Straw-bale use in buildings may be an interesting way to decrease our energy needs and our impact on the environment. Moreover, it fosters a local economy and the creation of new jobs in the building industry. Combined with earth materials and other well-selected materials and systems, it allows creative designers to integrate highly efficient, low-tech and reusable envelopes in comfortable and healthy places.
The present paper summarizes the results of a four-year R&D program aiming to improve and promote the use of straw bale in buildings and also to remove uncertainties concerning this use. Three main aspects are pinpointed and discussed: hygrothermal transfer and storage in straw-bale walls, regulation of indoor conditions and environmental impact in the long term. These three topics were submitted to European experts (France, England and Germany) in order to discuss a cross-comparison of results obtained on a larger scale.
The paper shows that straw-bale use in buildings is a relevant and innovative solution in facing one of the major challenges of today and tomorrow: “How to build/transform comfortable and affordable buildings with local resources and with a positive impact on the environment?”.
Authors: Evrard, Arnaud; Biot, Benjamin; Keutgen, Gauthier; Lebeau, Frédéric; Courard, Luc; De Herde, André; 2015