140 sq. ft. VAULT

This 140 sq. ft. straw bale vault was build by a group of women builders at The Lama Foundaton, a spiritual/ecological community in northern New Mexico. For more information and photos on this straw bale vault, the women builders who created it, and The Lama Foundation where it was constructed, please refer to this website

I was not involved in the design or construction of this structure but was fortunate to be in attendance at the alternative housing conference "Build Here Now 2000" when it was under construction. I made a point to sneak in and have a good look at the rock foundations when the women were not around. I have not seen the finished product except in photos, but hope to go back for "build Here Now 2001" and see the completed hermitage.

As evident from the photos, the vault is an unique way of building with straw bales. The "walls" become the "roof" as cob (or other) wedges are added between the bale courses, causing the walls to gently slope inward toward the ultimate roof peak. The structure in this case is roofed with corregated metal roofing, and plastered on the inside with earth plaster. The floor is also an earth pour, the south wall obvioulsy cord wood. For a lot more info. click above. Robert.