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Hello all,

I'm writing to you today with some exciting news! We are ready to
formally announce that the OSBBC will be hosting and presenting the
2006 International Straw Bale Building Conference right here in
Ontario, Canada (making it the OSBBC ISBBC!).

The 2006 ISBBC will be a two-part event, held in Peterborough,
Ontario (check to see if your world map is of sufficient quality to
include Peterborough... it's between Toronto and Ottawa). The event
will be held at Camp Kawartha, just north of the city. The camp
recently added a large straw bale meeting hall to its facilities, and
has a beautiful lakeside location, offering swimming,
canoeing/kayaking and other outdoor recreation. We can also use
facilities at Trent University and Sir Sandford Fleming College, both
close to the camp. The camp can accomodate 150 people in beds, and is
open to having outdoor campers as well.

In our first planning meetings, we've sketched out a framework for
the conference. On the weekend of September 23-24, we will present
two days of talks and demonstrations from the best straw bale and
natural building practicioners (ie, many of you on this list!) from
around the world. The two days will be aimed at a general audience of
natural building enthusiasts and owner-builders, and will allow
people to spend time with and learn from our international guests, as
well as our own home-grown experts. In addition, we may combine the
event with bus tours to local bale homes as well as displays from
businesses and services in the green building field, making it a
great "Green Building Festival".

The week of Sept. 25 to 30th will be the conference itself. We are
going to focus on "Integrating Straw Bale with Other Appropriate
Technologies". Builders, researchers and home owners will work at
theoretical and hands-on sessions throughout the week to develop
practical ways of making better straw bale buildings and to better
incorporate other materials (cob, earthbag, earth brick, timber etc)
and technologies (water and waste, renewable energy, heating and
cooling) into bale homes. It is our hope that builders and
researchers alike will share and learn lots during this week, and
create important connections with other baleheads and like-minded
folks from other fields.

In the lead-up the conference, we will be sponsoring an international
design competition. The winners in a number of different categories
will be announced prior to the conference, and the winning designs
will give us actual examples on which to focus our detailing and
systems integration efforts during the conference. It would be our
hope that we will find sponsors for at least some of the winning
buildings to ensure that they do get built after the conference.

The social committee has already been the busiest of the organizers.
The highlight of the week from the social end will be the Straw Bale
Olympics, featuring international teams participating in exciting
events like the bale toss and the bale balance beam...

The weekend after the conference (Oct. 1) would be the usual date for
the annual OSBBC open house tour, allowing international participants
to take part in the tour. In 2004, we had over 40 bale homes open
across the province. We will arrange for a bus route for any
interested guests.

At this point, we are not yet ready to formally make a call for
papers/presentations, but please do mark the dates on your calendars
and be prepared for the inevitable tap on the shoulder as the date
draws closer. Right now, the funding seems to be available from the
provincial government to allow us to cover the conference costs and
possibly the travel costs for presenters. More on this soon...

I know it's two years away, but I'm already looking forward to it!




Chris Magwood / Camel's Back Straw Bale Construction
<a  target="_blank" href="http://www.strawhomes.ca";>http://www.strawhomes.ca</a>

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