Cordwood masonry is the other kind of log home based on a centuries-old technique that is low-cost, energy efficient, easily constructed, and aesthetically pleasing. Also referred to as Stackwall, short logs of 16-24 inches are laid width-wise within a special mortar matrix. Separating the interior and exterior mortar beds is a bed of sawdust insulation. This creates a thermal break slowing heat loss through the wall. The R-value of a 16″ Cordwood wall, the size used at Sage Mountain Center, is about R-25. The thermal mass of the walls perfectly accommodates passive solar home design.
Sage Mountain Center structures are Cordwood or Straw bale and were constructed without the use of cranes, ropes, or chisels. We also utilized onsite resources and recycled/reclaimed materials where ever possible. The beautiful old-world appearance of Cordwood blends perfectly within our Rocky Mountain environment.
Plastered Straw bale construction is a super-insulated, quick, and renewable method of building whereby straw bales are stacked between a timber framework. After being pinned together and wired the bales are plastered giving an adobe-type of finished. We use salvaged and sifted topsoil in our plaster creating an “earth plaster” that blends the buildings into the surrounding landscape. Sage Mountain Center bales are sourced locally…we can literally see our walls growing in the farmer’s field 15 minutes away!
The R-value of a Straw bale wall is about R-35 to R-45.
The thermal mass of Straw bale construction also lends itself perfectly to passive solar home designs and creates a very warm home in winter and a cool home in summer.