Eco-sustainability and energy performance of a straw house

Written by esba

Together with Maisonéco, a modular system has been developed to present a solution combining eco-sustainability with versatility, low costs and very rapid construction times. The first module, built in 2014 in the northern part of Italy, consists of about 30m² of housing module with a wooden structure and a thermal insulating panel made by compact straw with parallel fibers. The monitoring and data collection system was designed and implemented by the Institute of Technical and Professional Education – LyTechPro of Verrès (AO) within the Projet Energie, an educational project funded by CVA S.p.A., a leading production company for electricity from renewable sources owned by the Aosta Valley Autonomous Region. In this work, the experimental measurements are presented for two years, evaluating the energy performance of the straw house during the heating and cooling seasons with the indoor and outdoor thermo-hygrometric conditions. Straw does not have the best performance compared with standard insulating materials but, considering a greater thinness of the block, may reach higher levels of thermal insulation. From an environmental point of view, straw can be used in green buildings as it is a degradable material, its production derives from agricultural waste with low environmental impact as does not require an industrial process. Moreover, its recycling could also be exploited by the agricultural sector to expand the market and thus become suppliers of straw also for the construction sector. Finally, straw characteristics are also combined with low costs, like waste material, with 2.5-3.5 euros per block or 1,000-1,400 euros per 150m² building.

Authors: `

  1. Mutani, Guglielmina
  2. Ferrarese, Alberto
  3. Voulaz, Jean
  4. DrInca, Massimo
  5. Aloisio, Patrizio
  6. Daguin, Marco
  7. Fedrizzi, Massimiliano


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.