Construction of Demonstration Home

Henry and Joanna with the project in the background tarped for the straw bale stage.
The straw bales are going up.  It is a challenge because of the shape of the building.
Like the nervous system of the house...over 80 thermal couplers and moisture meters placed in between the straw bale and earth block wall by a Queen's University student as part of the research project.
The inside being used as a temporary storage for the straw bales
above pictures taken by Ted Amsden, Northumberland Today
Henry Wiersma is using his 35 years of experience in the building industry to pioneer Compressed Earth Block technology in Canada.

Compressed Earth blocks are large bricks (varying in size but usually around 4h x 7w x 14l) made of up to 100% ground-sourced clay. The technology is a variation on the ancient building materials of cob and adobe. The technology has gained in popularity in the southern climates of the United States. Henry is adapting the Earth Block for use as an innovative, structurally-sound, and ecologically-friendly building material in Canada.

Henry was awarded an External Research Grant from the CMHC to help with a demonstration building. This building will feature a hybrid system of compressed earth block and straw bale. The compressed earth blocks will create the structure that supports the roof and the second floor, while straw bales will be placed on the exterior of the wall as insulation. The compressed blocks will be stacked with a thin slurry to glue bond them together, creating a monolithic wall. The floor will consist of compressed earth block over radiant heating. The blocks will be stained to an adobe red and coated with a clear floor finish. The second floor consists of red pine laid in a spiral pattern.

December 2013

Our tenant has moved in and the house is almost complete.  We will be hosting an open house in the early summer.  If you are interested in coming please send us an email to let us know.