Farr Associates is partnering with an innovative group of University of Michigan students and the storied Michigan Biological Station to design and build a multi-purpose facility constructed from strawbales, a super sustainable and renewable material. The BioStation, whose mission is to advance environmental field research by immersion in natural Michigan ecosystems, will use the 400-sf facility as a learning tool. 

The Design/Build program is led by Professor Joe Trumpey and is open to students in the Stamps School of Art & Design and the Program in the Environment (PitE). Twenty-five students spent the past semester learning about green building and natural building techniques. The final project involves a residency at the BioStation in Pellston, Michigan, to construct the project. 

Farr Associates engaged with the group this winter to translate their design intent from ideas and sketches into model drawings and construction documents that were then approved by the University. We also explored design strategies with them on how to increase the facility’s passive solar access.

The construction phase kicked off at the beginning of May, and all four walls are already in place. You can follow along with the group’s progress on this unique project on their blog or social media accounts. (Plus many more pictures!) 

https://www.facebook.com/umdesignbuild

https://designbuildum.wordpress.com

https://www.instagram.com/um.design.build

Images courtesy www.designbuildum.wordpress.com.