the top 10 reasons to build with straw bales

Great insulation – Straw bale walls provide at least R30 insulation, which can greatly reduce energy used for heating and cooling. A typical 2×6 stud wall with maximum fiberglass insulation is rated R19. What is an R-value?

Good for the environment – Straw is an agricultural waste product and straw bale building is a great example of upcycling. What is upcycling?

Good fire resistance – Straw bale walls have a very good fire rating: 1 hour for earth plastered walls, 2 hours for cement-lime plastered walls. A typical stick-built, drywalled wall has a 30 minute rating. What is a fire rating?

Less materials – A plastered bale wall replaces the insulation, the drywall and the paint usually used in a conventional wall, and can reduce the wood needed for framing.

Better sound quality – Straw bale walls provide excellent sound insulation and have a positive effect on interior acoustics.

Better air quality – Straw is a natural, non-toxic building material, lending itself to zero VOC finishes (such as clay plaster) which can lead to a healthier indoor environment. What are VOC’s?

Beautiful – Straw bale walls are aesthetically versatile: they can be straight and flat or can easily be shaped to have sinuous, organic lines and accommodate built-in furniture or niches.

User friendly – Building with bales can create opportunities to involve your friends and community through bale raisings and work parties.

Revolutionary – Straw bale building is a way to help shift the dominant paradigm of home building which has become increasingly alienating and intimidating to those who seek to build their own homes.

Better buildings – Straw bale buildings are beautiful, pleasant, and healthy buildings.