During the past decades, the building sector has been growing again 1 pushing the rise of the conventional and unconventional building materials markets. The unconventional but also bio-sourced building materials like wood or straw have though known a slower rise than the conventional ones. Yet, building with straw is, in combination with and among other bio-sourced materials, a great support in realising sustainable building and therefore reducing the GHG
emissions of the construction sector. However the environmental, economic, housing and climate change issues are changing the trend.
As part of the EU project UP STRAW, this report focuses on the Work Package (WP) 2 – market development for new buildings in straw in NWE. The main objective is to extend the use of straw in new public buildings and urban environments.
Using straw will also help to reduce the GHG emissions of the construction sector and take part in the sustainable development of the EU.
With the exception of France, straw construction is an emerging sector that needs more visibility. It seems appropriate to develop demand as a matter of priority to encourage companies to develop their straw construction skills.
On the demand side, it is important to explain the characteristics of straw construction which still suffer from preconceived ideas. It will then be necessary to encourage public contracting authorities to prescribe this type of building by offering them training, assistance and prescription tools.
As far as companies are concerned, wood construction professionals seem to be the most capable of responding to this type of construction. Technical training will be provided, possibly with expert support and advice. The development of networks of straw construction experts also seems important in order to offer visibility and easy access to information and professionals in the sector. Many of these actions have been developed during the UP STRAW project.