Alternative building materials was the subject of the winter/spring 2001 issue of Tucson Home magazine, in a piece entitled “Tierra Firma” featuring both straw bale and rammed earth. The owner, a retired real estate broker, wanted a new custom home built of straw -- a bold new material for the more elaborate home design venues . The resulting home was noticed and featured in the AIA’s home show, “Architecture Week”, in the Spring of 1999. This home, designed by William Ford and built by John Woodin, was one of the first homes in the area to demonstrate mainstream acceptance by higher-end residential clients, showing that straw bale construction is here to stay. “A product of earthy integrity, straw bale owns a place in the design and construction world. Originally, early homesteaders used bales and sod a century ago in the heartland to build houses, some of which survive today.”

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