CA-Straw Bale Building and the National Building Code of Canada

Written by esba

Straw bale building is a highly sustainable, low energy alternative to conventional building methods that has existed for over a century. The straw bale system, where straw bales are encased in plaster to create a wall, continues to evolve and become more and more popular worldwide. As the method becomes more and more popular, many regions and countries are beginning to adopt straw bale building codes to regulate the construction of these buildings. The National Building Code of Canada, however, currently makes no reference to straw bale building. Tests and experience have given adequate data to make design decisions with regards to fire protection, structure, thermal performance and moisture control of this technique. Inclusion of straw bale building in the building code will give rise to both advantages and disadvantages for the industry. It has been deemed that these advantages greatly outweigh the disadvantages and the process of working towards inclusion of straw bale building techniques in the National Building Code of Canada should begin immediately.

author: Charlsie Searle

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.