Chartreuse Blog

Plain Green Volunteers to Build Sioux Falls’ First Strawbale Building

McCrory Gardens, Brookings, SD. Photo by Dean Isham.

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The Plain Green Conference and Marketplace brings two days of advancing sustainability to the Washington Pavilion in downtown Sioux Falls April 28-29, 2010. Plain Green is the premiere conference on green design, business and ideas on the Northern Plains.

This year, Plain Green will open with an exciting event, a community service project, integrating hands-on learning, sustainable building concepts, and community stewardship.

The Project

The Sioux Falls Chapter of Architecture for Humanity and Sioux Falls Seminary have partnered to organize the construction of a Straw Bale Shed, April 27 and 28, before the Plain Green 10 Conference.  Sioux Falls Seminary’s Summit House, located near downtown Sioux Falls in the Pettigrew Height’s Neighborhood, will be the building site for the new straw bale shed, a gateway project that may lead to creative thinking about development in the neighborhood.  Sioux Falls Seminary students serving at Summit House hope to eventually use the structure as a Tool Lending Library for the residents of the Pettigrew Heights Neighborhood for simple home maintenance and repair.

Want to get involved?

If you are interested in learning about straw bale construction, would like to help build the first straw bale structure in the City of Sioux Falls, or if you would like to volunteer your time for a good cause, join the building team. Spend two days bale raising and plastering with a straw bale specialist from Nebraska, Joyce Coppinger, Managing Editor and Publisher of The Last Straw Journal.  Participants will learn sustainable construction skills with hands-on involvement while building the straw-bale shed.  Space is very limited and an application is required.  Though there is no fee, space is available for Plain Green attendees only.  Register at  After registering, you will be emailed an application.  Team selection will be completed by April 13, 2010.

This Community Service Project is made possible by Koch Hazard Architects and Chartreuse Research, in partnership with Architecture for Humanity, Sioux Falls Chapter and Sioux Falls Seminary.

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