This is the story of how we came to build our straw bale house.

We moved into the village of Bolton in July 2007. Our original plan was to add an extension to the existing house, but owing to local objections and the inability to agree a design which would meet local planning officers’ expectations, it was suggested that we should consider demolishing the existing dormer bungalow and replace it with a new building. It was hoped that a newly designed building would enable us to create a home which would be suitable for our growing family and allow us to make better use of the available space. Having been a fan of Ben Law’s house which was featured on Channel 4’s ‘Grand Designs’ in 2003, Chris was much taken with the idea of creating a home that reduced its carbon footprint to a minimum, was economic to run and yet fitted within its local environ. In Ben’s house Chris loved the use of the organic materials combined with the renewable technologies and he started to research straw bale buildings and homes.

We met our architect, Stephanie Leeman from First Impressions, at a neighbour’s party and after preliminary discussions she came onboard, agreeing initially to re-design the extension to the original bungalow, but when that option came to an end, she agreed to stay involved in our project and design the new building as well.

The aim of our website is to enable you to follow our progress as we build our straw bale home. Our photo gallery will give you an idea of how we progress.

Chris and Gill Gibbins

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