Straw Bale

                              Bale in bath of mud                 bales dipped

                      Straw bale           Straw baleHse Patience                                          HseSalters03 copy 2

Various types of straw may be used for working with straw bale; wheat, rice, rye, barley and oats bales are suitable if they meet the requirements for density, shape and moisture content. They are bound with ties of polypropylene strapping or baling wire. The use of straw bale as a building material is environmentally responsible, since straw is burned by farmers after harvesting, polluting the air.

Bale dipping is a recent technique developed by Tom Rijven in France and with which Eco Design Architects first experimented in 2004 and have been using ever since. It involves the dipping of the bales in a clay slip, which consists of clay and sand and water. It is highly recommended, as it helps to solve some of the challenges traditionally experienced with straw bale construction. The significant advantage is the time saved in the plastering of the walls, which normally takes substantial effort. It is possible to get the base coat to penetrate 70mm into the surface of the bale with less effort. The walls are immediately protected against any risk from fire and moisture during construction.

(See Eco-design – Architects and Consultants)

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Materials & Methodologies