Lateral Stability of Prefabricated Straw Bale Housing

Written by esba

Straw bales have been used for building for about 140 years. Until recently bales were only used for load-bearing Nebraskan-style buildings or for infill on timber-framed buildings. ModCell panels are a prefabricated straw bale panel consisting of a timber frame, straw bale infill and lime rendered faces. ModCell panels have been used for cladding on several framed buildings and are now being developed to be load-bearing. In order to allow this sufficient racking shear resistance needs to be developed. This paper reports on a series of joint tests and full-scale panel racking shear tests at the University of Bath. Refinements to the joint and bracing details have improved the racking shear resistance of the panels.


  1. Gross, Christopher
  2. Fovargue, Jonathan
  3. Homer, Peter
  4. Mander, Tim
  5. Walker, Peter
  6. White, Craig


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.