Following are some pros and cons of building a straw bale house. Like any building material, it is always best to evaluate your needs and your goals before committing to a particular material. Green building offers a wide range of options in achieving energy efficiency. When appropriate for your project, straw bale construction has many benefits.
Advantages of straw bale construction
1. Straw bales are made from a waste product. Once the edible part of the grain has been harvested (such as wheat or rice), the stalks often become a disposal problem for farmers. By bailing the straw, a new life is given to the material. The farmer makes some money by selling the bales and the homebuilder gains an excellent insulation and building material.
2. Homes insulated with straw bale can have insulation values of R-30 to R-35 or more. The thicker the bale, the better the R-value.
3. Straw bale walls are at least eighteen inches thick. This adds aesthetic value to the home as thick wall are expensive to achieve with conventional construction. The thickness of the wall helps to reflect sunlight throughout the room.
4. Due to the thickness of straw bale walls, every window can have a window seat or shelf. This becomes both an aesthetic and practical design element. (more…)