About the Straw-Bale Eco Center:

This ongoing project represents the first immersion learning / demonstration / research project of the Land Design Institute?s LandLab demonstration site. The first phase of construction was funded with a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency and resulted in the first load bearing straw-bale building in the region, a classroom / research / demonstration building located at the edge of a restored prairie on the Cooper Field Station, about two miles off the Ball State Campus in Muncie, Indiana. Renewable energy systems were installed Spring 2008 with the support of a grant from the Indiana Department of Energy and Defense.


The Eco Center respects local climate conditions and resource flows and, when completed, will demonstrate the potential for regenerative synergies between building and landscape. The project is innovative in terms of its integration into the University Curriculum and its use as an educational and research tool intended to promote awareness of issues related to sustainable development. In addition to its use within the University, initiatives will include community outreach as well as a regular schedule of K-12 student tours of the facility.


The project builds on a longstanding tradition of commitment to sustainable practices at Ball State University and seeks to build sustainable relationships between people, prosperity and the planet.

Timothy Gray, AIA, LEED AP
Associate Professor of Architecture