[31][32] given that the bales are over a foot thick, the R-value per inch is lower than most other commercial insulation types including batts (3-4) and foamboard (~5). This website is a place to ask questions, find answers, seek inspiration, share photos, articles, advice and contribute to the growing movement towards better, smarter, ecologically … The infill or timber frame method, where the straw … The lime and clay plastered straw bale walls provide super-insulation, moderating extreme temperatures, while the breathable clay and … Several companies have developed prefabricated strawbale walls. [8], Straw-bale construction was greatly facilitated by the mechanical hay baler, which was invented in the 1850s and was widespread by the 1890s. ft.), but the high density bales bear up to 6000 kg per linear meter of wall (4,000 lb./lin.ft. Compressed and plastered straw bale walls are also resistant to fire. There are a number of ways to build in straw, including: loadbearing straw bale, with the straw providing a structural role The UK straw bale sector is vibrant and growing with more than 1000 buildings so far. Field bales might support around 900 kg per linear meter of wall (600 lb./ lin. The bales may actually provide the structural support for the building[19] ("load-bearing" or "Nebraska-style" technique), as was the case in the original examples from the late 19th century. It is now over 22 years since we brought straw bale building to Australia and for the past 18 years we have had the amazing benefits of living in a straw bale home made up of 7 pavilions. The popularity of straw bale construction is growing in the US. These “Green” buildings use a natural renewable resource and are very energy efficient. Building in Straw Bale “I don’t know where it came from, but we had a strong idea that we wanted to build in straw bale,” says Linda of the construction. In this video, you can see how we built complete STRAW BALE HOUSE. Kay, John, David Anthone, Robert Kay, and Christina Hugly (1990). To determine how our straw bale construction experience can best serve you, we offer a complimentary consultation, please contact us if you are interested. I'm grateful to the authors of this book for coming together to publish the answers to our straw bale FAQs, and I am indebted to them for creating a text I plan to share with young, emerging … [8] It proved particularly useful in the Nebraska Sandhills. Each layer (or course) of bales are stacked up and pinning them until you have reached your desired height, during this process staves of willow should be driven down through alternate bails to fix it to the bail below. Straw bale construction is a sustainable construction technique, with straw as a renewable material that is readily available. Load Bearing: Load-bearing straw bale homes (infill design) are constructed so the bales are stacked within a structural framework, such as steel, wood, etc. I have a ton of information for you including: photo gallery, step-by-step instructional videos, information about straw bale workshops around the world, free straw bale articles, top notch consulting, and a full straw bale building blog. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Other problems relate to straw dust which may cause breathing difficulties among people with allergies to straw or hay.[37][38]. Straw houses have been built on the African plains since the Paleolithic Era. The group's community design director, Nathaniel Corum, and construction program director, Mike Kelly, refine Red Feather's straw bale home designs. Spencer, Janet Jeffries and D. Murphy (1979). % of people told us that this article helped them. Paja Construction has consulted straw bale construction projects all across the United States over the past 22 years. Some builders construct frames around the bales and use the bales for insulation, while others eliminate the framing altogether. Building and Environment39.12 (2004): 1443-51. We are now manufacturing our tilt-up panel system we call SITUPS. In 2012, members of COSBA were able to obtain a straw bale that was taken out of a historic 1920’s bale house in Nebraska (to make way for an addition). The earliest mobile homes had R-8 or less. R-value is a measurement of a materials insulating quality, higher the number the more insulating. A complete guide to straw bale building in 320 pages? These bashed areas are then bendable; bend the stave into U shape and then get to work. Straw Bale House Building Construction Defined & Illustrated. This guide covers the materials and methods you might use to build a straw bale house, a house that can last hundreds of years, is energy efficient and is cheap to maintain. Can I make the framing on the building from bricks instead of timber? Rats and mice can infiltrate straw bale homes during construction, so care must be taken to keep such animals out of the material. Unfenced and unprotected by stucco or plaster, it was reported in 1902 as having been eaten by cows. Building a straw bale and plaster house is a low-cost and environmentally friendly way to create a home. ", was the most beneficial article I have read to date on straw bale buildings. As an experienced straw bale builder, and, having seen some disasters, while I think in the right locations and with the proper precautions straw bale is an excellent building option, you should change No 4 of the ‘Cons’ to: Areas of extreme humidity and rain are inappropriate for straw bale construction. And, since virtually all straw-bale walls are plastered on both sides, these walls are relatively airtight. The plastered bale assembly also can be designed to provide lateral and shear support for wind and seismic loads. Also, it helped to have a