West elevation approaching house from driveway.

East elevation - main entrance.

South elevation looking onto constructed wetland.

South elevation with "sun bump"/passive solar feature.

Masonry Heater.

Staircase to second level. Wattle and daub interior walls.


Owners plastering walls.

The frame before straw/clay walls.

The Martin House, so named after the owners and the bird, is located in the Riverstone Retreat Centre, outside the tranquil town of Durham, Ontario.

2007's workshops in straw/clay helped to construct this truly unique building. This showcase home is a timber framed, straw/clay, earth plastered marvel! The Martin house was a collaborative project between Econest and Local Builders to utilize and implement local natural materials in the construction of a timber framed straw-clay home.

85% of the materials in this home were derived from within 40 kilometres of the site. Of that 85%, a further 80% of the materials used were directly from the property on which this home is located!

Some of the features of the Martin Home include:

• Durisol brand wood insulated concrete forms (made of 78% recycled content).
• White cedar sill plates.
• Straw and clay exterior walls - these differ from straw bale in that all of the fibres are coated with a clay “slip”
• White ash timber frame with cherry and elm accents. This timber frame is a one-of-a-kind and utilizes curved material unimaginable to most framers!
• Local “marl” earthen plasters.
• Masonry heater with pizza bake oven (the most efficient and least polluting way to heat with wood)
• Constructed wetlands tertiary treatment system septic design
• Reclaimed hardwood floors
• Natural finishes
• Hypo Allergenic whirlpool air jet spa
• Iceynene water accelerated insulation in the roof
• Wattle and daub interior partitions
• Silicate mineral paints
• Ledge-rock stone elements

For a detailed information list of the elements in this building, click here>>

This home will be available to rent by the night, weekend, or week and is set on a scenic beautiful property on the Saugeen River. There are plenty of camping and other accommodations on the property as well.

Contact Ernie & Edith Martin at Riverstone: