Posts tagged: straw bale house

10 Sensational Homes Built From… Straw!

10 Sensational Homes Built From... Straw!10 Sensational Homes Built From… Straw! – Image To Repin / Share
Image – © – MikkiPiperImaging.com

This article will give you a glimpse into the fascinating world of straw-bale buildings. There is a wide spectrum of styles to see here – the look of the finished buildings ranges from ultra-modern architecture to ancient roundhouse and the character of each one is unique. It is this variety and individuality that sets straw bale homes apart and gives them their appeal – and of course there are the benefits of the material itself.

Straw has been used in building for centuries – often mixed with clay or lime and used as plaster, otherwise known as “wattle and daub” – and incidentally, I was repairing an old ceiling the other day and found that the space between ceiling and tiles had been filled with straw for insulation!

Straw provides a barrier to extremes of temperature so it can be used to reduce the need for heating or air conditioning. It is one of the best insulators available, and best of all it is a natural by-product of farming so is renewable and easy to obtain.

Building with straw is a relatively simple technique, the bales are used to make walls in a load-bearing structure that is usually made from timber. It is possible to use bales to make a load-bearing structure but this practice is not permitted in all areas – so you’ll need to check local building codes before you start on a design of your own.

Related: How To Build A Straw Bale House

The bales are normally pinned together either with iron reinforcing bars, or (more eco-friendly) with renewable hardwood stakes, and they can then be cut and smoothed (or even carved) into shape! Lime and clay plaster are both good natural materials to cover the bales and provide a breathable surface to keep humidity from building up inside.

It’s great to hear that many of the homes featured here have other environmental features built in – including rainwater harvesting, recycling of “grey” water, solar or wind power and composting systems. Did I mention the cost? – well, the smaller buildings can cost much less than than a new small car!!

Ok here’s the link to the full list of 10 Sensational Homes Built From Straw: http://www.thedailygreen.com/green-homes/latest/straw-homes-461209

Further resources:
The house in Bath, UK has been built to study straw bale and hemp construction with the aim of developing these materials for further use in mainstream building projects. This is fantastic news! – gradually replacing modern cement based technology with locally produced renewable materials will make a big reduction to our environmental impact by reducing carbon emissions, chemical pollution, extraction of resources and transportation of materials. Here’s the link to find out more: http://www.greenbang.com/hemp-and-straw-house-of-future-goes-up-in-bath_10781.html

If you’re interested in using natural building materials like straw bales, here is some further info about the methods and skills involved – some companies run workshops too!
http://www.lowimpact.org/factsheets1shelter.html
http://strawbalefarms.com/strawbuild.html
http://www.buildnaturally.com/EDucate/Library.htm
http://www.hemp.org/news/book/export/html/202

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10 Sensational Homes Built From Straw
Graphic – off-grid.info. Images – © – MikkiPiperImaging.com

Video: Building Your Own Amazing Straw Bale Home

Most homeowners would gape in astonishment at the sight of a stylish home which had actually been constructed mainly from straw bales. Who would have thought dry plant materials supposedly just for animal bedding and fodder could turn out to be an easy-on-the-pocket structural element of a comfortable and surprisingly stylish home? Check out this video by John Cahill for some real inspiration.

Related: How To Build A 400 sq ft Solar Powered Off Grid Cabin For $2k

Perhaps some little piglets and a big, bad wolf should be held responsible for such an incorrect impression among us. 😉 In the famous fable “The Three Little Pigs,” the first little pig constructed his house out of straw, as, according to the story, it was the easiest thing to do. And so came the wolf who just “huffed and puffed and blew” the naïve pig’s straw house. End of the line for the poor pig.

In reality however, straw bales are excellent building materials; and a number of elegant straw bale homes, cottages, and energy-efficient buildings across countries such as the United States, Mexico, and Australia are a testament to straw bale’s worth in construction.

Straw bales are “technically” a farmer’s agricultural waste product, tightly tied dry stalks of wheat, rice, rye, or oats that were left in the field once the seeds have already been harvested from the cereal plants. Why do we even bother to consider building homes out of straw? The answer lies in the several economically and environmentally attractive benefits one can derive from straw bales. At the top of the list is straw bale’s inexpensiveness, combined with its surprising effectiveness as a building material.

When you aspire to live in an innovative, eco-conscious and durable home but are seeking cost-effective options, straw bale home construction offers an alternative that does not compromise beauty, aesthetics, or comfort. Straw bales are easy to work with too and are very much available in most communities. It may not seem like it at first glance, but straw bales are also reported to be twice as fireproof as conventional lumber!

Video - Building Your Own Amazing Straw Bale Home