A Quick Explanation of Straw Bale Building
Straw bales are a relatively recent evolution in the sustainable building field with the first ones being built in Nebraska around the turn of the last century. When compared to other natural building methods straw bales are but infants in the field. But despite being young this method of building is very well developed and is fast becoming a mainstream method as it spreads throughout the world. Unlike other building methods this one is very compatible with with modern methods of building and doesn’t require as steep a learning curve for contractors getting into the game.
A brief history
When settlers began moving farther out into the Great Plains they discovered to their dismay that there were no trees with which to build their homes with. In other parts of the world the answer to this was the sod home but they discovered that that the soils and the vegetation in the western plains could not be used for sod homes. So being the pioneers that they were they instead took advantage of the new machine called a baler. This machine essentially created bricks out of the straw and grasses they were surrounded with. Now this decision may have been made in desperation but the settlers soon discovered that when done right these homes were durable, long lasting and very warm a true luxury on the cold plains.
Are they green?
On the green scale you almost can’t beat a straw bale house. All the materials from the roof timbers to the foundation stones can be sourced locally and assembled by local builders. The house is made of materials that would normally be considered a waste product and at the end of its lifespan is 100% compostable or recyclable. With its thick, soundproof and very insulative walls you would find a straw bale house to be a very comfortable and cost effective place to live. .
For more information on straw bale building check out other articles here on the Green Living Library and the sources below.
By JonathanCross at English Wikipedia - Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons by Manuguf using CommonsHelper., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8992852
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