New homes are ready for sale in Bristol that use a technology in which straw is one of the components. The team behind this technology insist that straw houses are the answer for the growing sustainable house demand.
The research from University of Bath showed that the lucky homeowners would save up to 90% on fuel bills compared to brick- built houses. It would be also cheaper to buy one. Some skeptics claim that such an unconventional house would be harder to sell, but this is yet to be seen.
“The construction sector must reduce its energy consumption by 50% and its carbon emissions by 80% by 2050, so radical changes are needed to the way we approach house building.’’ said Prof Pete Walker
Some people might be surprised, but fire tests showed high fire resistance for straw embedded in wooden boards. In some cases a higher resistance could be seen compared to average conventional material. Among others, this proved that using straw might result in obtaining quite a durable construction.
Great Britain is not the only country interested in straw bale construction. It seems that USA, Australia and China also invested in research to use this specific material. The main reason could be its low price and simple availability. According to researchers 3,8m tonnes of straw that remains after production of wheat flour in the UK – could be easily reused to build more than 500,000 new homes. The well-established straw-built co-housing community from Leeds agreed that building costs are reduced by 20% compared to conventional methods and cut in energy bills is more than 90%. Speaking about “straw homes”, we really mean a modern timber- framed prefabricated construction, where straw is used as the main insulation material. That is why we can still achieve any traditional house shape.