Thursday, 20 May 2010

The house of straw

A team of builders have created a straw house that can withstand any amount of huffing and puffing - and a hurricane.

The environmentally-friendly house was built with straw bale panels and could pave the way for the first housing estate of straw buildings.

Professor Pete Walker said: 'Straw is a very environmentally-friendly building material because it is renewable and uses a co-product of farming.

'The crop used to make the straw locks in carbon dioxide as it grows and can be sourced from local farms, saving on transport and minimising the carbon footprint of the building.

'The recent test result is excellent as it has both confirmed the robustness of BaleHaus and validated the computer model, so avoiding the need for further tests and providing basis for safe and efficient structural design.

'We hope the data we're collecting on the BaleHaus will help strengthen the case for the mainstream building industry switching to using more sustainable building materials such as straw.'

Craig White, director of ModCell, said: 'This is a fantastic result. All too often, we are asked whether building with straw is durable.

'Our research at BaleHaus@Bath shows conclusively that building with straw using the ModCell System is not only safe, secure and durable, it is also fit for the 21st century challenge of reducing our CO2 emissions by 80 per cent by 2050.

'These tests will offer proof that renewable building materials are a realistic option for building on a large scale.

full article


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