Class Recap March 24


Today Wayne Appleyard from Sun Structures came to talk to our class about his work. After he graduated from University of Michigan in ’78 him and his friends decided to, “starve together.” He is a self-taught builder. He used to call renewable energy “alternative energy” but stated it is not an alternative, it is imperative! He has experience with solar water and air heaters, photovoltaic systems, wind electric systems, composting toilets, grey water systems, strawbale construction, slip-formed stone walls, radiant floor slab heating systems, air to air heat exchangers, and ground source heat pumps.

As a student I found it inspiring that his first project was a failure. If he gave up, he wouldnt have been able to learn and spread his talent through out the country.

Before talking to us about the straw bale homes he has built he talked to us about the other projects he has worked on, and the list goes on and on. From educational, residential to commercial his buildings are unique and brilliant. His work is insightful and inspiring and living proof that sustainable building is a plausible option.

He stressed the importance of flexible design because climate can fluctuate by up to 40% in terms of temperature and sunlight depending on the given year.

Most people are, “out of touch” with the importance of natural sunlight in buildings.

See for yourself —

3054249938_d615577e92_bScreenshot 2017-03-24 11.00.50

Screenshot 2017-03-24 11.04.07.png



After our enlightening chat with Wayne we split up into separate groups tp accomplish various logistic tasks to plan our building! We got stickers of our beautiful logo ordered. Discussed plans for painting the doors, staining the deck, coloring the roof, concrete, plaster, if we want wall details and tile work! We are also going to put in a “truth” window: an opening in a wall surface, created to reveal the layers or components within the wall. In a strawbale house, a truth window is often used to show the walls are actually made of strawbales.


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