Straw bale building

image by Kate Greenhalf

Straw bales are a unique building product because you can create any structure even if you lack experience or are unfamiliar with conventional building techniques.

Straw bales can be used in principle to build anything from a two-storey home to a small house extension. Straw is in essence a waste product from grain crops such as; what, barley, rye or oats, and can be locally sourced. The bales should be well compressed and due to their density bales are non-flammable when built. The thermal insulation properties of straw bales create a low impact building that remains well insulated and also has the added benefit of sound-proofing qualities. However straw bales can rot if not maintained, but damp can be avoided by raising the bales above ground level, and incorporating an outer skin of wooden cladding.