Home › Forums › SUSTAINABLE CONSTRUCTION, ENERGY and WATER CONSERVATION › Building and Construction › So, I've Fallen in Love with Straw Bale
November 10, 2013 at 12:28 pm #257959
Yup. That’s right.
I attended Annemarie and Graham Brookman’s “Introduction to Permaculture” course on the weekend. Really enjoyed myself, learnt a lot and came out refreshed and inspired.
A few months back as part of their “Building with Strawbales” course they constructed a small straw bale studio in the South Eastern corner of their property, the Food Forest. Wow. Just wow. I might have to reconsider what I build with.November 10, 2013 at 7:31 pm #534154
I’m thinking about attending one of there courses! Out of interest how much did it cost? Seems worth it!November 10, 2013 at 11:58 pm #534155
I was looking at their dates I hope there is another course soon!!November 12, 2013 at 10:27 am #534156
I think they do farm tours semi-regularly. Highly recommended. (No, I am not sponsored by them.)November 12, 2013 at 1:29 pm #534157
I’m still looking for the attraction of straw-bale. I keep reading about the insulation properties, but honestly, that sounds like living in a bubble.
Wouldnt I still have to warm it up when outside is cold?
Is the atmosphere cool when its stinking hot outside – I imagine only possible if you keep it locked up… or run an airconditioner
Sorry, no romance regarding housing in my mind.November 12, 2013 at 5:27 pm #534158
Straw bales work like any other good insulation by slowing the transfer of heat. I believe it is effective at this due to the thickness and density of the walls. To keep warm you could use a passive solar design – lots of glass facing north, concrete floor to provide mass, etc. To keep it cool in summer you would provide sufficient shade to the north by way of deciduous vines and eaves, double glazing, heavy drapes and pelmets, ventilation, etc. The place I live in now – a 1940s unit – is well shaded for summer but suffers from quick heat transfer when the outside temperatures rise. This is due to flimsy, poorly sealed glazing and poorly insulated walls.
The thing that appeals to be most, from a functional perspective, with straw bale is that you’re getting all your walls and insulation in one. With a standard stick frame, cladded design there are four components: frame, external cladding, insulation, internal cladding.
As for air conditioning – that may still be a requirement, but many straw advocates provide good evidence that you can make a really comfortable space with it.November 12, 2013 at 7:00 pm #534159
If I were starting my adult life over again I would be building a straw bale house. I have not been to any courses to learn about the process but I have read quite a bit on the net and have seen a few dvds on the topic.
Even building sheds, garden seats and such would be possible now I guess, I’m not quite ‘past it’ I suppose. There are all sorts of exciting projects to dream of!
I just love the concept. Anyone wanting more info will oodles on site, try using the search thingy.
🙂November 12, 2013 at 9:30 pm #534160
As you’ll recall from my previous posts, I too love strawbale for all the benefits you mention.
A properly designed SB house stays between 16-23 degrees year round. (this is in a temperate climate).
Even if one takes into account/plans for extreme weather conditions, the internal temp will not be too uncomfortable. The other benefit of SB is its sustainability – it is a by-product of agriculture anyway – so the producer gets the $$ for his crop, then a few extra for his straw (which is a waste product otherwise).
I’ll need to consider all this as I will not be installing any air-conditioning at all, especially because I’ll be standalone solar.
I should organise myself a trip to the Food Forest too. As a permaculture enthusiast, it has been something I’ve wanted to do for quite a while.
I’m also keen on rammed earth structures too 😉
🙂November 13, 2013 at 12:04 pm #534161
I can tell you’re a fellow fancier, Andre. Your design is stunning. It seems SB unleashes something in people – gone is straightness and symmetry; in is unbridled expressionism and limit pushing.November 13, 2013 at 2:20 pm #534162
We’re building in straw bale too. love themNovember 15, 2013 at 6:44 pm #534163
Does anyone have any good Australian blogs on building with straw?November 15, 2013 at 7:38 pm #534164November 15, 2013 at 7:43 pm #534165November 20, 2013 at 10:52 pm #534166
We certainly love strawbale, as we designed, built and live in one! They have a beautiful organic feeling to live in, cool in summer and well insulated in winter. We have a greenhouse/enclosed verandah that brings all the heat in winter even with only a small amount of sunshine per day.
We are currently traveling around Australia until Christmas but will hopefully have our house open on sustainable house day next year.November 21, 2013 at 12:13 pm #534167
What state is your property located in? 🙂
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