A Strawbale Addition

Takoma Park, Maryland, USA. (Outside of Washington D.C.)

The strip of plaster between the bottoms of the windows and their sills isn't something I've seen before. I'm curious about the underlying details.

A cement-core, cob-covered masonry heater. There were some problems getting the code folks to agree to the cob covering; they wanted the contractor to provide smoke- and flame-spread numbers, or some other kind of nonexistent numbers, for cob. In the end, they were apparently satisfied by just leaving out the straw from the cob mix. (It's only being used as mass here, and not structurally at all. And there's no evidence of any cracking.)

This is the "warming bench" partially seen in the preceding pic behind the masonry heater. The flue runs under the bench, warming it, and then up through the roof. There's a small airspace between the top of the heater and the ceiling, complying with clearance requirements for combustible materials.

A bathroom. The wall with the mirror on it is a nonstructural interior cob wall. (You'll see the other side a couple shots later.) The countertop is fibrous cement / papercrete molded over an aluminum sink and perhaps some boards or something, and then sealed with some kind of waterproof stuff. It looks good, but evidently has needed to be resealed two or three times or more over the last couple years. (Sorry for the sketchy info; it's all I've got.)