Practical Sustainability: From Conventional to Load-bearing Strawbale

There are those of us that live on the extremes of the building spectrum. Conventional building is a mess of pink fiberglass insulation and paints filled with chemicals. Off-grid load-bearing strawbale construction is highly sustainable, but not a lifestyle option for many. So, how do we move more people into using natural, reused, and recycled materials?

I have spent my career injecting sustainable elements into conventional design and construction. I have re-built a home from 1898. I have constructed an off-grid conventionally built home with sustainable elements. I have built a container house that was partially off-grid. And I have built an off-grid load-bearing strawbale home.

In this talk, I’ll share with you the lessons I’ve learned about how to improve the sustainability of your design and construction so that you can find the right place for you (or your clients) on the spectrum between the two extremes.

All Hands In requires ALL HANDS IN – not just people who want to come to conferences like this one. If we’re going to make a change for the planet and our health, we need to figure out how to incorporate sustainability into mainstream design and construction.

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Aug 28 2020


10:00 am - 11:00 am


Breakout Sessions


Stage Room


  • Jared 'Cappie' Capp
    Jared 'Cappie' Capp

    Owner of Pangea Design Group and Black Hills Homestead, star of Building Off the Grid: Spearfish Canyon (as seen on Discovery Channel).

    I have been an active builder, designer, artist, and metalworker most of my adult life. Born and raised in Spearfish, SD, upon graduation I enlisted in the US Air Force, which took me around the world as a C-130 Loadmaster. The broad range of design and construction techniques seen in my travels over the years, specifically with natural, local, and recycled materials, has influenced me a great deal.

    I currently work with clients on design/build projects that range from treehouses to commercial properties. My goals in the building community include: to increase the quality of life for my clients and the following generations that live in the space; to legitimize local, natural, and recycled materials and building practices as a viable alternative in the eyes of clients, architects, engineers, professional builders, and code officials; reduce or eliminate ongoing costs for utilities and maintenance.

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