Racking shear resistance of prefabricated straw-bale panels

Written by esba

The present study investigated the resistance to racking shear of 3 m 6 3 m low-carbon, high-thermal-performance, prefabricated cladding panels that use straw bales. Although developed as a non-load-bearing panel for use with structurally framed buildings, the panels have the potential for use in low-rise, load-bearing structural walling. Test results confirmed that the panels exceeded current design requirements for racking shear and identified the mechanism whereby this occurred. The panels are considered suitable for future applications in low-rise structural walling solutions.

A UK patent application (no. 0803489.4) has been filed on the panel.


  1. Lawrence, Michael
  2. Drinkwater, L.
  3. Heath, Andrew
  4. Walker, Peter
  5. web-support@bath.ac.uk

Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1680/coma.2009.162.3.133

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.