chapter  10.2
4 Pages

Strawbale Construction

WithLeslie St. Jacques

Strawbale construction utilises straw for wall systems, structural support and insulation, offering the potential for an organic and environmentally sustainable method of building shelter. This chapter argues the greater use of the exceptional material to meet the need for simple, comfortable, accessible and environmentally responsible housing. The use of strawbales as structural support and insulation can reduce the negative environmental impacts of a structure, and supports a socially responsible building process. Among strawbale construction's social benefits is the opportunity to learn new skills and engage in community building activities. Strawbale construction offers environment-related benefits over construction methods. Fire and pests are common fears when people first hear of strawbale housing. Strawbale walls covered in plaster have the fire resistance of wood frame walls similarly protected. Strawbale construction requires caution with respect to potential fires and water reaching exposed straw. Potential owner-builders can be deterred by stories about the difficulty of gaining approval from their building department to build with strawbale.