FAQs - Straw Bale Construction

Are Straw Bale buildings fire proof?

As straw bales are firmly compacted, they do not hold enough oxygen to facilitate combustion. Straw bales exposed to fire will smoulder and char, but will not burn. Typically walls are always plastered which further protects the walls. Extensive fire tests which have been conducted on straw bale structures have proven that a straw bale in-fill wall assembly is a far greater fire-resistant assembly than a wood frame wall assembly using the same finishes.

On the 4th of Juli 2003 strawbale building took a big step in Germany: a fire test, "F90", was done in a material-research-institute in Braunschweig. A strawbale wall, plastered with clay on both sides, was heated up to about 1000 degerees celsius, for 90 minutes. Please click here for more info on the successful fire test in Germany.

Please also see the video clip below which documents fire tests on a straw bale wall  in July 2006 in the USA which were also successful.