The Petitt residence is unique in many ways. It is a steel post and beam structure with straw bale infill. It features a photovoltaic system, stained concrete floors and countertops, recycled lumber partition walls, a greywater and rain catchment system, and solatubes for daylighting.
The Petitts wanted to be hands-on and to use their home building as a form of community building. They hired Simple Construct to run straw bale raising and plaster workparties.
It proved to be quite challenging to fit the bales around the imposing frame. But with the help of many volunteers and a lot of cob, the walls were raised.
This building is the first in the City of Vista (northern San Diego County) to receive permission to use clay plaster on the exterior. Many volunteers participated in applying the base and second coats. The finish coat is a clay-lime mixture applied with a steel trowel.