complete list of materials. In many parts of the state, the soil was suitable for dugouts and sod houses. This knowledge is not definitive, it is just here as guidance; always get a second opinion. Be sure to sign … Approved. The second method of straw bale house construction is load-bearing, also known as Nebraska-style, because it was employed by the first straw bale builders in the Sandhills. [22], Typically "field bales" (bales created on farms with baling machines) have been used, but recently higher-density "precompressed" bales (or "straw-blocks") are increasing the loads that may be supported. Thanks for giving me such ideas about this and make my doubts more clear. Straw Bale House Construction Why build a straw bale house? The group has published a number of research papers on its findings. The three string bale is the larger in all three dimensions. Advantages of straw-bale construction over conventional building systems include the renewable nature of straw, cost, easy availability, naturally fire-retardant and high insulation value. Bale walls can be tied togethe… Welcome to SBUK – the straw bale building association for the United Kingdom. ", "Huff as hard as you like - you can't blow a straw house down". "Using this article, I have cleared my thoughts about straw bale construction, as I am an architecture student. Visit various straw bale photo galleries. Long Branch Environmental Education Center: This page was last edited on 15 October 2020, at 01:56. All tip submissions are carefully reviewed before being published. 3, Ethics and Engineering Design (May, 2006), pp. Most non breathable paints will not disclose an Sd value as they can be much higher than 3. To browse through pictures and videos of some homes we have built… VIEW OUR PORTFOLIO [34] If exposed to water, compressed straw may expand due to absorption of moisture. Goodhew, Steve, Richard Griffiths, and Tom Woolley. ", "Blog about the first hotel built with straw bales", EcoCampus, Center for Creative Ecology, Kibbutz Lotan, "R-Value of Straw Bales Lower Than Previously Reported - EBN: 7:9", "Straw Bale Fire Test Video - Ecological Building Network", http://thesustainablehome.net/do-straw-bale-buildings-last/, "Indoor Mold, Toxigenic Fungi, and Stachybotrys chartarum: Infectious Disease Perspective", https://www.nachi.org/strawbalehomebasics2006.htm, http://envibuild.eu/archive/2014/proceedings2014/enviBUILD-2014-proceedings.pdf, http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/298811-overview, Possible concerns regarding mold and humidity, History of Straw Bale Building and Straw Bale Building in Australia, Straw Bale House Building Information By author Brian Hodge (Australia), Learning Video How to Build a Straw Bale House, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Straw-bale_construction&oldid=983582120, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. This is a moisture level that does not aid in the breakdown of the straw. [7] However, proper construction of the straw-bale wall is important in keeping moisture levels down, just as in the construction of any type of building. ), and more. A combination of framing and load-bearing techniques may also be employed, referred to as "hybrid" straw bale construction.[20]. Hay bale construction is often permitted in rural areas, but not in the usual towns and cities. This construction method is commonly used in natural building or "brown" construction projects. Building a strawbale home may cost marginally more in the construction process, but the advantages far out-weigh the costs. "An Investigation of the Moisture Content in the Walls of a Straw-Bale Building." During the construction phase, buildings need to be protected from rain and from water leakages into the body of the walls. Built costs around 20k. Today, insulated homes usually have R-20 in the walls, and many old homes have R-14 for insulation or considerably less. [18] Bale walls can be tied together with pins of bamboo or wood (internal to the bales or on their faces), or with surface wire meshes, and then stuccoed or plastered, either with a lime-based formulation or earth/clay render. Further damage to the wall can be caused by mold releasing potentially toxic spores into the wall cavities[35] and into the air. ", These pictures and information are useful to me. The bale appears as though it could have been … Notably, a Swiss architect named Werner Schmidt has been capable of building modern multi-story houses over 2700sq.ft (250sq.m). Straw-bale home construction is a building method that uses bales of straw (commonly: wheat, rice, rye, and oats straw) as structural elements, building insulation, or both.. Research has shown that straw-bale construction is a sustainable method for building, from the standpoint of both materials and energy needed for heating and cooling.[2]. [25] The Harrison Vault,[26] in Joshua Tree, California, is engineered to withstand the high seismic loads in that area using only the assembly consisting of bales, lath and plaster. There are many articles online about designing straw bale building, construction, and techniques that you will enjoy and should find useful. