Straw Bale House

A straw bale house is an alternative way of building that is more energy efficient than conventionally built houses. This is because a well designed straw bale house can save you up to 75% in heating fuel bills - this is simply because the thick straw bales provide fantastic insulation. The straw bale walls also provide excellent sound proofing and external noise reduction.

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Design Considerations

The style of your straw bale house will be dependent on local weather conditions. Basically, if you live in an area that experiences a lot of rain then the design and roof style will differ from those built in areas that have little or moderate rainfall.

Water potentially poses greater risk of damage than the outbreak of fire in houses built with straw bale. Water damage is easily prevented with the proper build design. The risk of fire is less in houses built with straw bales as the bales are extremely fire resistant, the walls are tightly pack and have no air-cavities like conventionally built houses.

  • The orientation of the house, the window sizing and placement and the size of the roof overhang will have a direct bearing on heating and cooling costs

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Choosing Your Bale

Choosing the right straw bale is paramount to the success of your build. The straw bale should be of good quality, i.e, stored dry with good ventilation and free of any mould and dampness (mould smells unmistakably musty even if you can't see it).

  • Moisture content should be below 20%, (the growth of mould and sustained decay will take place above this level)
  • The density of the straw bale for construction must comply with local building code specification

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Customizing Bales

It is easy to customize a straw bale built house in-line with your design style by rounding, notching and shaping the bale before plastering the internal and external walls.

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