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U-M Strawbale Building

U-M Strawbale Building

Program: Planet Blue Student Innovation Fund
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Volunteers building the strawbale house. Image courtesy of U-M Planet Blue Ambassadors

The University of Michigan Strawbale Project at the Campus Farm is an off-grid strawbale building that will embrace natural building techniques, emphasize experiential learning, and expand sustainable food operations. This project will take place at the Matthaei Botanical Gardens in May of 2018 and will be the first permanent student-constructed building on the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor campus. The building will be constructed by a combination of Program in the Environment, College of Engineering, Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, and Stamps School of Art & Design students who are enrolled in either a 300 level or 400 level green building course. This building will serve as the heart of the University of Michigan Campus Farm and provide a multi-functional space for students, volunteers, public visitors, and members of the U-M community. The building will provide a number of different uses including a location for hosting events, a lunchroom, meeting space, weather shelter, and an exhibition space intended to educate visitors about sustainability and natural building. Ultimately, the University of Michigan Strawbale Project at the Campus Farm will act as a benchmark, setting the standard for sustainability efforts and engaged learning practices at the University of Michigan.

Student Team: Margaret Lemak, Ian Crowley, Kingsli Kraft, Lian Wardrop, Rachel Beglin, Kate Samra, Connor Kippe, Lauren Hoff, Aaron Brodkey, Sara Farooqui, Wendy Zhuo, and Jennifer Siciliano.

Administrative Support: Joseph Trumpey, Associate Professor, School of Art & Design; Bob Grese, Professor, Theodore Roosevelt Chair in Ecosystem Management and Director of the Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum; Jeremy Moghtader, U-M Campus Farm Manager; Alex Bryan, U-M Sustainable Food Program Manager