-depth information on hemp lime will be in Issue #64 due out in July.

Hemp lime wall immediately after shuttering has been removed

When Rachel Bevan and I did the research that led to the publication of Hemp Lime Construction in 2006-7 (IHS BRE Press ISBN 978-1-84806-033-3)

Framing Bale Walls: How to

Image 3

By Andrew Morrison of

There are many different approaches to framing a straw bale house; however, there is one in particular that I have used on the vast majority of my projects over the years. It is a post and beam frame system with roots in conventional framing techniques. Because I came to

THE SITUPS*: Super Insulated Tilt-Up Panel System.

11 Yass 1 (4)

By Huff ‘n’ Puff Constructions

Editors Note: We plan to have a comprehensive article covering as many of the tilt-up straw panel systems on the global market as we can in Issue #64 due out in July. Please also note that the images associated with the thumbnails on

Wrap-Up of the Ontario Natural Building Coalition Annual Natural Building Conference

Chris Magwood

By Frank Tettemer, ONBC Director

Chris Magwood, speaking about setting goals and design priorities

This definitely was the most fun to be had all winter.

Timing is everything, and this year’s gathering of the clan at Camp Kawartha, near Lakefield Ontario, warmed my heart during one of the coldest of Canadian winters. With

Community Rebuilds – Path to Zero Waste

Community Rebuilds

By Stuart Jeffrey Hart

Courtesy of Stuart Jeffrey Hart

Community Rebuilds is a nonprofit organization that builds straw bale homes for low-income families in Moab, Utah. The homes are built by volunteers who exchange their time for an education in natural building and sustainability. Our student intern

Tadelakt Lime Finishes

Tadelakt Sink

By Ryan Chivers

With the modern development of natural building technologies, there has been a resurgence and rediscovery of ancient and traditional methods of plasterwork. For over 10,000 years, in nearly every culture, humans have used lime as an applied material that serves as both function and decoration. From the frescoes of the Italian