Norman woman builds straw house

Friday, April 25th 2008, 7:58 pm
By: News 9

By Gan Matthews, NEWS 9

NORMAN, Okla. -- A Norman woman is building her dream house. But her dreams are much different than most.

She will soon be living in a house made of straw.

Myrna Fletcher's old house was built in 1905 and is built primarily of wood. Her new house, currently under construction, is built primarily of straw.

Fletcher is happy to show it off.

"I'm a farm kid, I have been in barns with straw in 110 (degree temperatures) in the shade and I knew the insulation value of straw," Fletcher said.

You cover the straw with a mixture of clay, sand and lime for waterproofing, and you have a super-insulated house.

"You can save 50-60 percent in monthly costs because you're not having to spend as much to heat and cool," architect Dave Boecke said.

The project kicked off with a bail-raising two years ago.

As the house has taken shape, lots of curious visitors have stopped by.

"They would stop and say, ‘Is that really a straw house?'" Fletcher said.

The architect has dealt with lots of skeptics.

"A lot of people talk about the three little pigs, and blowing your straw-built house down," Boecke said.

And Boecke said straw bale is almost impossible to burn.