Upcoming events are listed below.To add a new event to the calendar, please contact us.

Upcoming events

    • 05 May 2017
    • 4:00 PM
    • 07 May 2017
    • 12:00 PM
    • Walker Creek Ranch, Marin County, CA

    Registration has Commenced!

    May 5-7

    Walker Creek Ranch

    1700 Marshall - Petaluma Road, Petaluma, CA 94952

    Our volunteer conference committee is hard at work polishing the conference details to ensure a stellar event with loads of information, many opportunities to get your questions answered, and of course, time to socialize with like-minded folks.  We've included an overview for your perusal, after the registration and lodging information. The schedule will be posted as soon as we've finished tweaking it!

    Registration Fee

     Regular Price - $200 (April 21 - May 3)
     *Saturday Only - $175
    (March 20 - May 3)

    Students receive a 25% discount on the Early Bird & the regular priced registration fee.

    Base fee includes meals: Friday dinner, through Sunday lunch. Lodging prices are detailed below.

    * Saturday Only was set up for members. If this is your only option and you are not a member, please contact David Arkin at the email at the bottom of this page.

    You must be a member to register for the conference. (students excepted). If you are not currently a member you can sign up here.


    Fees are per head and include Friday and Saturday nights. All beds are singles.

    • Camping - $0
      Included in registration fee   
    • Economy / Dorm - $50 each
      Bring your own bedding
    • Semi-private room in lodge - $100 each
      Rooms for 2-4 people with shared kitchen, lounge and bathrooms. Limited number of rooms for 2 -- couples, book early if you'd like one!                                  
    • Private room / 1 person - $200
      Very limited; we will confirm availability post-registration.


    Keynote Speaker: Craig White, Architect

    British Architect Craig White has been involved in low energy and sustainable design since the 1980s, and is the founder of the British panelized strawbale wall system, ModCell. Craig is a Design Advice consultant with the Carbon Trust and has worked on the UK's Low Carbon Buildings Programme. He was a keynote speaker at the 2016 International Straw Building Conference in New Zealand. Craig will present "Towards a Photosynthetic Architecture - Renewable Buildings for the Circular Carbon Economy"

    Special Guest: Stephen Bushnell, CPCU, ARM

    Stephen Bushnell is a highly experienced insurance and risk management professional. He led the development of the industry’s first dedicated insurance policies and risk services for green buildings, and currently sits on the newly formed USGBC Advisory Council. In 2016 he was named President of the Sustainable Disaster Response Council, an organization that brings sustainable practices to the disaster recovery process.

    Featured Speaker: Martin Hammer, Architect

    Martin Hammer has acted as CASBA's lead code writer for many years and is also the co-director of Builders Without Borders. He will update us on the Straw Building, Straw Clay & Tiny House appendices to the International Residential Code (IRC) that he co-wrote, and speak on Designing for High Seismic Areas in the Developing World and recent straw bale disaster relief work in Nepal.

    Schedule: (subject to minor changes)

    Friday, May 5th:

    Registration -                                                      4:00 - 5:50 PM

    Dinner -                                                               6:00 - 6:50 PM                  

           Evening Session

    Straw Bale 101                                                                      

        - Contractors Rebecca Tasker & Jim Reiland  

    Designing for High Seismic Areas of the Developing World

        - Martin Hammer, architect  

    The New Carbon Architecture

        - New book by Bruce King, PE


    Social Time

    Saturday May 6th:

    Breakfast -                                                          8:00 - 8:50 AM           

            Morning Session

    Welcome & Overview

        - David Arkin, architect, and CASBA Director

    Santa Clara University Bale Testing

        - Professor Mark Ascheim, PE, PhD, & students 


    Underwriting Straw Buildings

        - Stephen Bushnell, CPCU, ARM   

    Lunch -                                                            12:00 - 12:50 PM

            Afternoon Session

    Independent discussion group time

    The Devil is in the Details

        - Jim Reiland, Contractor

    Code Update: Strawbale, Straw Clay & Tiny House Appendices

        - Martin Hammer, architect, co-author 

    Towards a Photosynthetic Architecture - Renewable Buildings for the Circular Carbon Economy

    - Keynote Speaker Craig White, architect   

    Happy Hour -                                                      5:00 - 5:50 PM   

    Dinner -                                                                6:00 - 6:50 PM

          Evening Session   

    5x5 & 20 x 20 presentations by members  

    Award presentations & Silent Auction winners    

    Saturday night fun, presented by the Dancing & Decorating committee !

    Sunday, May 7th:

    Breakfast  -                                                          8:00 - 8:50 AM

         Morning Session     

    Annual Member Meeting


    Tiny House presentation

        - Martin Hammer & Santa Clara University students

    Hempcrete discussion

    - Steve Sheldon, architect, & Others

    Lunch -                                                              12:00 - 1:00 PM  

    Volunteer Clean Up -                                        1:00 - 2:00 PM                                                                                                                                                                            

    NOTE: CASBA endeavors to make our conferences accessible to all. If you have financial restrictions please contact David Arkin.

    • 03 Jun 2017
    • 9:00 AM
    • 04 Jun 2017
    • 5:00 PM
    • Palo Alto, CA

    2 day workshop June 3-4 in Palo Alto, California

    Come learn about remodeling a house using straw bales and earth plaster. This is a two day workshop which will focus on how to wrap an existing house exterior in straw bales to increase the insulation value and beauty of the home. We will install straw bales against a wood framed, single story house. Participants will participate in bale stacking, notching, window detailing, papering, lathing, and base-coat plastering. A mix of instruction time, hands-on experience along with a hand-out will provide you with the basic knowledge of straw bale building to go build your own project. Evenings will allow for additional question/answer time and photo presentations.

    This remodel was designed by Arkin Tilt Architects in Berkeley. The instructors are long time CASBA members, contractor Rebecca Tasker from Simple Construct and CASBA director, David Arkin. Instruction during the workshop will cover the basics of building with straw bales; foundations details, windows and doors, electrical installation, plumbing, roofs, carbon sequestering building materials, environmentally conscious building, and more. We will cover some basic information on plasters and have a chance to apply the first layer of plaster. To learn more about the art and science of plasters join us for our upcoming Plaster Workshop in Vacaville this summer.

    The goal of the workshop is to accommodate every participant’s interest and skill level. Each participant can expect to participate in the various aspects of the straw bale construction to ensure the broadest possible hands-on experience.


    • $325
    • Register by May 20th for a 10% discount!
    • Students discount price $245 (~25%)
    • Attendees also receive a free CASBA membership for 1 year

    Price includes meals during workshop.


    No lodging on project site. We will have a washing area and toilet facility. If you are coming from a distance, there are hotels/motels minutes away.  Information to these will be provided when requested.  Site location, driving instruction and other information are provided with confirmation of registration.

    For additional workshop info contact Jenna Yu at or 510-541-7753.

    • 07 Oct 2017
    • Grass Valley / Nevada City area

    SAVE THE DATE! We'll post more information here soon.

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