Straw bale vault in Ravelsbach

Herbert Gruber
Written by Herbert Gruber

Straw construction can be so beautiful: Revitalising the attic of a barn to create living space in the form of a barrel vault.

Key data

City:RavelsbachCompletion:2014Type of Construction:CUT-Hybridtechnik / OrganiCutDesign/Architectureasbn, Herbert GruberClay/Earth plaster:Lehm AustriaStraw Builder:asbn - workshopBuilding Costs:500,- €/m2Possibility to visit:NoPress photos:No
Owner Builders Contribution:WorkshopCustomer satisfaction:A great room, an ideal attic conversion. Inexpensive and beautiful. Follow suit!Deficiencies:The vault was started in 2011, when we did not yet know the CUT technique in detail. In this technique, the vault would have been much simpler. Only the OrganiCUT walls above the staircase were executed in true CUT technique. The straw bales are held in place by battens during plastering (where greater pressure is exerted). In our case, they partly slipped out of place and had to be laboriously reworked. An attempt to use a brick fabric as an inner shell failed, as it sagged too much, making it impossible to connect the clay plaster and the straw bales.
U-Value (Wall):0,14W/m2KU-Value (Roof):0,14W/m2KHeating/Ventilation System:Integration of lighting and electrics in the floor (false ceiling). Categories:CUT construction, Projects Austria, Renovation Refurbishment,
More about this Straw Bale House

Straw construction can be so beautiful: Revitalisation of the attic of a barn to create living space in the form of a barrel vault. Thermal renovation at the same time. The material costs for sub-roof panels, vault struts (made of three-layer panels), straw bales and clay plaster amounted to approx. EUR 3,200, and a further EUR 2,100 has been spent so far on craftsmen (clay plasterers, carpenters). The infill with the straw bales was done as part of an asbn workshop and took three days. The layers of clay plaster with glass fibre fabric were applied step by step in several workshops. The east wall was lit with a bottle wall with straw bale insulation.

So schön kann Strohbau sein: Revitalisierung des Dachbodens einer Scheune zur Schaffung von Wohnraum in Form eines Tonnengewölbes. Zugleich thermische Sanierung. Die Materialkosten für Unterdachplatten, Gewölbe-Streben (aus Dreischichtplatten), Strohballen und Lehmputz betrugen ca. EUR 3.200,–, weitere 2.100,– wurden bisher für Handwerker ausgegeben (Lehmputzer, Zimmerer). Die Ausfachung mit den Strohballen erfolgte im Rahmen eines asbn-Workshops und nahm drei Tage in Anspruch. Die Lehmputzschichten mit Glasfasergewebe wurden in mehreren Workshops Schritt für Schritt aufgebracht. Die Ostwand wurde mit einer Flaschenwand mit Strohballendämmung belichtet.

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About the author

Herbert Gruber

Herbert Gruber

Herbert is author of the book "Neues Bauen mit Stroh in Europa" (New Building with Straw in Europe), head of the austrian strawbale network ASBN and partner in the Leonardo-project "STEP" (Strawbale Training for European Professionals) and the Erasmus project "BuildStraw Pro" (a project to get formal national recognition of the training) and "Make your City Smart". As a collector he documents European straw bale buildings since 1999 on his website (database, german), in lectures, workshops and books.