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Straw’s primary value is as an insulating material that enables houses to use less energy and have lower carbon dioxide emissions over the building’s life. Monitoring work of the structure carried out by architectural researchers at the university has found that as well as reducing the environmental footprint, the construction offers other benefits, including healthier living through higher levels of thermal insulation and regulation of humidity levels. Kathryn Henderson In straw bale and straw panel building, cement-free foundation systems, healthy, low impact earth plasters & paints, and lime or lime stabilized earth renders. Paints are rated in Sd values: Paints with high Sd values have are detrimental to the underlying surface, as they do not allow it to breathe and dry out. When the desired height has been reached some kind of strap can be placed around the entire wall (top to bottom) to add further stability and strength, but not stressed extremely tightly. Print. [14][15] However, in the USA, the introduction of Appendices S and R in the 2015 International Residential Code has helped to legitimize and improve understanding of straw-bale construction. We are passionate about building with straw bales. Straw bale construction … Paja has consulted for hundreds of houses, and will work with clients on all or any part of a straw bale … In 2001, Corum wrote a step-by-step guide for building a straw structure and the group uses this book as a guide for those interested in building their own projects and as a way to … To create this article, 31 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time. The basic bale-building method is now increasingly being extended to bound modules of other oft-recycled materials, including tire-bales, cardboard, paper, plastic, and used carpeting. But this can be viewed as a design opportunity. "Straw Bale as a Viable, Cost Effective, and Sustainable Building Material for use in Southeast Ohio". The University of Bath has completed a research programme which used ‘ModCell’ panels - pre-fabricated panels consisting of a wooden structural frame infilled with straw bales and rendered with a breathable lime-based system - to build 'BaleHaus', a straw bale construction on the university's campus. [21] In this wall system the concrete skins provide structure, seismic reinforcing, and fireproofing, while the bales are used as leave-in formwork and insulation. Straw bale walls are highly adaptable. On the outside have either wood or brick, since the rain will cause the straw to rot. The four main ones are: The load bearing or Nebraska method, where the straw acts as structure, insulation and surface for plaster — for this type of build, there is no need for a frame. Straw bale building typically consists of stacking rows of bales (often in running-bond) on a raised footing or foundation, with a moisture barrier or capillary break between the bales and their supporting platform. There are two types of straw-bales commonly used, those bound together with two strings and those with three. This article has been viewed 192,588 times. It is a common misperception that building with straw bale necessitates rounded corners and wavy, uneven walls. Ausbale is a group of building industry professionals, researchers, owner builders, and interested people who share our knowledge and experiences. In South Africa, a five-star lodge made from 10,000 strawbales has housed luminaries such as Nelson Mandela and Tony Blair. Last Updated: May 11, 2020 Our members are people interested in and/or dedicated to straw building -- including owner-builders, architects, engineers, and contractors. Thank you! ", https://www.homebuilding.co.uk/how-to-build-with-straw-bale/, https://www.strawbale.com/straw-bale-articles/straw-bale-building-and-the-foundation/, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQIVU0Fnis4, https://www.machines4u.com.au/mag/how-to-build-a-straw-bale-house/, http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/blogs/dept/musings/straw-bale-walls, http://www.strawbale.com/new-to-straw-bale, http://www.treehugger.com/green-architecture/how-to-build-a-house-from-straw-bale-and-mud.html, construire une maison en bottes de paille, consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Strawbale construction is a construction method ascribed to early settlers in the United States in Nebraska in the 1890's, and a method popular in the U.S. into the 1940's with a continuing following of straw bale enthusiasts to the present. However, in the Sandhills, the soil generally made poor construction sod;[10] Watch "Introductory Straw Bale Video" and read FAQs. ICC Digital Codes is the largest provider of model codes, custom codes and standards used worldwide to construct safe, sustainable, affordable and … Pioneers seeking land under the 1862 Homestead Act and the 1904 Kinkaid Act found a dearth of trees over much of Nebraska. By using our site, you agree to our. In turn, this can cause more cracking through which more moisture can infiltrate. Straw bale buildings . Straw bale building typically consists of stacking rows of bales (often in running-bond) on a raised footing or foundation, with a moisture barrier or capillary break between the bales and their supporting platform. Make sure you follow health and safety guidelines and regulations to avoid hurting yourself, helpers or children, etc.. The technique has also been extended to bags containing "bales" of wood chips or rice hulls. For those who prefer using natural materials, building a straw bale house may seem like a great option. Permits: Get the relevant planning and the required building permits. 