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Solarwise provides comprehensive design and building services for your new straw bale home. As a design/build firm we provide only one contract and are the single point of responsibility.  We offer an integrative design approach which allows us to work as a team from the beginning to the end.  By designing specifically for the construction method being used, we can reach our goals to make the building process efficient and enjoyable.  When working with labor-intensive building materials and techniques, such as straw bales and natural plasters, it is imperative to instill a construction process that is proficient and streamlined.  By doing so, labor costs can be minimized and budget accuracy can be achieved.   When using alternate construction methods, design/build is the most cost-effective approach available.

What We Provide



Often, consultation is a good place to begin if you are considering building with straw.  Advice or professional assistance can be provided at any phase of your project, planning through plaster.  We are able to coach owner-builders or other building professionals through challenging elements in the design or building process.  Consultation can provide the answers you need to the more complicated questions, or just reassure that your plans are feasible.

Plan Review/Revision

  Floor plan evaluation and suggestions for changes in layout

  Thorough detail review, including window and door specifics

  Evaluation from a code perspective

  Detail report outlying corrections, suggestions, and places for improvement

  Redesign of plans to better accommodate for straw bale construction

  Plaster prep procedural outline

Crew Training

  Training your building crew and/or friends and family

Straw bale alterations and stacking

Plaster Preparation

Plaster mixing and application

  Direct access and consulting as you build your house

  Tool training and safety instructions


Architectural Design

During the design phase, we are able to help guide you and turn your ideas into precise architectural plans for a home that meets your needs, desires, and budget.  Our extensive knowledge of the building process allows us, during the design phase, to guide the design towards features that maximize the benefits of straw bale construction and passive solar principles, specifically tailored to your individual site and budget.   Our construction experience also helps our designs to minimize waste and inefficiency in the building process.

Architectural Visualization


Floor Plans

3D Modeling

Elevation Rendering


General Contracting

During the building phase, we offer complete general contracting and building services.  Our knowledgeable team provides timely and efficient construction with a focus on detail, emphasizing function, craftsmanship, and creativity.  We strive to create homes that are beautiful, durable, tangible expressions of our client’s desires.

Project Management

  Budget Estimating


  Sub-contractor Acquisition and Management

  Project Oversight

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