Strawbale Construction Print

Straw Bale Construction

Background:

  • Straw bale building has been around for about 100 years, originating in Nebraska in the USA.
  • Straw bale building is easy to construct and suitable to use with unskilled labour of all ages and genders.
  • Straw bales are an annually renewable agricultural waste product that is often wasted or burnt by farmers.
  • Technical information:
  • Straw bales are dry packed either as in-fill between structural frames or as load bearing walls where a ring beam plate is tied to the foundations.
  • Straw bales are stabilized with horizontal & vertical timber saplings and finished with clay and lime plasters.

Benefits:

  • Straw bales walls have phenomenal acoustic and thermal properties, resulting in a very high level of human comfort, way superior to any other building material available.
  • As the straw is too tightly packed to support combustion and due to its high insulation properties (R value = R6 to R7), a plastered straw bale wall is exceptionally fire-proof.
  • Straw bales are an abundant agricultural bi-product and South Africa currently grows enough straw to provide enough material for 1 million homes every year – more than double the countries present capacity!
  • Straw bales are inexpensive to buy as well as dispose of as all waste can be mulched for landscaping purposes.
  • Building with bales is relatively easy to learn and lends itself to self-builders and community involvement.

Company track record/examples of work:

  • House Patience - Greyton, Workshop, Western Cape, 2019
  • House Larsen – Workshop, Hilton, KZN, 2014 and 2019
  • House Botes, Agte Paarl, Western Cape, 2014
  • Smith’s Guest House - Workshop, Napier 2013
  • Green Kruger Lodge - Workshop, Marloth Park, Crocodile Bridge, Mpumalanga 2013
  • Orphanage at Village of Hope - workshop, Grabou, Western Cape, 2013
  • Starflower Project house & conference/training facility – consulting and workshops, Midrand, Gauteng, 2012
  • OR Tambo Narrative & Environmental Centre - Consulting, Leeupan, Johannesburg, 2010 – 2012
  • House Morris - Barrydale, the Karoo, 2008
  • House Lula - consulting, Gauteng, 2008
  • Upgrade of Nieuwoudtville Caravan Park, Namaqualand, 2004-2007 (Won Silver 2005 in the Holcim Awards for Sustainable Construction in the Africa Middle East region)
  • Wolvekloof Academy consulting & workshop, Ceres, Western Cape, 2006
  • Stanford Valley Conference Centre - workshop, Western Cape, 2006
  • House McConnel - Betty’s Bay, Western Cape, 2005
  • Gary’s Barn -Oude Molen Village, Cape Town, 2005
  • House Brodie - Scarbourgh, Western Cape, 2003
  • House Patience - Greyton, Western Cape, 2002
  • House Salters - Teslaarsdal, Western Cape, 1999
  • House Prinsloo - Elands Bay, Cape West Coast,1998