ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Straw Bale Homes - Sustainable living

Updated on September 24, 2012
Straw Baling
Straw Baling | Source
Staw Bales - taking the harvest home
Staw Bales - taking the harvest home | Source

Once upon a time there were three pigs who grew too big for their mum’s pen so they had to leave home. The first pig walked up to a man who was carrying some straw. “Please can I have some straw to build a house?” asked the first little pig.


“Certainly,” said the man. “Did you know that you are taking massive strides towards being eco-friendly as well as providing natural biodegradable solutions for your home?”


“No,” said the first little pig. The second and third little pigs were so surprised by this news that they decided to build their houses of straw too and they were so securely put together that they enjoyed all mod cons and central heating too!

It sounds like a fairy tale, but straw bale houses were very much the norm in Nebraska in the early 19th century. Settlers in the area were thrilled with the open space and lush farmland, but the lack of trees in the area did cause problems. Log cabins were few and far between, so landowners turned to the plentiful supply of straw in order to meet their needs for accommodation.


Bales would be piled high on each other for storage and farmers realised that they kept their shape well. The best feature being that they were almost completely fire resistant and provided resistance from the worst of the weather; even hurricanes were unable to permeate the tightly packed straw bales. The solution to the accommodation issues was finally solved!


As more construction techniques were developed, such buildings fell out of fashion, however rising building costs and high energy bills have forced consumers to revisit older building styles. Some consumers have reconsidered their housing requirements due to the expanding sustainable building movement in the United Kingdom (UK). There are those who are genuinely concerned about their carbon footprint and wish to offset carbon emissions.


Straw Bale House - It's started!
Straw Bale House - It's started! | Source
The walls
The walls | Source
Looking good.
Looking good. | Source

Why would anyone want to build a house of straw?

1) There is a glut of straw in the UK. Nationally we create 4 million tons of surplus straw every year: enough for 25 million homes!

2) Straw bale houses provide a high standard of thermal performance due to the bales’ insulation value (U-rated).

3) Of all construction products, straw bales are the most sustainable.

4) Straw bales building do not pose a fire risk, in fact the straw is so tightly compacted that there is insufficient oxygen to create the conditions for combustion. A lime render or plaster coating is usually sufficient to adhere to fire regulations. Straw bales breathe so fluctuations in humidity are dealt with quickly and efficiently with little or no condensation.

5) Straw has no nutritional value so building your home from this material does not pose a vermin risk.

6) Some of the designs available for straw bale houses are truly amazing, with architects creating homes ranging from modest to truly spectacular.

They do say that home is where the heart is and it is important to have somewhere to lay your head, but perhaps for the sake of the futures of our children and grandchildren, we need to revisit those techniques used by our forefathers.


Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • samnashy profile imageAUTHOR

      Sam Graham 

      5 years ago from Australia

      Thanks Peter. Back to our 'roots'.

    • