Acoustical characterization of straw bales as structural elements

Written by esba

For several thousand years, straw has been used mainly as bedding for horses and cattle. This inexpensive, thermally insulating, and environmentally renewable material has been used increasingly in the southwestern United States as a structural element in the construction of residential houses, storage facilities, and restaurants. An understanding of the acoustical properties of straw bales is therefore required if this medium is to be used appropriately. The transmission loss (TL) of wheat and rye‐grass straw bales was measured for bales placed in different configurations, and for the stucco‐covered wall of a straw bale house. The TL for the straw bale house wall was 59.4 dB (A‐weighted). The coefficient of acoustic absorption of the straw bales was also measured at 125, 250, 500, 1000, 2000, and 4000 Hz. [Work supported by an NSF PFF.]


  1. Mas, Carl J.
  2. Everbach, E. Carr


About the author


The European Straw Building Association is an independent European association, devoid of any profit making motive. The object of the Association is to promote and develop the use of straw, as a sustainable way of building in all the senses of the term “sustainable”: renewable, ecological, healthy, energy and climate efficient, social and economic.
The Association is a federation composed of organisations and people particularly concerned with the use of straw in buildings.