News & Announcements Archive

  • 18 Oct 2015 7:20 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Appendix S – Strawbale Construction with Commentary

    from the 2015 International Residential Code (IRC)

    Free Download

    To receive your free download:
    1. Visit the Download page
    2. Click Add to Bag button
    3. Shopping Bag will appear in lower right corner of your browser
    4. Click Open Bag link
    5. Complete checkout process

    This downloadable Appendix S is as it appears in the 2015 International Residential Code and Commentary published by the International Code Council (ICC). This download is made available by agreement between CASBA and the ICC.

    The complete 2015 IRC and the complete 2015 IRC and Commentary are available for purchase at The complete 2015 IRC (without Commentary) is also available for view only at

    Appendix S references sections of the IRC, so access to the complete IRC is important for full understanding and full use of Appendix S. The IRC applies to one- and two-family dwellings.

    The IRC is a model code with no legal standing of its own, but it is used as the basis for the residential code in virtually every jurisdiction in the United States. However, many jurisdictions have not yet adopted the 2015 IRC, and some may not adopt Appendix S. Jurisdictions that do adopt Appendix S may also amend it. Consult your local building department to understand which edition of the IRC serves as the basis for its current building code and whether Appendix S is included.

    Project applicants who wish to use Appendix S for a strawbale construction project where the state or local jurisdiction has not adopted the 2015 IRC or Appendix S, can propose use of Appendix S on a project basis with the local building official.

    The Commentary explains and gives compliance examples for the Appendix code-requirement language. This is especially helpful for design professionals, builders, building owners, and code officials with little or no experience with strawbale construction. In some cases the Commentary assists interpretation of the code requirements in terms of their intent.

    Appendix S and California

    Appendix S is on a path for inclusion in the 2016 California Residential Code (CRC). The 2016 CRC will take effect January 1, 2017. Project applicants who wish to use Appendix S for a strawbale construction project before that date can propose use of Appendix S on a project basis with the local building official. This has been done for projects in at least three California local jurisdictions to date.

    Questions or Comments regarding IRC Appendix S can be directed to its lead author, Martin Hammer, at or 510-525-0525.

    IRC Appendix R – Light Straw-Clay Construction

    A new appendix on light straw-clay construction, Appendix R, also appears in the 2015 IRC.

  • 25 Mar 2015 8:57 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We have a draft schedule available for the Spring Conference. Check it out, and don't forget to register!

  • 07 Feb 2015 12:21 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We are incredibly excited to report the near-completion of our web and administration systems refresh!

    We are now utilizing a service called Wild Apricot, which offers website hosting to clubs and non-profits, along with contact and membership management services. While the look and feel of our website has remained essentially the same, Wild Apricot will allow us to significantly streamline our administrative processes, and to communicate with our members and those interested in straw building much more efficiently and effectively.

    New Features

    Here are just a few of the things that we hope will improve your experiences with CASBA:

    • Email management: Anyone on our mailing list -- both current members and people on our email list -- can log into their account to update and manage their email subscription settings.

    • Member profiles:  Visible to members only, member profiles include things like your town/city and whether or not you currently own a straw bale building.  There is also a privacy option to make yourself "invisible" to other CASBA members if you so choose.

    • Member Contact Form: Also visible to members only, the Member Contact Form allows you to be emailed by other members without initially revealing your email addresses. In this way, members can be contacted while still maintaining  privacy (Note: only the email sent from the form is private; if you respond to an email you will use your regular email program and will thereby share your email address).

    • Group Membership "Bundles": We now have the ability to easily include the various members of our group memberships -- so the family or business colleagues associated with your membership can create their own accounts and receive emails if they wish. (If you have a group membership, see "To Log Into Your Account" below to add members to your "bundle.")

    We will also shortly be launching a new straw building Forum (replacing our current Google group) for members to ask and answer questions of each other.

    Your Status with CASBA

    Many of our new features are "self-service," meaning you can log into the site at any time to manage your account and settings. While we have some people on our list who are simply interested parties, and have opted into our email lists, we of course encourage you to become a member (or re-up if your membership has expired). You can log in to see the status of your membership.

    Log Into Your Account

    To log into your account, you must first set up a password. Click the link below to receive a temporary password which will let you log into the site and create your own password.

    Then use the form in the left-hand column of this site to log in.

    As We Move Forward

    As with any new software system, there is a learning curve and we know that we will likely run into a few issues here and there, and we appreciate your patience as we work out the kinks. All of CASBA's activities are managed by volunteers, so we hope you will forgive us some bumps and bruises in this process. And as always, we are grateful for any feedback so feel free to contact us with any comments or questions.

    We look forward to providing you with even more straw building resources in the coming weeks and months!

  • 29 Nov 2014 12:19 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    See what CASBA members think -- view the results here!

  • 12 Aug 2014 8:22 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Read this article by CASBA member Martin Hammer and David Eisenberg. Originally published in the February 2014 issue of the International Code Council's monthly on line publication Building Safety Journal

  • 12 Aug 2014 8:20 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Straw bale as a construction material and building system has just taken an huge step into the mainstream.   After countless meetings, hearings, revisions, and hours of work, strawbale building will now be part of the national building code.

  • 28 May 2012 12:10 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    CASBA member John Swearingen of Skillful Means assisted pilot Heidi Porch in creating a straw bale dream home. Read the Sonoma Magazine article.

  • 28 May 2012 12:09 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    In Deerhorn Valley in Southern California, an artist's Straw Bale Studio rises from the ashes and doubles as a community center. A CASBA contractor was involved in its construction.

    Read the East Country Magazine article and see pictures.

CASBA, a Project of the Tides Center.

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