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Straw Bale Passive House

Simple Life's featured build is a hybrid between conventional and straw bale building for ultimate performance, comfort and healthy living.

This is the project that started it all. It was this home that put us on track to build with all natural materials and to achieve performance standards like never before. The things we learned here have stuck with us and helped to shape Simple Life Homes into what we are today.
Building Type:
Custom Straw Bale Hybrid Passive House
Project Type:
New Construction / Design / Building Panels
Project Size:
Project Location:
Centreville, Ontario
6 Months

The Floor

A Nexcem ICF crawl space supports the open webbed floor joists. The floor is dense packed cellulose with Mento1000 to seal the bottom and a 3/4 T&G plywood floor serves as the interior air & vapour barrier.

The Walls

The hybrid wall assembly is as follows: Cladding, Vented cavity, WRB Mento1000, 2X6 W/ Dense packed cellulose, straw bale on edge, multiple layers of earthen plaster.

The Roof

The roof is a standard truss roof, though the entire building was sheathing free. Strapping and perpendicular perlings brace the roof in place of sheathing. Mento1000 was used again as a WRB beneath the steel roof. Nearly 24" of loose blown cellulose was placed in the attic using our cool machine (That's its actual name!) which can also dense pack walls and floors!

The Interior

Fibreglass windows were installed and sealed to the building using Proclimatapes and membranes. Intello air barrier/vapour retarder was used through out the interior of the building to seal where ever the plaster was not applied. A 12,000BTU Ductless mini split heat pump was used as the primary source of heating and cooling. Supplemental heating is supplied via electric baseboard heaters. (Which have yet to actually come on!)

Climate Control

The home is equipped with a Venmar HRV ducted to each room of the home. A 120' long earth tube was installed beneath the frost line which pre-conditions the incoming air into the HRV. It does a great job of cooling and dehumidifying the summer air. This was one of the most exciting features of the home, although we made many notes on how to make the install a bit easier next time around.

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