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Straw Bale Houses

Straw bale construction is a very interesting type of construction. it has been around for hundreds of years, in fact there are straw bale houses in the U.S. Midwest that are still in use today. Straw bale houses are becoming more popular today than ever.
Some people believe that straw bale houses are inherently weak and susceptible to fire. These stereotypes aren't really true. Straw bale houses can be built strong and are very fire-resistant. There are two types of straw bale houses one where the straw bale is used as a structural bearing wall, and the other where the straw bale is used as an infill for exterior bearing walls. It is generally much easier to get a building permit for a non-bearing infill straw bale house than one made of straw bale bearing walls.

Straw bale advantages and disadvantages, here are a few of the most obvious.:


Advantages

  1. Straw bale is an excellent insulator and very fire-resistant.
  2. Straw bale make a unique structure that is appealing to many especially suited to the owner builder.
  3. Straw bale building is an environmentally sound practice. Straw is either burned or tilled back into the ground if not used. It is a 100% renewable resource.
  4. Resale value is an unknown entity.


Disadvantages

  1. Getting building permits may be difficult in some jurisdictions.
  2. Finding subs which specialize in straw bale may be difficult
  3. Moisture must not be allowed into the straw bales or it will rot.

Useful Sites:
http://www.strawbuilding.org
An introduction to straw bale construction. There are FAQ's and Technical information. The website is useful especially for California strawbuilders.

www.geocities.com/Athens/Acropolis/8308/
An Excellent site which give a history, benefits and costs to build with straw bale.

 

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