Fallgren Naturally Healthy Home

Brian and Sue Fallgren had dreamt of building a home in Campo for over a decade. They envisioned an old adobe rancho from the turn of the last century that fit perfectly into the landscape but performed like a new, efficient building. To achieve this goal, they partnered with Simple Construct - a design/build company who has been the industry leader in strawbale construction for the past 10 years. This 1,600 sq ft (interior), 2 bedroom, 1 bath home was completed in the spring of 2016 and features super-insulated strawbale walls, natural clay plasters, adobe mass accent walls, straw-clay partition walls, reclaimed wood, stained concrete floors, photovoltaics, hybrid heat pump water heater, efficient lighting, high fire-resistance, and an age-in-place layout. Strawbale building is the most resource-efficient way to build a super-insulated home and results in superior indoor air quality and sound quality. Clay plasters use fewer resources than conventional plasters and are VOC free and nontoxic. By using natural, non-toxic, low and zero VOC products and finishes, fewer toxins were built into the building. Building smaller and more efficiently with materials that have a lower carbon footprint helps ensure that the building process, as well as the finished product, will be as low-impact as possible. Straw bales are a rapidly-renewable resource and can store more carbon than was used to produce them, making it possible for these buildings to go beyond doing less harm to actively doing good by functioning as carbon sinks. In 2018, this project achieved certified as a Net Zero Energy Building through the International Living Future Institute, which means that the home uses less energy than it produces, as well as meeting other strict criteria for sustainable building. This prestigious certification, which was administered by the same organization that runs the rigorous Living Building Challenge, required a full year of monitoring by a third-party to verify that the home actually performed as well as designed.

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