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Jared "CAPPIE" Capp

I learned to build by helping my father and grandfather, starting when I was 13. I have loved building, designing, and creating ever since.

After graduating high school, I joined the US Air Force and traveled the world as a C-130 Loadmaster. While visiting over 60 countries, my fascination for natural building grew as I noticed more natural, local, and sustainable construction styles.

I made my first off-grid home in 2004 – I modified a 1993 International school bus with PV solar, solar hot water, and a composting toilet.

I was lucky enough to purchase my grandfather’s 3-acre homestead in 2008 in the city of Spearfish, where I grew up. I wanted to build an off-grid straw bale home, and looking back, I didn’t realize the challenges that were ahead of me.

As you might imagine, I had moved home to find a Natural Building Desert. Between the City of Spearfish and the State of South Dakota, I worked with officials to address many aspects of the cottage I wanted to build:

  1. Load-bearing straw bale construction

  2. Composting toilets

  3. Gray-water systems

  4. Changing the requirement to use the city’s sewer system

  5. Special electric and plumbing inspections

After years of meetings and ordinance updates, and quite the education, I completed my code-approved off-grid, straw bale home in 2015.

I build residential and commercial straw bale structures, and I will continue to offer instruction in natural building with workshops during our summer season.

I look forward to meeting you in person someday soon!


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