Community Housing Partners Completes Straw Bale House for SLEC

Floyd, Va. – Community Housing Partners (CHP) Energy Services staff pitched in to help build a house made of straw. But wait, how can a house made of straw be sustainable?

Designed by Leon Davis, a Virginia Tech architecture student, the 400 square-foot structure was created for the Sustainable Living Education Center (SLEC) to promote green and alternative building and design. The 400 sq. ft. straw bale structure is a post and beam construction with bales of hay as infill and will eventually become a functional studio space used by the Jacksonville Center.

CHP’s Energy Services staff provided resources, as well as labor and materials to complete the project. The following CHP staff were involved in the project: Bill Beachy, Chris Heslep, Anthony Cox, Darrell Darnell, James Merrix and Jamie Hilton.

SLEC was developed through a partnership with the Association of Energy Conservation Professionals (AECP), The Jacksonville Center and Architectural Alternatives to provide interactive demonstrations, exhibits and displays that showcase the importance of sustainable living as a means to protect our natural environment, enhance environmentally friendly building and design, and to secure a clean, safe, and affordable energy future. In addition to the straw bale structure, SLEC also houses two renewable energy systems that are producing electricity. These systems (a 100- watt solar panel and a thousand watt wind generation system) are used as educational tools for the general public in the application of residential renewable energy.

For more information about SLEC, contact Billy Weitzenfeld, Executive Director of AECP, at 540-745-2838 or aecp@swva.net