About Us

about our company

We are strawbale building and natural plaster specialists. We help people design and build high-performance, beautiful, and affordable strawbale buildings with healthy, low-impact clay and lime plasters. We also help homeowners integrate the beauty and benefits of clay and lime plasters into their existing buildings. We can build your house for you but we can also build it with you.

Simple Construct is a small, flexible general contracting company offering many services. We can design, permit, and build your project from foundation to roof, but we specialize in working with owners who want to be more involved in building or renovating their homes. We also offer subcontracting services, consulting services and can teach workshops and lead workparties. We can help to turn your good ideas and intentions into reality.

We are dedicated to simplicity, directness, and honesty — in design, materials, techniques, and ambitions. We seek people who have a similar vision: the not-so-big house, the simplest way to achieve energy efficiency, the healthiest materials, and the most direct way to get the project done.

– Rebecca Tasker & Mike Long, info@simpleconstruct.net, 619-342-6709

about Rebecca Tasker & Mike Long, owners

MRframing1Simple Construct is a partnership between Rebecca Tasker and Mike Long, who met in art school in Brighton, England and have been working together, in one way or another, for over 20 years. Our backgrounds in art (sculpture, printmaking, and installation art) led us to careers in art management in Boston, MA. Mike ran a large art supply store and Rebecca ran a non-profit contemporary art gallery. After being too cold for six years, we moved to San Diego, CA. The move created an opportunity to redirect our careers back toward the hands-on making of things.

For Rebecca, this led to an entry-level job in construction, helping to build a spec home in Mission Bay. After too many trips to the landfill, Rebecca began to research more sustainable ways to build and found straw bale building. With the opportunities provided by Alan Schmidt of Distinctive Builders, Rebecca began building with bales. When Mike saw how much fun she was having, he decided to join her. Building with bales led them to learn about natural plasters, which they both became passionate about.

Mstrawbreak1Through attending international, national, and local conferences and workshops and becoming more involved with the growing straw bale community in San Diego, we have expanded our knowledge of straw bale building and natural plasters. In 2007, to help us define and articulate our goals as straw bale and natural plaster professionals, we formed Simple Construct. In 2010, we earned a general contractors’ license, which allowed us to further expand our services. In 2011, Rebecca joined the Advisory Board of the California Straw Building Association (CASBA) and took over as editor of their Journal. In 2013, Rebecca earned the Building Performance Institute‘s Building Analyst and Envelope Professional certifications in building science. In 2017, CASBA awarded Simple Construct the “Traveling Straw Dog Award” in recognition of the furthering of straw building in California. In 2018, a home that we designed and built received Zero Energy certification through the Living Building Challenge, one of only two in Southern California and 64 in the world at the time.

our services

We are a general contracting company dedicated to helping people build efficient, beautiful straw bale buildings. To this end, we offer a range of services: Construction, Design+Build, Plastering, The Details, Managing Subcontractors, Straw Bale & Plaster Workparties, Presentations on straw bale &/or natural plaster, Renderings and Design Choices… Read more

what clients say about us

We met Rebecca and Mike in 2011 when we were looking for someone to build our straw bale home. We immediately knew we wanted to work with them because they were so knowledgeable, experienced and enthusiastic about straw bale building. Rebecca and Mike invested a lot of their time with us initially including showing us a studio they had built and a house they were currently working on. Rebecca and Mike were active…”

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what’s in a name?

sim·ple (sem’pel) adj. 1. Easy to understand, deal with, use, etc.: a simple matter; simple tools. 2. Not elaborate or artificial: a simple style. 3. Unaffected; unassuming; modest: a simple manner. 4. Free of deceit or guile; sincere; unconditional: a frank, simple answer. 5. Not grand or sophisticated; unpretentious: a simple way of life.

con·struct (kon’strkt) noun 1. An image, idea, or theory, especially a complex one formed from a number of simpler elements. 2. Something constructed.