Moore/Schmidt Custom Residence

  • Client: Paul Moore & Nina Schmidt

  • Contractor: Owner/Builder

  • Location: N. Turquoise Drive, Flagstaff

  • Type: Custom Residence

  • Size: 1800 SF Livable + 500 SF Studio/Workshop + 900 SF Office/ADU (Original structure)

  • Cost: $180,000

  • Schedule: Design: 2005, Construction: 2006

  • Features: Straw-bale Construction & other Natural Building Materials, Passive Solar

This sustainable straw-bale home is for the Principal Architect of PWMA, Paul Moore, and his family.

This home was constructed as an addition to the original 900 sf home that was converted into a home office and an accessory dwelling unit. The new home is built with straw bale walls and is designed such that passive solar heating provides half the heat for the home.

The goal in building this home was to make a beautiful, comfortable, and sustainable residence. The Floor Plan is made up of the old house, the new two story home, and a studio. The studio is a open, flexible, multi-functioning space. The old house was converted into offices and an Accessory Dwelling Unit. The ADU is allowed in residential zones and is a 500sf rental with full Kitchen and Bath.

The choice to build with straw bale was a natural one, in that it provides several advantages; there is substantial insulation against heat loss, a waste product is put to use, and strw bale is a non-toxic and available material. The Passive Solar design was the central concept around which the home was created. By placing a large percent of the windows facing directly South, roughly only half of the gas is needed to heat the home compared to a typical home of this size.

Locally harvested ponderosa pine logs were used as log posts and stair treads, and Ash Fork sandstone was quarried and cut for the kitchen countertops. A big part of the function and beauty of the home comes from the cabinets, which were made using Minnesota maple. The second floor is built out of spaced heavy timber purlins and 2x tongue and groove Douglas floor decking, which is the structural and the finished flooring. The inside of the straw bale walls were finished with a colored lime plaster. The Dining Room table was fabricated from planks salvaged from the original garage that was torn down to make room for the new house.