Investigating the Bearing Capacity of Straw Bale Masonry in Compression and Thermal Loads

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This study determines the optimum cement plaster thickness for straw bale prism and the compressive strength of the resulting composite prisms. The thermal insulation property of a prototype building made with the prisms was also compared with a prototype building of the same size but made of solid sandcrete block. The material of straw used is that obtained from guinea corn stalk. The plaster thickness corresponding to the optimum density of the prism was found to be 25mm, the average compressive strength was found to be 0.8N/mm2. The thermal insulation capacity of a straw bale wall was compared with that of a sandcrete solid block wall by comparing the cooling rate (curve) of internal temperatures of the two prototype buildings that were subjected to the same high initial temperature conditions. It was observed that temperatures fell slowly at first in the solid sandcrete block and later became faster relative to that of the prototype building made with straw bale walls. This result showed that strawbale walls have a higher thermal insulation capacity compared to (solid) sandcrete block walls.

Authors: Solomon, Ajamu; Adedeji, Adeola


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.