When Jean Okuye decided to build a smaller house and give the larger house to her daughter and family, she knew she wanted to build green. After careful research she built a straw bale house in the middle of an organic orchard with an eco-friendly landscape, a small garden and drought resistant plants right here in Livingston.
When we first heard of this straw house, our minds naturally reverted to the childhood story of the “three little pigs!” But let us tell you this beautiful, comfortable home with a zen feel is an environmentally sound structure and nothing that an old wolf could or would huff and puff at!
Jean researched a lot of building options using the Green Building Product guide as a resource to help her find the environmentally responsible building materials and products she would use to incorporate in her new house. Jean recruited Dave Neese as the project manager, ordered 150 bails of straw and with help from dedicated family and friends, voila… she has a beautiful sustainable home!
Keeping with the green theme, Jean has incorporated “passive solar” by designing the back wall 16 degrees east of magnetic south allowing the sun to be directly overhead during the summer months to keep the house cool. A light colored metal roof reflects the suns heat, a whole house fan along with ceiling fans also help to keep her house cool with no need for air conditioning.
In the fall and winter months this design allows direct sun light to enter through large main windows on the same back wall warming up the inside concrete floors, this along with a small wood burning stove and a small natural gas stove provides sufficient heat.
This simple house in harmony with nature is a wonderful example of bringing life into line with values!
For more photos check out below….
|Jean Okuye’s Straw House|