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straw bale buildings



Magnolia project breaking ground!

Our newest project broke ground this week! Located on top of Magnolia, this straw bale, solar powered home is modeled to meet the Passive House Standard. Dedicated to preserving the natural settings, this home will utilize a unique enviro-transpiration water treatment system instead of a traditional septic system, incorporating composting toilets and a grey water system. More project updates to come soon!



Tour of Straw Bale Home in Boulder

David Adamson of EcoBuild and Brian Fuentes discuss the construction of the Adamson’s straw bale zero-energy residence in Boulder, Colorado.

Special thanks to the team: The Adamson Family, RMI, Artesano Plaster, EcoBuild and builders Doug Parker and Roger Sims.



En route to Passive House Certification!

Today fuentesdesign and our team successfully conducted our final blower door test at our Alpine Passive House project – achieving an airtest of <0.6ACH 50!  On track to be one of the first Passive Houses in Colorado and potentially, the first straw bale Passive House in the U.S., this home proves that the Passive House air-tightness standard can be achieved with the use of natural products including straw bales and lime plaster.

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National Passive House Tour features fuentesdesign homes


Building scientists and Passive House enthusiasts from around the country gathered in Denver for the 2012 National Passive House conference and capped of the week with tours of fuentesdesign homes.

View clips from the tours here:

  • Marshall Plan – Rebuilding an 1890s mining cabin into a state of the art Passive House (VIDEO COMING SOON!)
  • Renew – An urban retrofit renewing a 1950s track home into a cozy but modern adobe home
  • Alpine Passive House  – a prefabricated straw bale mountain home, pursuing Passive House certification
  • Passivista – designed by fuentesdesign, built by Mainstream Corporation
Brian Fuentes and Megan Monroe volunteering at the 2012 National Passive House Conference in Denver, Colorado.



fuentesdesign to present at the International Straw Builders’ Conference

The 2012 International Straw Builders’ Conference is coming to Estes Park, Colorado this September.  Brian Fuentes will present on the Passive House standard and its technical requirements, providing examples of building to this standard in Colorado climate with straw bale and other natural materials. Read more about the conference and Brian’s presentation here.