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Expert Shares Straw Bale Building Advice
If you're interested in building with straw bales, Andrew Morrison's website (www.strawbale.com) is a good place to start. With 10 years experience building with straw bales, Morrison, of Jacksonville, Oregon, has built and consulted for people in all corners of the world.
  "I've built everything from landscape walls, small studios and garden sheds to million dollar homes," Morrison says. He is a licensed general contractor who built Straw Bale Village, a community of 15 straw bale homes in Jacksonville, Oregon, and watched his website database grow to more than 20,000 members in just two years.
  People are interested in "building green" for health benefits and long-term financial savings, he says. Developers also see potential. For example, Morrison is working with a group considering straw bale technology for cabanas at a high-end resort in Mexico.
  "Straw bale construction is finding its way into many different markets every day," Morrison says. "I heard recently of a police station that used straw bales as the walls for increased efficiency and protection from projectiles!"
  Though one of the lures is that people can do it themselves, Morrison strongly recommends first-timers hire a builder, or at least a consultant.
  "Many people think they will save money if they build their home themselves. This can be true, but only if they don't take forever to complete the job and they avoid making expensive mistakes," he notes.
  Morrison offers a lot of free information on his website: a seven-day e-Course; weekly video clips that highlight specific details of the job; blog entries that cover tips, techniques and general information; and podcast shows with question and answer sessions.
  He also offers DVDs (slab foundation, load bearing straw bale, post and beam straw bale and plastering) and consultation services for varying fees.
  Morrison says he has become a leader in straw bale construction simply because of his experience. "Teaching people how to build with bales and build green is one of my greatest passions. I love it, and so I do whatever I can to make it accessible to as many people as possible."
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Andrew Morrison, A.C. Morrison Construction, LLC, 7803 Sterling Creek Road, Jacksonville, Oregon 97530 (ph 541 899-1818; Andrew @strawbale.com; www.strawbale.com).

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2008 - Volume #32, Issue #4