Minneapolis Couple Builds Passive House with Straw

Katie Jones and Peter Schmitt met in Minnesota’s first Passive House. Fast-forward a few years and we now find the two happily married and living in the Lowry Hill East neighborhood of Minneapolis (often referred to as “The Wedge” because of the area’s triangular shape). It is here, on the site of their former garage, that the two have decided to build a Passive House of their own.

Instead of erecting a Passive House with conventional materials, the two decided to instead use a wood frame, and to then use bales of straw as a base. The straw will then be coated in plaster. These straw bales are surprisingly good insulators, fire-resistant, and highly soundproof. Additionally, they sequester carbon.

The two recruited Precipitate Architecture’s Elizabeth Turner and Ryan Stegora, a Minnesota-based certified Passive House consultant, to help with the project. Neither had worked on a straw house before, but they both were intrigued by the challenge.

“It’s kind of fun to start a project at the beginning, not really being sure it’s possible,” Turner told the Southwest Journal.

You can read the whole story here.