2014 Spring Conference Overview

2014 CASBA Straw Building Conference

April 25-27, 2014 - Camp Ocean Pines, Cambria, CA

The California Straw Building Association (CASBA) invites you to our annual spring conference. This year’s conference features a kickoff event on Friday night, keynote speakers on Saturday afternoon, member presentations and a straw bale home tour. The rest of the weekend is dedicated to sessions which will be decided and scheduled at the event, based on the interests of the group. Known as “open space scheduling,”this format creates room for every participant to help determine the focus and be part of the discussions. Come prepared with ideas of what you would like to learn and/or what you would like to offer.

Keynote Speakers: Robert LaPorte & Paula Baker-LaPorte

Working together since 1994, Paula and Robert have developed the EcoNest home concept. Robert is a recognized natural building pioneer, teacher and author. He is a leading expert in earth, clay/straw and timber frame construction and has been designing and building natural homes for the past thirty years, leading more than 1,500 students in over 100 workshops in 6 countries. Paula leads the EcoNest design team. She headed a wide-ranging architectural practice based in Santa Fe, New Mexico since 1986. Since 1992, Paula has dedicated her practice to the precepts of environmentally sound and health enhancing architecture and her firm continues to lead in the fields of healthy and natural design and design and consultation for the chemically sensitive. Paula has lectured, taught and published extensively. She is currently developing and teaching courses for the International Institute of Bau-biologie and Ecology. She is the primary author of “Prescriptions for a Healthy House.” More information can be found at

5X5 or 20x20 Presentations

Five slides in five minutes or 20 slides at 20 seconds each! These fun, fast-paced presentations are a great way to get to know a little bit about everyone at the conference. Every attendee is invited to bring either five or 20 images and tell the whole group about them in a few minutes.

Current List of Session Topics:

  • Working with Natural Plasters, Including Clay, Lime, & Gypsum
  • The Building Science of Straw Wall Assemblies
  • Diagnosing Plaster Failures
  • Structural Design Options With Straw Bale Walls
  • Pros and Cons of Mechanized Plaster Applications
  • Designing for Bale Stacking Efficiency & Thermal Performance

This list, like everything in life, is subject to change.

CASBA, a Project of the Tides Center.

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