"Remixing Modern Masonry with Watershed Block", an article published by Masonry Magazine, explains the resilience, efficiency, and sustainability of Watershed Block building and features a photo of our Healdsburg Family Residence project.
 

Volunteers and friends of Origin Brewer, a new nano-brewery in Richmond, California, were led by Contractor Chris Polk and the talented crew of Watershed Materials (Dan, Edward, Gabriel, Khyber, Taj, and David Easton) on October 23rd, 24th & 25th for the raising of the Watershed block walls. The ATA designed brewery was engineered by Anthony Dente of KDSE to minimize the use of portland cement based concrete by utilizing horizontal ladder trusses, so not all of the cores need to be grouted. Watershed Block features around 5% cement content vs. over 10% in typical concrete block.

bale before and after plaster

Bay Area based Arkin Tilt Architects (ATA) has designed dozens of structures that utilize straw bales for insulation in their walls; the plans for two have been available for purchase through the website www.strawbaleplans.com. In response to this summer's wildfires throughout California, ATA is offering the plans for these two homes, plus six others, to anyone who lost their home in the fires, for free.

Evening view of residence in rural Healdsburg copyright Edward Caldwell

medium_SWSmonarch.jpg

Finally had our photographer, Ed Caldwell, out to capture the beauty of this off-the-grid residence in rural Healdsburg, featuring straw bale and Watershed Blocks (earth masonry units).  While we were there 6 monarch butterflies emerged from chrysalises right outside the front door! Kudos to the beautiful edible and habitat-based landscape by Angelica Papio.  The project is now viewable in the residential category.

High-Performance Courtyard House - view from south

Update 9/29/15: Here is a link to the home tour event info and to purchase tickets: http://aiascvym.site-ym.com/events/event_details.asp?id=664315 Purchase before October 1 for early bird ticket prices. To check out all the homes in the tour, click here: https://aiascvym.site-ym.com/?page=TheHomes

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