The basis for my graduate architecture thesis is an exploration of the uses of Palouse wheat and barley straw as a modern construction material. One of the primary intentions of this research is to develop prototypical wall systems, which use straw as a integral component in order to achieve more insulative efficiency. A strong agricultural background has given me an intimate perspective on this material, which is typically perceived as a waste by-product. It is my intent to change that connotation.
Close to 7 million tons of straw is either tilled under or burned in the Palouse each year (150 million tons in the US). With advancements in no till and minimum till farming, harvesting straw could reduce fossil fuel consumption, soil erosion, and co2 emissions in the Palouse while providing a highly insulative, aesthetically pleasing, and a new building system to the northwest.
Status: School Project
Location: St. John, WA