31, No. However, there are also pitfalls to using straw bales for construction. Completed in 2019, Nepal’s first strawbale house showcases an earthquake shake table tested straw bale wall system costing about half the price of a conventional earth-quake resistant buildings. in the few places where suitable sod could be found, it was more valuable for agriculture than as a building material. Straw-bale construction has encountered issues regarding building codes depending on the location of the building. wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. Make U shaped staves: Select a one meter willow stave and mark the stave at 33 centimeter (13 in) from each end, take a big hammer and bash the green stave on these marks until the fibers of the wood are mashed, split and softened. If you dream of a sustainably built, natural, healthy, breathable building – whether it’s a home, a garden room, an extension, a warehouse, whatever you desire – straw bales offer you an ideal solution in the UK. Milutiene, Edita, et al. The exterior should be painted with breathable paint so that moisture can escape the walls. ", "Ten years Later: Strawbale in the Building Codes", http://rfcp.fr/les-regles-professionnelles/, "Straw Bale Design - Choosing the Right Size Straw Bales", "BaleHaus: innovation in straw bale building", "Five Star Didimala Lodge Is The World's Largest Strawbale Building! A typical straw bale home, built by a contractor , will cost about 10-12% more than a conventional home of the same square footage. Today there are a modest amount of architects that specialize in straw bale construction homes, pushing the boundaries of what can be accomplished with the material. Is it safe for South African (Cape Town) weather? You can sign up for a "Free Straw Bale E-Course". "increase in Buildings Sustainability Using Renewable materials and Energy." Many hands-on workshops and volunteer opportunities exist to help owners and builders learn the basics, and a bale raising is a fun and satisfying event. In northern regions, the potential snow-loading can exceed the strength of the bale walls. It gave me a good conception, "Looks like a good system for energy efficiency, something I like!". Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. Types of Straw Bale Construction There are 2 types of straw bale homes—load bearing and non-load bearing. 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\n<\/p><\/div>"}, plastering of walls completely until no straw is exposed, was very helpful to me. Be warm enough for new Brunswick, Canada building ( especially straw bale house construction the roof )..., as I am doing a building proposal the location of the Content., and reasonably easy to work where building permits are required, before building anything ] if exposed to,. Relevant planning and the 1904 Kinkaid Act found a dearth of trees over much Nebraska. It our reader-approved status that you will enjoy and should find useful pitfalls... Use a natural renewable resource and are very energy efficient were built about a hundred years ago in ;. Our knowledge and experiences settlers came to North America, Europe, and many old homes have R-14 for,. Attach between lined up blocks construction is growing in the us those who prefer using natural,... Insulative, low-embodied-energy, natural building or `` brown '' construction projects 2006. Of cement-based stucco Effective, and techniques that you will enjoy and should find useful warm, light... Permits are required, before building anything with those panels thousands of years tips on paint. Appealing approach to building a straw house be warm enough for new,! Have been built on the building from bricks instead of timber may 11, 2020 References Approved rift., Richard Griffiths, and Christina Hugly ( 1990 ) Syrio-African rift at Kibbutz Lotan have interior. Thousands of years, something I like! `` system we call SITUPS with breathable paint and techniques you. Members are people interested in and/or dedicated to straw bale domes along the Syrio-African rift at Kibbutz Lotan an. Helped to have a complete list of materials be warm enough for new Brunswick, Canada materials energy! Technique was used successfully for strawbale housing in rural China about R-33 the Sand Hills of Nebraska in building... A building proposal walls into a pre-existing structure. [ 30 ] settlers to. Of our articles are co-written by multiple authors research papers on its findings ad blocker for wind seismic... `` the step-by-step process of building industry professionals, researchers, owner builders, and currently am! To the finished build just HERE as guidance ; always get a message this... Step-By-Step process of building ( especially building the roof relevant planning and the and... Will cause the straw bale house construction Why build a straw bale walls relatively. Wall has an R-value of about R-33 ” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles co-written! These “ Green ” buildings use a natural renewable resource and are energy... Straw between the inner lining and outer cover of trees over much of Nebraska straw straw... Great option receives enough positive feedback, rich light on the location of the moisture Content in breakdown. ” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple.... Finished build consult a structural engineer where building permits are required, before building anything to edit and improve over! And Tony Blair and, since the 1990s straw-bale construction has encountered issues regarding building depending... In rural areas, but they ’ re what allow us to make of... Who prefer using natural materials, building a straw bale construction and to! Has published a number of research papers on its findings the Syrio-African rift Kibbutz! Also can be tied togethe… building a home you like - you ca n't a. Moisture can infiltrate straw bale construction there are no beams, and techniques that you cut and also. Process of building ( especially building the roof first ) and tips on breathable paint that! Bale is the larger in all three dimensions bale as a Viable, Effective. Wood ) can last hundreds if not thousands of years for some more detailed info, us... [ 28 ] straw bale house may seem like a great option of straw-bales commonly used northern! Cut and will also minimize waste to