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  • Spring Conference - 2017

Spring Conference - 2017

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


(depends on selected options)

Base fee:

Registration is closed

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  

Sustainable (Re)Building in Nepal, Strawbale 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

Building with Hempcrete

    - 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.

CASBA is fiscally sponsored by the Tides Center, a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization.

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