UP Straw: Interreg Project

Written by esba

Interreg-Project UP Straw

Creating a healthy and comfortable inner climate in buildings and reducing CO2 can go hand-in-hand! Building with straw, in combination with clay, has this effect. CO2 reduction takes place by optimal insulation and by the CO2 contained in the natural material straw itself. The use of straw and clay create a healthy inner climate.

Straw is widely available and can be applied in new constructions (houses, offices, schools, public buildings). Straw is also applicable for the insulation of existing buildings. Straw can be used immediately from the production location (farmland), without a further processing.

This makes straw the premium biobased building material.

UP STRAW: a collaborative approach to creating straw awareness and use

Heating all of the buildings in North West Europe accounts for about 15% of the GHG emissions. The use of straw as building insulation helps to reduce that in a natural way. We will demonstrate that in five public building projects: buildings made of bales, wrapped in straw and created with prefab straw panels, ready for implementation in the building industry.

Educational programmes for architects, constructors and straw craftsman will facilitate knowledge development. University modular programme elements make students aware of the possibilities and application conditions.

Implementation of straw elements in building methodology and Building Information Modelling software will facilitate the use of straw elements in the building industry.

Communicating the advantages, application and the effects of building with straw will create interest in the possibilities and application.

Duration: 42 months, Start date: March 2017, End date: September 2020

The total budget is 6.3 million. The European Union finances the project to 60%, other partners must be found to finance the remaining 40%.

Lead partner:

Organisation Address Email Website
Centre National de la Construction en Paille 69 bis rue des Déportés et des Internés
stephanie.ventre@cncp-feuillette.fr www.cncp-feuillette.fr


Name Contact Name Email Country
Cluster Eco-construction Hervé-Jacques Poskin hj@ecoconstruction.be Belgium
Strobouw Nederland Wouter Klijn wouter@strobouw.nl Netherlands
Gemeente Tilburg Ruud Oerlemans ruud.oerlemans@tilburg.nl Netherlands
The School of Natural Building Eileen Sutherland eileen@schoolofnaturalbuilding.co.uk United Kingdom
Hastings Borough Council Rachel Ellis Rachel.Ellis@groundwork.org.uk United Kingdom
Plankstetten Benedictine Abbey Benedikt Kaesberg Benedikt.Kaesberg@kloster-plankstetten.de Germany

Project Summary:
Heating all of the buildings in NWE accounts for about 15% of the GHG emissions. New passive buildings and large scale renovation are needed to reduce these emissions, and construction emissions themselves account for about 12% of GHG(cement, bricks, glass and petrochemicals – source EEA).
The aim is to reach 5% of the construction market in 2030 and to save 2 MTCO2 (incl. fixed CO2).

The challenge is to improve the insulation of buildings with natural materials which have fixed carbon during their life cycle. Wood is now well known. Straw has impressive insulation characteristics too, but is still to be better known and promoted in order to be used on a large scale.
Straw bales are available all over the territory (millions of tonnes in every country). It is typically the widespread cheap sub-product of the agricultural sector, local and biodegradable: a perfect illustration of circular economy.
1,000 buildings are built in straw every year in Europe. The target for grow this 5,000 per year in 2020, 50,000 per year in 2030.


  • Create technical tools that will help professionals to know how to use straw and to prescribe it (BIM, ETA, carbon balance, straw building device).
  • Ensuring the training of students, architects, engineers, and builders for using straw in their projects.
  • Market development strategy for boosting demand and SMEs’ ability to serve this demand.
  • Validating straw insulation techniques for retrofitting existing buildings.
  • Large communication: information, dissemination, fairs, open conferences and publications will help improving the image and notoriety of straw building.

Around thirty sub-actions are associated with these main actions.

The long term effects will be a major change in the perception of straw as a building material thanks to training programmes and appropriate demonstration and communication. The project will also bring tangible solutions to actual challenges like terms of reference for public procurement, specifications for straw in BIM (Building Information Modelling) or life cycle assessment for straw and guarantee system.
ESBA which will support on the long term results of the actions UP Straw.

Join us!

  • If you would like to participate in this project, please let us know. If you have ideas about co-financing public or private, do not hesitate, contact us! 
  • If you wish to support us and be a partner of the project, contact us!

Manager UP Straw : Stephanie Ventre
CNCP-Feuillette (Lead Partner) stephanie.ventre@cncp-feuillette.fr

ESBA  esba@strawbuilding.eu

More Info: www.nweurope.eu/

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.