Straw bale houses provide their occupants with many benefits. Before listing some, I'll describe these houses for you. Their walls are built out of bales of straw. The straw needs to be kept dry so it is covered with plaster, on both the exterior and interior sides.
An overhang is often added to the outside of the house, providing shade and additional protection to the house. Most commonly, the house uses a post-and-beam framework as the basic structure and then the straw bale house has the bales used as infill. This construction method is called "non-load-bearing" because the bales themselves do not support the load of the roof. In many localities, this is the only approach that building authorities will approve.
The other construction method gives you a load-bearing straw bale house. In this approach, the roof rests directly on the compacted straw bales. Since this method requires less lumber, it is more ecological, but you do have to be careful during construction that the weight of the roof is properly set on the bales. It is also easier for beginners to do.
The bale walls can go up surprisingly quickly, which is very gratifying. Of course, there is still plenty more to do, with wiring and plastering and everything else that goes into making any house. Straw bale building is probably most popular in the southwestern desert states of the US, but it is now being done in many other places too.
Building codes exist that directly address the specifics of straw bale construction, and some banks will make loans for straw bale houses. So what are the benefits of living in a straw bale home? 1. Insulation: The thick walls mean that straw bale houses naturally stay warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. This saves a lot of money on heating bills, and if air conditioning is even needed in a very hot climate, its use will be considerably reduced. Of course, the energy savings will continue for the entire life of the house and thus will add up to a lot of money over time.
2. Renewable resources: Straw is something which can be grown just about anywhere, so it is a relatively local resource and it does not deplete our reserves. So ecologically minded people are attracted to straw bale houses for this reason. More and more people are becoming aware of the importance of building sustainably. 3.
The pleasure of living in a straw bale house: These homes are often quite lovely. The hand finishing and the attractive plasters make them very enjoyable to look at. With the thick walls, outside noises are muffled so the house is more tranquil.
In sum, building a straw bale house offers environmental and quality-of-life benefits. People who know little about building can learn to do a lot of the construction themselves. Sure, building any house is a lot of work, but if you go the straw bale route, look what you end up with.
something very special indeed!.
If you think you could to make a strawbale house, go take a look at Rosana Hart's website on straw bale houses and her other resource on load bearing straw bale houses.