STRAP, the Strawbale Regional Assistance Project, is an electronic organization of people who are willing to come together (i.e.: a 150 mile radius of travel) to help someone build a strawbale house. The goal is a volunteer group of 30 people per region, a large enough group (with 15 gathering at any one time) to raise the walls and install the roof of a 800-1000 square foot home in a two day weekend. In one sense, the group acts as a dispersed, specialized crew for each other. In another, equally important sense, the group is a dispersed community, bound together by electronic threads, which periodically gathers to take part in a houseraising.

The model for this group is the Amish religious community (and no doubt, others) who see neighborly assistance as a great gift, as well as an asssurance that the shared beliefs of the community will survive. The advantages of STRAP are every bit as much an emotional and pleasurable as they economic and logical.

STRAP's default building method is Nebraska style (load bearing wall) structures, though infilled post and beam structures could be accomodated with more pre-weekend work being required of the owner. STRAP is limited to an electronic communication mode, though members are encouraged to enlist and inform interested people in their locale who are not online. Click on structural components for more information on Nebraska style strawbale construction details.

Advantages for the owner/builder/recipient of this effort are obvious: free labor, very rapid erection of the most difficult parts of the home, access to organizational assistance, and reduced debt load. Advantages for the crew are the accumulation of information and knowledge, an ever increasing amount of efficiency in the process and design (which can then be used in their own homes), and continuing moral support. As with any project, the first "raisings" will go slower and contain more mistakes. Subsequent houses will go faster, have fewer mistakes, and incorporate more elegant design details. Advantages for everyone are the satisfaction of helping another SB'er, involvement in a goal oriented, dispersed community, and social interaction.

If you're interested in joining this collaboration of like minded people, please e-mail me with the following info:


E-mail address


The locale and state in which you live (ie: south central NV)

Relevant skills you'd bring to an SB house raising

A description of your SB plans or interest

Do it HERE!

STRAP Updates are posted to the group periodically, and I have now added them to this web site so new STRAP members may gain an understanding of where STRAP has been and where it is headed. Feedback from the individuals will also be collected and added here, so don't hesitate to join voice your ideas.

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James Lux, January 12, 1996