Straw made houses were put up for sale in Bristol (UK) in 2015. These first straw bale houses are perfectly solid. Their superior insulation levels can reduce energy consumption by 90 percent!
A European Union-funded straw house development project was led by the University of Bath and specialist architectural firm ModCell. The first homes to appear on the market are a series of seven Bristol town homes. No one can know at first glance that they are made of unconventional building materials.
The houses are built of prefabricated wooden frames and straw-filled wooden panels. Each house is lined with bricks to maintain the traditional aesthetics of the area. Straw bales provide excellent levels of insulation that the University of Bath believes will reduce energy costs by 90 percent for each house individually.
The construction method uses a widely available resource (over 4 million tonnes of discarded straw is produced each year by farming activities in the UK). The thrown straw comes in the form of leftover cereal stalks. It takes 3 tons of straw to build a three-bedroom house. In theory, the UK has enough excess straw to build half a million homes each year.
Straw is a fairly durable building material. Professor Pit Walker, project leader for the development and testing of this construction method, said in an interview with the Guardian: “We conducted a series of fire tests that showed that the resistance of a straw bales to fire is extremely good and actually better than many modern forms of construction.” In addition, this type of construction has withstood the test of weather, harsh weather, and even hurricane winds.
In most stages of production and deployment, straw bales have proven to be an extremely sustainable construction solution. Craig White, director of architecture at ModCell, told the British Public Service that “the more we build with renewable materials like straw and wood, the less carbon will be found in the atmosphere, so we can reduce the effects of climate change.”
Professor Walker added: “As a building material, straw is a cheap and widely available by-product of food production that offers real potential for ultra-low carbon housing across the UK. Building with a straw can be a critical point in our path to a low carbon future. ”
Britain builds first straw houses
Construction of the first slum dwelling homes in the UK is expected to significantly reduce heating, cooling and construction costs (2019).
Six three-bed houses will be built from 500 bales of straw. Each house will cost about 60,000 euros. This means that it will be around 20,000 euros cheaper than conventional bricks.
Experimental construction has begun in North Kesteven County. The region’s leader, Marion Brighton, says the straw has exceptional thermal properties. “We are working on availability, sustainability and reducing energy consumption. We have a lot of straw in this area, so it makes sense to use it. The houses will look similar to ordinary ones except that the exterior walls will be painted rather than red brick, “said Marion Brighton. A series of cottages in Martin Township was completed in April 2019. The construction technique will then continue in Waddington.
A spokeswoman for Amazon Nails, an architectural firm, claims that the ‘overhead’ of these households will be significantly cheaper. The longevity of a straw house is 100 years. The walls will be pressed and well insulated. Each straw house will have a wood stove.
Amazon Nails was founded in 1996 by Barbara Jones. To date, she has built more than 250 private and farmhouses out of straw. Construction is similar to prefabricated and is cheaper than standard brick houses.
This type of construction was first practiced in the mid-19th century by settlers in the Nebraska areas of North America.
http://www.buldipedia.com (photo Straw Bale Construction Nebraska, United States of America)