15. Wensleydale – Passive solar straw bale compact home on bush block

Jonathan WrightSHD2019-2

15. Wensleydale

Type: Passive solar straw bale compact home on bush block
Open: 1pm to 5pm


  • 2018 straw bale 120sqm home, owner rendered walls
  • Double glazed timber windows
  • Solar hot water and wetback electrical heater
  • Large 10 acre bush block rated BAL 28
  • Garden artworks, sheds & cob hut
  • Focus on self sufficient food production: chickens, aquaculture, netted veggie garden
  • Compost & worm farm
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This stunning straw bale home is nestled on a 10 acre bush block. The home was designed with solar passivity in mind which allows the home to be cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Solar hot water and a wet back wood heater ensures free and sustainable hot water all year round. The straw bales where locally sourced and as much as possible, recycled and reclaimed materials where used to keep our environmental footprint to a minimum. Our garden design uses permaculture principles and minimizes the amount of water required.   

The owners did a straw bale course in UK and were keen to get involved in the build of their straw bale home. They lived in the shed while the house was built. The well orientated passive solar home never falls below 14C even if it’s only 2C outside. 

The efficient wood heater quickly warms the living area. They have a solar hot water service and bottled gas stove. The 10 acre site has a dam and outbuildings, aquaponics and netted veggie garden. Water storage uses two 32,00l water tanks. International woofers and artists often stay with the owners helping to maintain the property or creating artworks.

On site experts;