Strawbale Greenhouse at Vel's Purple Oasis

This video features the construction of the first pilot strawbale greenhouse at Vel's Purple Oasis on the east-side of Cleveland. The greenhouse is a part of StrawVille, an initiative of the New Agrarian Center to utilize strawbale construction techniques to enhance urban agriculture in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio. Strawbale construction involves the use of strawbales (an abundant waste product of local agriculture) to create highly insulated buildings that retain heat and improve energy efficiency. Applying techniques for the construction of its office in Oberlin, the NAC partnered with Fox Natural Construction and the Urban Lumberjacks of Cleveland to construct this pilot project. In addition to improved efficiency, the benefits of strawbale construction are numerous: use of non-toxic and biodegradable materials, incorporation of art and sculpture, and building community through a construction process that mimics an Amish barn-raising. Other examples of strawbale construction in the region include: the Kious residence in Cleveland Heights, the beer garden at the Great Lakes Brewing Company restaurant, the strawbale toolshed at the Cleveland Eco-Village garden, and a variety of building applications at the George Jones Farm in Oberlin.