Okay, so I like the hobbit hole look, and it does seem fun, but the reality is, if we dig out the hillside and then try to put in straw bales we are setting ourselves up for a lot more time and lot more work, and chances are... at LOT more problems with mold and fungus.
So we're using the straw bale construction above ground, with a concrete slab, and between the bales and cement a area with pumice and gravel to absorb any water, plus plastering, etc.
It is all very exciting. A good friend is looking at the plans for us - he's an engineer and may tell us that it is absurd, so we are waiting for his inputs... and then it's a matter of marking the space and clearing what we have to, highering someone to come lay the slab... and putting up the pole and beam construction "barn", ordering the straw, getting the plaster, getting everything ready to go and DOING IT!!
I can't wait. I'm not sure how soon it will be done, but once Ahmed signs off on it, we're getting started!!!