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Strawbale & shou sugi ban house with green roof

Strawbale and Shou Sugi Ban Featured in Dezeen

International design blog Dezeen shows off Harvest Homes’ merger of modern and natural design

If you missed it before, enjoy this look at K-House – a sharply modern home that all at once pays tribute to the 2+1 vernacular styling (two storey with attached lower profile single storey component) of neighbourhing homes, while combining natural building methods such as strawbale and ancient techniques, like shou sugi ban – the Japanese art of charring wood to form an attractive, weather resistant finish.

And as if those features weren’t enough, a look inside reveals wood floors replete with a natural oil finish while careful investigation reveals tight fibreglass framed windows. A peek through the glass leads to another visual surprise – the green roof that by next year will be in bloom and visible from the street.

Photovoltaics, rough ins for solar hot water and numerous other features were also integrated into this highly efficient abode.

Though features aside, the greatest pleasure one takes from a visit to this thoughtfully designed abode (with our support, masterfully handled by Nicolas Koff of K-OALA Design), is how it makes one feel. Serene is the word we use. Take a look for yourself and see if you agree.

http://www.dezeen.com/2015/12/10/k-house-nicolas-koff-hamilton-ontario-charred-timber-straw-bales-insulation-monochrome/

6 comments on “Strawbale and Shou Sugi Ban Featured in Dezeen”

  • Daniel says:

    Does anyone think a home like this (albeit on a smaller lot) could be built in Toronto’s pre-amalgamated city limits?

    Would this type of construction bode well for a duplex/ triplex project, or even general multi family construction? Lower long term operating costs would result (I assume), while increasing cap rates for landlords. Am I missing something? Is there a good market for something like this?

    From a speculative standpoint, does anyone think a project like this would attract few or many buyers? Obviously its trailblazing to some extent.

    • Ben Polley says:

      As contract builders ourselves (building for others on their own land), we haven’t the real estate experience to provide an informed answer as to how successful spec building something of this sort may be. That said, we are routinely asked to consider such work in TO though to date we have been excessively busy in other geographic markets to be able to fulfill such requests (we did help build a strawbale house for the former CEO of The (Mike) Holmes Group in Oakville and participated too on the City of Toronto’s High Park Children’s Learning Kitchen facility, so we have made occasional exceptions) – so annecdotally we think that demand is greater than current supply. Excellent design, combined with careful craftsmanship is always in demand. Doing so with green methods and materials seems an attractive differentiator.

      To date most Ontario bale homes of which I am aware have been owner occupied, so we have little knowledge as to how this might be used to advantage by landlords though certainly, yes, energy efficiency is a specific typical aim of such construction.
      Yes, this method can be used for midrise or semi-detached and even commercial applications. The natural fire rating of a similar bale wall is 2hrs, which is to say that is can work as a party wall.

      Yes, including our own (High Park) there are at least two other TO projects that use straw walls of which I am aware (if you mean “…a homee like this…” is in reference only to the walls), thus this could be repeated elsewhere in the city.

      Thanks for the well considered questions.

  • Howdy would you mind letting me know which hosting company you’re using? I’ve loaded your blog in 3 completely different web browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot faster then most. Can you recommend a good internet hosting provider at a reasonable price? Cheers, I appreciate it!|

    • Ben Polley says:

      Hello. We are on a private server. We previously however used Sibername with which we were always happy – only switched b/c local provider was able to custom configure their server to allow us to interlink our related websites (Evolve Builders Group Inc, Fermata – Works of Earth)…at the bottom of each page

  • I really like the design of this house. Especially the design with type 2 + 1 as it looked sting harmonious. Maybe you can show other designs are also interesting? greetings from young entrepreneurs

    • Ben Polley says:

      Thanks very much. The design may be attributed to Nicolas Koff of K-Oala Design while our role was to interpret the intent and then present practical options/solutions to best meet this. More designs and projects yet to come (and see our Facebook page for work in progress)!

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