Building with Straw

Building with Straw : Design and Technology of a Sustainable Architecture

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Building with straw bales is a technique pioneered a century ago in the state of Nebraska. In recent years there has been a renaissance in the use of straw as a building material largely in the American Southwest, but also in Canada, Australia, France, Holland, Germany, Austria and China. Straw is a renewable resource with excellent insulating properties. It is a cheap and easy-to-use option for self-builders, and even large-scale structures can be erected using timber framework filled with straw.

This book is a practical, hands-on guide to building with straw. Fire safety, protection against moisture, damp, pests and parasites are treated in detail. Numerous on-site photos document the process of assembly and construction step by step.

30 exemplary international projects illustrate the wide spectrum of design possibilities with straw.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 143 pages
  • 220 x 280 x 10.92mm | 659g
  • Basel, Switzerland
  • English
  • Die erweiterte Neuausgabe dieses Produkts tragt den Titel "Straw Bale Construction Manual", ISBN 978-3-0356-1854-9
  • w. 150 col. and 108 b&w figs. 86 drawings.
  • 3764371714
  • 9783764371715
  • 524,198

Table of contents

I The technology of straw bale building

1 Introduction

Purpose and objectives of this book

About the contents

Building with straw - a contribution to sustainability in construction

Further advantages of straw bale building

Objections and anxieties

2 History and profileration of straw bale building

Early buildings (1880-1970)

The development after 1980

3 Straw as building material

General facts

Straw bales

Straw panels

4 Wall construction systems using straw bales

Introduction to the construction systems

Load-bearing straw bale walls

Non-loadbearing straw bale walls

Facing straw bale layer as thermal insulation

Structural and dynamic aspects

Summary and comparison of the individual systems

5 Roof and floor construction with straw bales

Roof insulation

Floor constructions

Supplementary thermal insulation of existing structures

6 Physical aspects of straw bale building

Heat storage and heat conductivity

Thermal bridges

Thermal insulation

Moisture protection

Moisture balance

Wind and air tightness

Fire protection

Sound insulation

7 Designing a straw bale building

Special aspects of load-bearing straw bale walls

Special aspects of non-loadbearing straw bale walls

Detailing of foundations

Base details

Wall build-up

Wall junctions with foundation, base and floor

Ring beams

Windows and doors

Wall corners

Wall/roof junctions

Interior walls

Intermediate ceilings

Service ducts

Heavy-duty fixings in straw bale walls

Wall recesses

8 Surface protection and finishing works

Interior render

Exterior render

Paint coats

Water-repellent treatment

Weather boarding, facing and ventilated cladding

9 The building process

Supervision and co-ordination on site

Health and safety measures

Assessment of the quality of the bales

Supplementary compaction of the bales

Transport and storage

Separating of bales

Reshaping of bales

Bale installation

Wall reinforcement

Wall prestressing

Removal of deformations

Backfilling of joints and gaps

Cropping of bale surfaces

Rendering of the walls

10 Trial and error - an example

Preliminary note

Scheme design

Construction - the first attempt

Solving the problems - the second attempt

11 Building cost, insurance, planning permission

Building cost, expenditure of time and personal contribution

Insurance of building

Planning permission

II Built examples in detail

1 Residences

Residential building in Ouwerkerk, Zeeland, Netherlands

Residential building in Balneario Punta Ballena, Uruguay

Residential building in central Montreal, Canada

Prefabricated single-family home in Hitzendorf, near Graz, Styria, Austria

Single-family home in Dobersdorf, Burgenland, Austria

Urban cottage in Berkeley, California, USA

Single-family home in Bryson City, North Carolina, USA

Singe-family home with guest house, games room and garage in Galston, near Sidney, Australia

Single-family home in Lower Lake, California, USA

Single-family home at Lake Biwa, Japan

The Spiral House, Castlebar, County Mayo, Ireland

Load-bearing straw bale house in Disentis, Switzerland

Passive house in Cavan, Ontario, Canada

First straw bale house in Vienna, Austria

Single-family home in Blanden, Belgium

Low-energy house in Maria Laach, Austria

Passive house in Wienerherberg, Austria

2 Home and workplace

Trout Farm Complex, Tassaraja Canyon, California, USA

Residential and office building in London, Great Britain

Ulenkrug Farm, Stubbendorf, Mecklenburg-West Pomerania, Germany

Residential building for ethnic German resettlers, Wargoldshausen, Lower Franconia, Germany

The Woodage Sawmill in Mittagong, Australia

Straw bale dome as a rehearsal and performance space in Forstmehren, Westerwald, Germany

Farm and residential building near Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Franconia, Germany

House of a painter near Santa Cruz, California, USA

3 Educational and cultural buildings

Foothills Academy College Preparatory, Scottsdale, Arizona, USA

Real Goods Solar Living Center, Hopland, California, USA

International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center Lodge,

Val-Morin, Quebec, Canada

Waldorf school in Carbondale, Colorado, USA

Salem Childrens' Village, Kaliningrad, Russia

Sanctuary House, Crestone, Colorado, USA

Vipassana Meditation Hall, Blackheath, Australia

III Appendices



Internet links



Illustration credits
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About Gernot Minke

Professor Dr. Gernot Minke, Universitat Kassel, Experte fur nachhaltige Baumaterialien
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