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Picture of straw bale house and hybrid home built with natural materials



The design of a straw bale hybrid home using green building techniques

Building With Awareness: The Construction of a Hybrid Home DVD and Guidebook
By Ted Owens( green designer and filmmaker)

You are dreaming of building a straw bale home that is comfortable, energy efficient, and beautiful. Obtaining this information sometimes seems like more work than it should be.

Constructing a straw bale solar home requires the merging of solar design with alternative building techniques. Books are great for acquiring information on these topics quickly and easily, while videos are essential for showing the actual building methods and techniques firsthand. The Building With Awareness DVD / guidebook combination brings you the best of what both video and books have to offer. The award-winning DVD is inspiring and informative, with over five hours of material on every aspect of building a green home with straw bale and other natural materials. The 152-page handy-reference guidebook complements the DVD with more than four hundred full-color photographs, diagrams, and illustrations., plus tips, suggestions, and step-by-step methods—all condensed into an easy-to-understand, nuts-and-bolts format. Used side-by-side, these two important resources provide a comprehensive and visually dynamic library of information on building beautiful and energy-efficient green homes with straw bale.

My goal in creating this DVD and guidebook was to show you the step-by-step, real-world process of building a single, straw bale home from start to finish. With the knowledge you will gain from Building With Awareness, you will have the confidence and know-how to either build your own home yourself or to work with designers, architects, and contractors. Starting with the design, the orientation of windows, and the right materials for both aesthetics and energy-efficiency, the DVD and guidebook cuts through the mystery of building a straw bale house. What is the best foundation to use to conserve concrete? How can thick-and-heavy interior thermal mass walls (made of adobe, stone, or brick) greatly increase the energy-efficiency of your straw bale home? How do you frame, install electrical wiring and plumbing for straw bale walls? And how can solar energy be put to use to not only heat the house, but to also supply electricity for all of you needs? In a world that is just beginning to think green, it is important to have an overall concept of what is essential in good home design. It is important to demand the best features and materials. The information in this DVD and guidebook will permit you to build the greenest straw bale home that you can.

Building a green home is more than just using straw bales for insulation. The overall design can have a huge impact on comfort, energy-efficency, and the overall cost of construction. The hardest part of building a straw bale hybrid home is finding out where to start. This DVD/guidebook combination will inform, entertain, and inspire you to build a home that is decades beyond the common house today.

The Building With Awareness guidebook and DVD video will paint a visual picture in your mind as to how all construction techniques flow together. With over 5 hours of audio and video content, a narrated slide show of construction details, 152 pages that include over 400 full-color photographs, diagrams, and illustrations—Building With Awareness is an essential tool to guide you towards building green with straw bale and other natural materials.

Like the DVD video, The Building With Awareness guidebook has been meticulously designed to convey information on straw bale construction and green building in an easy-to-understand format. You will be right on the construction site, learning from the experts as they notch and stack the straw bales and mix the mud. Learn about rubble trench foundations that conserve concrete, post-and-beam wall framing for straw bale walls, roof construction and environmentally sound insulation, thick interior thermal mass walls for stabilizing indoor temperatures and improving energy efficiency, rainwater cistern construction, electrical wiring for straw bale and adobe walls, photovoltaic systems for self-sufficient electrical generation, earth-plastering techniques for straw bale and adobe walls, and passive solar design. See how to combine energy efficiency and aesthetics, using environmentally friendly materials. Finally, there is a DVD/book combination for those of us who need to observe the process in order to fully understand it.


The DVD and Gudebook Combination is now only $39.00

Go to the order page

If you are looking for detailed information on green building with straw bale, then see what is in the Building With Awareness DVD/Guidebook combo:

• Inspiration and information on both design and construction techniques.
• The DVD video has received 3 Telly Awards for production excellence, including Outstanding Multi-media DVD, Editing, and Use of Graphics. The video has the look and feel of a quality broadcast televison program.
• Seeing the process on video is the best way to understand how a green home is built.
• The main video presentation runs for 2 hours and 42 minutes. Additional features include a 2nd audio track (with additional construction and design commentary) and a 15-minute narrated slide show of construction details. This makes for over 5 hours of concise straw bale construction information. Watch the trailer
• All techniques shown in the video are broken down into easy-to-follow steps in the guidebook
• The beautifully designed guidebook contains over 400 full-color photographs and diagrams showing techniques and tips on how to build a green straw bale home.
• each page of the book is completely cross-referenced by time to the DVD video so that you can find the green building information that you are looking for.
• Terms are explained and materials are suggested for building a healthy and energy-efficient green home.
• The DVD will play in all countries on DVD players that are NTSC compatible. The DVD will also play on all personal computers that are capable of playing DVD videos.

A review of the DVD video by Katherine Salant for The Washington Post states:

"Owens not only knows his subject well, but also knows how to present it in a way that will capture his audience . . ."


SuCasa Magazine Review, WInter 2008:

"A thorough and thoroughly thought-out case study, the book and DVD combine empowering how-to information with an inside view to the decision making Owens went through as he built his Corrales, New Mexico, home."
read more


picture of straw bale wall in a hybrid home

The Award-Winning DVD Video
On How To Build A Straw Bale House
Now Has A Companion Guidebook

The guidebook was developed to further expand and explain the step-by-step methods of straw bale and green home construction. Building With Awareness should be in everyone's green building library—whether your are just thinking about building your own home, or you are ready to stack the bales and apply the mud. This product contains the equivalent of thousands of dollars of green building consulting time for the low price of only $39.00 for the DVD/guidebook combination.

More Praise For
Building With Awareness:

Catherine Wanek's (author of The New Straw Bale Home) review of the DVD and guidebook combination says:

"Its detailed instruction, eco-consciousness, and pure watchability makes this the best new green-building resource by far."

            Copyright © 2015, Syncronos Design Inc. All rights reserved.
            Building With Awareness is a registered trademark of Ted Owens.