Building with Straw Bales: A Practical Guide for the UK and Ireland

Building with Straw Bales: A Practical Guide for the UK and Ireland

Paperback

By (author) Barbara Jones

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  • Publisher: GREEN BOOKS
  • Format: Paperback | 184 pages
  • Dimensions: 188mm x 230mm x 18mm | 499g
  • Publication date: 11 January 2010
  • Publication City/Country: Totnes
  • ISBN 10: 190032251X
  • ISBN 13: 9781900322515
  • Edition: 2, Revised
  • Edition statement: 2nd Revised edition
  • Illustrations note: 88 pp colour plates
  • Sales rank: 45,323

Product description

Strawbale building is a radically different approach to construction. Pioneered in the USA over a hundred years ago and established in the UK in the 1990s, the technique is now entering the mainstream - used by firms who see its value in terms of cost-effectiveness, ease of installation and energy efficiency. Straw has great loadbearing qualities and provides super-insulation at an affordable price. This book is for self-builders as well as for people working in the construction industry. Strawbale building is accessible to many people who are normally excluded from the construction process, and provides immense opportunity for creative fun, enabling you to design and build the sort of shape and space you'd really like. Building with Straw Bales explains, in straightforward and common-sense terms, the principles of strawbale building in the UK climate. It covers design principles, the different types of foundations; how to raise walls, stabilise them and protect them from the weather; and how strawbale buildings can easily meet Building Regulations requirements. This fully revised and expanded edition includes new sections on natural plasters, a detailed analysis of how straw performs with humidity, and an extensive resources section. Spiral House: this inspiring loadbearing two-storey spiral-shaped house was the first of its kind in Europe, and is based on sacred geometry. It was built by its owner Norita Clesham with Barbara Jones, Bee Rowan and over a hundred volunteers, most of them women, with carpentry help from Willie and Gerard McDonagh. Begun in 2000, it was completed in three years. Photo: Bee Rowan Assington Mill: Story Hut: this simple but effective story-telling strawbale hut at Assington Mill in Suffolk has car tyre foundations, a rammed chalk floor and a thatched roof. Photo: Rae Parkinson

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Author information

Barbara Jones, FRSA, is well known internationally as a pioneer of strawbale building and designer of innovative foundations (including using car tyres). She has been designing and building with natural materials for 20 years; including forming part of the Strawbale tour of the USA in 1999, organised by Judy Knox and Matts Myrhman, that brought European strawbale pioneers to the US. Barbara has also developed a uniquely empowering method of practical training on building sites. She was given a Lifetime Achievement Award by Women in Construction in 2011, and a Woman of Outstanding Achievement Award in 2009. Her practical skills include strawbale building, clay and lime plastering, carpentry and roofing. Barbara runs her own company, Straw Works, designing natural buildings of all shapes and sizes, and supporting self-builders.

Review quote

"All you want to know about in situ strawbale building construciton, explained in one easy-to-understand book" - Tim Yates, Technical Director, BRE Ltd, and Peter Walker, Director, BRE Centre for Innovative Construction Materials, University of Bath "Explains the principles of the system in straightforward, common-sense terms. All the essentials are covered, including design, foundations, raising and stabilising walls and how straw bale buildings can exceed Building Regulations requirements. There are also new sections on natural plasters, the effect of humidity on straw bales and an extensive resources section." Build It "The essential guide to straw-bale building." Grand Designs "A perfect balance between hard facts, sociological context, and beautiful images... Get yourself a copy of Jones' book, and buy one for a friend" -- Mark Anslow The Ecologist

Table of contents

Chapter 1 - Why build with straw bales? Chapter 2 - Affordable houses with low environmental impact Chapter 3 - Strawbale building techniques explained Chapter 4 - Bales to build with Chapter 5 - Bale plans Chapter 6 - Safety and tools Chapter 7 - Cement-free foundations Chapter 8 - Roof and fittings Chapter 9 - Wall raising Chapter 10 - Windows and doors Chapter 11 - Plasters and renders - lime Chapter 12 - Plasters and renders - clay Chapter 13 - Planning permission Chapter 14 - Building Regulations Appendix 1 - Humidity in strawbale walls Appendix 2 - Frequently asked questions Appendix 3 - Resources and research Appendix 4 - Construction drawings