Straw bale construction details

How long will a straw bale house last?

100 years

Are straw bale houses cheaper to build?

A typical straw bale home, built by a contractor, will cost about 10-12% more than a conventional home of the same square footage. Keep in mind that if you compare a straw bale home with a conventional home built the same R-value as a straw bale , the straw bale home will actually be less expensive by about 15% or more.

Do straw bale houses rot?

Fact: Yes, straw is an organic material but in order for it to decompose both air and water are required. If your home is properly built to reduce air pockets and humidity, the straw will not decompose .

How is straw bale made?

Straw bales are made from a waste product. Once the edible part of the grain has been harvested (such as wheat or rice), the stalks often become a disposal problem for farmers. By bailing the straw , a new life is given to the material.

What kind of straw is best for straw bale gardening?

For effective straw bale gardening : Use straw , not hay . Hay is made from alfalfa and grasses that still have the seeds attached, and these seeds will turn into weeds when the germinate and sprout.

What is the R value of a straw bale?

The reported R-value of straw bale walls varies from R 2.38 per inch to R 0.94 per inch .

What are the advantages and disadvantages of straw bale construction?

Advantages and disadvantages The thickness of straw bale walls can help reflect sunlight into a room at openings, and provide space for window seats. They are relatively easy and cost-efficient to install. Straw bales have a low-embodied energy. With good maintenance, straw bale construction is very durable.

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Do straw bales attract mice?

Straw has nothing edible to attract mice but hay has grass seeds that provide good winter provender for mice families. Straw bales stacked for supporting walls and structures have no holes in which mice can tunnel and no spaces in which to build nests, but hay bales stacked in a barn have many.

How much does it cost to build straw bale house?

On average a straw bale home will cost anywhere between $130 and $150 per square foot. With thoughtful planning the cost can be as low as $60 to $80 per square foot if you are able to supply volunteer labour and make use of reclaim materials.

Can straw spontaneously combust?

Usually, we think of water and moisture as a way to put a fire out, but the opposite is true with hay and straw , which when too wet can heat and spontaneously combust . When baled at moistures over 20% mesophilic bacteria release heat-causing temperatures to rise between 130⁰F and 140⁰F.

Which is better for insulation straw or hay?

Straw is an inexpensive insulator that makes excellent bedding. It retains the animal’s heat and evaporates moisture. Hay does not maintain these qualities. To use straw effectively, place a thick layer on the floor of your animal’s shelter.

Can I use straw for insulation?

Inch for inch, straw bales insulate about the same as fiberglass, but because they are so much thicker than typical rolls of insulation , they provide a stronger shield against heat and cold. Straw is also easier to dispose of because it’s biodegradable. A small house would use 150 to 300 bales.

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How long do hay bales last outside?

Storing Hay You can store hay indefinitely if the stack is managed correctly; although, in humid climates, using hay within three years of harvest is ideal. Hay growers need to bale it at correct moisture levels because if it’s baled too damp the hay will generate heat, which leads to molding.

Where is straw bale construction used in the world?

Straw houses have been built on the African plains since the Paleolithic Era. Straw bales were used in construction 400 years ago in Germany; and straw -thatched roofs have long been used in northern Europe and Asia.

Why is straw bale construction sustainable?

Straw bale construction is a relatively sustainable construction method, with straw being a renewable material that is readily available. Straw bales take little energy to manufacture, with the bailing process and transportation the only additional energy required (other than the sun used to grow the plants).