Straw bale construction has so many benefits. If you landed on this page, go to Page One first to start at the beginning. Just click here.
Renewable Building Material
Grass crops that make straw grow quickly and are abundant. It is easily and quickly replaced and is cheap.
This straw bale home survived a fire where the forest around it burnt. Firefighters were amazed!
Much straw is wasted. When burned on the fields after harvest, as it often is, I million tonnes of straw can send some 50,000 tonnes of CO2 up in the atmosphere. Making comfortable homes out of it makes sense. They store carbon and reduce air pollution, and are quite fire-resistant!
Straw also has low embodied energy. This means that the quantity of energy used in the production, transport and construction of it is low. Materials with high embodied energy make a proportionally high contribution to global warming.
Multiple-story buildings have been built with straw in the non-load bearing method. Many localities allow straw bale housing. Nebraska is tornado country! AND it's where straw bale construction abound. Want to know how they stand up in high winds? Play this video:
DurabilityIf kept dry during construction(preferably below 10% moisture), straw lasts a long time. Well-built structure have a life expectancy of more than 100 years.
Ordinarily, straw makes a great home for rodents and insects. Again, the tightly packed, rendered and airless bales in a straw home are not hospitable environments for these unwelcome lodgers.
An conventional new home breathes many toxic fumes from glues and synthetic materials. Straw bale constructions do not. An earth rendering, or earth/lime, especially allows the straw walls to breathe. Straw does not release toxic fumes in its final production cycle. Nor does it if it burns.
Asthma, allergies, or toxic sensitivities? Think straw.
A straw bale home is usually a beautiful thing to behold and live in.
There are extensive networks of straw bale building enthusiasts. Some straw homeowners have listed their propertyh on n international register and will welcome a visit.
Straw bale homes are not in themselves a “sustainable home” or more energy efficient. Straw's insulating properties help a lot but for maximum benefits you want to combine all that's best in today's sustainable building techniques and technology.