Books I've Co-written

More Straw Bale Building


by Chris Magwood, Peter Mack and Tina Therrien
published by New Society Publishers, ISBN 0-86571-403-7
288pages, illustrated,colour photo section, 8x9, $CAD 39.95/$USD 32.95
Books to Build a New Society
PO Box 189, Gabriola Island, BC Canada V0R 1X0
Tel: 250-247-9737 250-247-9737  FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting Fax: 250-247-7471


Straw bale building techniques continue to evolve, through the sharing and field work. Due to many of these changes, and the fact that 5 years have gone by since the first book Straw Bale Building was published (20,000 of these books sold- that's exciting to us!), it was high time to 'update' the book. Rather than simply update the old book, it became more of a 'rewrite', and the new book, More Straw Bale Building includes a colour section, a more extensive section on electrical, lots more on plastering, and other natural building materials. 
The book can be ordered through New Society Publishers directly,  from most book stores, or you can request that your local library order a copy!


Other Books

Straw Bale Building: An Information Package for Building Officials in Ontario, prepared by the Ontario Straw Bale Building Coalition. A comprehensive collection of recent test results & articles on straw bale building, including structural, fire, moisture. To obtain a copy of the booklet, go the OSBBC website:
Straw Bale Construction: A Manual for Maritime Regions, Kim Thompson, Kim et al. Straw House Herbals, Ship Harbour, Nova Scotia, nd.
Building Materials for the Environmentally Hypersensitive, a book put out by CMHC (Canadian Mortgage & Housing Corporation). This book has a comprehensive list of almost any building materials, and lists any toxic properties they may have; (does not have straw bales listed as a material, but does have cement plasters listed) ISBN 0-662-21107-3
en francais: Guide des matériaux de construction sains
Build Your Own Earth Oven, Kiko Denzer. Alright, so it's not about straw bale housing, but it is a luscious book for those who love to make bread and play in mud! Published by Hand Print Press; ISBN: 0-9679846-0-2
The Straw Bale House, Athena & Bill Steen, David Bainbridge with David Eisenberg. Ahhh, if there's onestraw bale book that everybody owns, this is it! Published in 1984, this guide book has lots of pictures of different styles of buildings. Not so much a how-to book as a representation of straw bale building, it is a great one to add to your library. ISBN: 0-930031-71-7; Chelsea Green Publishing Company
The New Natural House Book, David Pearson. A book focussing on healthy houses, and the materials you can use to help you get there. Publisher: Gaia Books Ltd; ISBN: 0-684-84733-7
The Beauty of Straw Bale Homes, Athena & Bill Steen. A coffee table book with beautiful photos of homes in Mexico, Canada, and the U.S. Chelsea Green Publishing Company; ISBN 1-890132-77-2
Alternative Construction: Contemporary Natural Building Methods, Edited by Lynne Elizabeth & Cassandra Adams A wonderful book with different chapters for many natural building types, such as rammed earth, straw bale, bamboo, light clay, earhen plasters, etc. I was especially happy to find the stats on the compressive strength of bamboo in this book! A great introduction (with brief instruction) into alternative buiding methods Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; ISBN: 0-471-24951-3
The Art of Natural Building, Editors: Joseph F. Kennedy, Michael G. Smith, Catherine Wanek. Useful guide on natural building; lots of stats, pictures & illustrations New Society Publishers; ISBN: 0-86571-433-9
The Natural Plaster Book: Earth, lime and Gypsum Plasters for Natural Homes, by Cedar Rose Guelberth & Dan Chiras. Step-by-step guide to choosing, mixing and applying natural plasters. ISBN 0-865714495
Earth Plasters for Straw Bale Homes, Keely Meagan; self-published, 2000. All about using earth and mud for a natural finish on bale walls. Covers earthen recipes, planning, testing, problems, how to mix and apply each coat, and tools.
Serious Straw Bale: A Home Construction Guide for All Climates, by Paul Lacinski and Michel Bergeron; Chelsea Green, 2000 ISBN 1890132640
The Natural Paint Book: A complete guide to natural paints, recipes, and finishes. Lynn Edwards and Julia Lawless. A perfectly gorgeous book, answering many questions about natural finishes for interior and exteriors of homes, including lime paint recipes, milk paint, natural oil finishes, etc. St. Martin's Press. ISBN: 0-87596-914-3

Journals and Magazines

The Last Straw Journal: international publication on current straw bale building practises the world over; well worth subscribing to!
Natural Home Magazine: magazine dedicated to healthy living, including healthy construction; straw bale construction is often featured.
Environmental Building News: The Leading newsletter on Environmentally Responsible Design and Construction; American Green publication; focusses on mostly larger buildings, but is informative.
Natural Life Magazine: A Canadian publication that has been doing reporting on environmental issues since the 1970's!

Straw Bale websites worth checking out  The Ontario Straw Bale Building Coalition website: a grassroots organisation with over 300 members worldwide. Consider becoming a member to support straw bale research, education and information services. The membership is a combination of homeowners, professionals, and others interested in the move towards more sustainable building. The coalition has pubished a booklet of testing results called the Building Inspector is indeed a handy booklet to have! (See referral above in books). is home to the strawbale listserv & archives (Center for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technology)
Surfin' StrawBale: contains many interesting links to bale builders around the world