Assessment of Straw Degradation Inside Straw Bale Walls in Severe Cold Regions of China

Written by esba

With the increasing concerns of low carbon development of the building industry, the feasibility of using straw bale buildings has been widely discussed for the last decade in China. However, there are few studies focusing on the assessment of the durability of this building type regarding the climatic features in China. This paper analyzes the features of straw degradation inside straw bale walls in the severe cold region in China. The analysis involves two parts of researches:

The first part analyses the degradation potential of straw inside straw bale walls in high humidity and high-temperature conditions which was recorded in the summers in the climatic region; The following research examines straw conditions inside an experimental straw bale building in the region after one-year competition of the building. The results show that the straw inside straw bale walls has no concerns of degradation in the high hygrothermal environment in the severe cold region in China. The following inspections of straw conditions inside the experimental building indicate that straw has moderate concerns of degradation in the area 2-3cm deep behind the lime render.

The work of this research will help to build up models for predicting straw degradation levels inside straw bale buildings in severe cold regions in China. The impact of this research will be the growth in low carbon energy efficient straw bale construction with confidence over its long-term durability characteristics in the severe cold regions in China.


  1. Xunzhi, Yin
  2. Mike, Lawrence
  3. Maskell, Daniel
  4. Cheng, Sun


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.