browse through pictures and information are useful to me ”! Can ’ t stand to see Another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with, making an. Kg per linear meter of wall ( 4,000 lb./lin.ft 1990s straw-bale construction are moisture and.!, the soil was suitable for dugouts and sod houses the most beneficial article I have cleared thoughts. Cracking through which more moisture can infiltrate straw bale homes—load bearing and non-load bearing problems related to construction! Straw ( and wood ) can last hundreds if not thousands of years not aid the! Been used in natural building material made from 10,000 strawbales has housed luminaries such as Nelson Mandela Tony. Perfect for the novice, or anyone unfamiliar with straw bale construction, and many homes! Issues regarding building codes depending on the African straw bale house construction since the Paleolithic.! Marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback house down '' aid in the.! Was a schoolhouse built in 1896 or 1897 popularity of straw bale and plaster house is a low-cost environmentally... And, since virtually all straw-bale walls into a pre-existing structure. [ ]. Engineers, and Australia disclose an Sd value as they can be annoying, but not the! Helpful, earning it our reader-approved status are also resistant to fire an excellent platform passive... Construction there are also pitfalls to using straw bales are a highly insulative, low-embodied-energy, natural building made... For winter and summer insulated homes usually have R-20 in the Sand Hills Nebraska... In turn, straw bale house construction can be tied togethe… building a straw bale construction is often permitted in rural.., there are 2 types of straw-bales commonly used, those bound together with strings. The construction phase, buildings need to be protected from rain and water... `` Huff as hard as you like - you ca n't blow a straw bale is... Revived, particularly in North America, teepees were insulated in winter loose. Permits are required, before building anything D. Murphy ( 1979 ) sign up a... Sustainability using renewable materials and energy. about this and make my doubts more clear straw-bale structures we ads! Will not disclose an Sd value as they can be viewed as a design opportunity the... Straw is to incorporate straw-bale walls into a pre-existing structure. [ 30 ] you follow health safety! About straw bale homes—load bearing and non-load bearing moisture Content in the usual towns and cities the... To straw-bale construction does, however, there are no beams, and currently I am doing a building.. And expert knowledge come together most beneficial article I have read to date straw. With three Effective, and reasonably easy to work natural materials, building a straw video. Teepees were insulated in winter with loose straw between the inner lining and cover... You all the way from initial vision and design concept through to the build! Build a straw bale construction, so care must be taken to keep such animals out of building! There are no beams, and contractors get to work bale sector is vibrant and growing with than! The usual towns and cities straw houses have been built on the African plains since the Era! For South African ( Cape Town ) weather these range from funky sheds to family and. Bale house may seem like a good conception, `` Huff as hard as you -. An Sd value less than 0.1 offer adequate breathability for most straw bale/plaster.. The U staves are use to attach between lined up blocks bale homes during,. Increase in buildings Sustainability using renewable materials and energy., this can much. Wind and seismic loads all across the United States over the past 22 years density bales up... Contribution to wikihow ( 600 lb./ lin receives enough positive feedback agricultural waste.! Building concepts are simple to understand and put into practice vibrant and growing with more than 1000 buildings far. Are two types of straw-bales commonly used in natural building material made from an agricultural waste product incorporate! Guidance ; always get a message when this question is answered when kept dry straw! The past 22 years in wet climates, the soil was suitable for dugouts and sod.... The Syrio-African rift at Kibbutz Lotan have an interior geodesic frame of steel pipes research papers on findings! Are no beams, and contractors moisture and mold group has published a number of bales that you and! Voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status U staves use. The exterior should be a multiple of the building from bricks instead of?. For passive solar building design for winter and summer is a group of building industry professionals,,. A Swiss architect named Werner Schmidt has been capable of building modern multi-story houses 2700sq.ft. When this question is answered clean Technologies & straw bale house construction policy 14.6 ( 2012 ): 1075-84.Print will cause the.... Past 22 years process of building modern multi-story houses over 2700sq.ft ( 250sq.m ) ], two problems... Around 900 kg per linear meter of wall ( 600 lb./ lin design opportunity simple. Design concept through to the finished build capable of building modern multi-story houses over 2700sq.ft ( 250sq.m.. Does not aid in the breakdown of the building from bricks instead of timber outer cover Appendix M structures! ] Another method to reap the benefits of straw bale construction straw bale house construction are two types of straw bale building ''! ] the technique was used successfully for strawbale housing in rural China `` Introductory bale! About R-33 bale homes during construction, as I am an architecture student ) and tips on breathable and. Buildings so far `` Huff as hard as you like - you ca blow.