Straw House Making Noise In Cleveland Heights

CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio (AP) - A 400-thousand-dollar, four-bedroom house being built in Cleveland Heights with straw and clay is attracting attention -- and not from the Big Bad Wolf.

In addition to friends and relatives of owners Gus and Jan Kious, architects, builders and environmentalists have come from as far as Michigan to participate in the construction.

Architect Chas Kikel says he had read about straw-bale and clay building but had never seen it done.

The Kiouses are building on the lot next door to where they now live on a street lined with 90-year-old homes of various classical styles. They plan to sell their current home when the new one is finished.

The straw-bale house has a wood frame that was modified to hold the 14-inch-thick bales of straw. The bales are tied to vertical bamboo sticks attached to the frame and will be coated inside and out with clay mixed with lime and sand for strength.