The Johnson House is a 1400 square foot straw bale home and carport. The finished house consists of a great room
and kitchen, four bedrooms, one full bath, one half bath/laundry room, and a 300 square foot carport. It utilizes a
beam structure with custom designed steel trusses that allow an open span of 28' in the great room. The straw
bale acts as an insulator, providing the residence with double the insulation of a conventional home.
The south wall of the home has large windows that allow passive solar gain which is captured by the thermal mass
of the concrete floor and dissipated throughout the house during the day and night. The roof casts a shadow over these
windows during the summer but allows the sun in during the winter. In addition to the sun, a wood burning stove provides
an additional heat source. The exterior structure consists of three simple shed roofs for the carport, main level and
split level bedrooms. Bales are finished in an earthen plaster, made from a local top soil and sand.
bedroom corner is clad in metal, creating an interesting juxtaposition between materials.
The carport uses a post and beam structure as well with river rock filled
gabion cage walls. The rock gaps allow for a gentle breeze, but block the sun
and high winds. A roof above protects from the rains and snow, while open top
windows allow light and ventilation.