Development and testing of a prototype straw bale house

Written by esba

This paper describes the research, development, construction and initial testing of an innovative low-carbon prototype house built using novel prefabricated straw bale panels. The use of straw as insulation provides an opportunity for value-added use of a widely available low-carbon co-product of farming. The research reported in the paper seeks to enhance the understanding and develop the modern mainstream acceptance and use of straw as a construction material in housing and other applications. The paper initially summarises the development and construction of the panels and the house. Tests conducted on the panels and house reported in the paper include ongoing durability assessment, fire resistance testing, acoustic transmittance testing, air permeability tests and thermal surveys.


  1. Wall, Katharine
  2. Walker, Pete
  3. Gross, Christopher
  4. White, Craig
  5. Mander, Tim


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.