Pinoleville Straw Bale Housing

The Pinoleville Pomo Nation Homes project included prototype single-family housing with a fresh look at the way tribal houses are built, so that homes are constructed with care for our current and future generations. The design echoes the traditional Pomo Indian round house style with a round sunken “spiritual core” that serves as the central gathering space. Clerestory windows bring in natural light while also allowing for passive heating and cooling. Walls are made of rice straw bales which are a by-product of the rice industry, are constructed using community “raising” events, and provide R-50 insulated walls.

Our high performing sustainable design includes Southern orientation, thermal mass, solar panels for electricity and hot water generation, geo-thermal heating and cooling, and super-insulation. Rainwater collection tanks, a gray water system, composting toilets, and water saving plumbing combine to use water wisely. Earthen plaster, non-toxic finish materials and paints, day lighting, and natural ventilation create a comfortable and healthy interior environment. A simple and constructible design allows for efficiency in construction and adaptability to multiple sites.

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