The project is a single-storey, two bedroom ‘house’, with a floor space of around 65 square metres, that we want to use as a holiday let / annex.
It is going to be a hybrid straw bale structure, in that the gabled part will be entirely load-bearing but there will also be a ‘lean-to’ living space will have compressed staw walls, but will need to have additional structural framing within it in so we can put in lots of windows to maximise the amount of light. The foundations will be a timber structural box beam set on top of pillars made from car tyres filled with shingle. The subsoil is traditional Suffolk boulder clay (which, incidentally we would like to use for the internal rendering).
We are going to try and keep the costs of the build down by doing a lot of the work ourselves, under the guidance of a local builder who is very familiar with timber framing and also lime mortar. The idea is to get it completed by the autumn so it is ready to let in 2016, and also so we can get the lime render on before the weather becomes difficult.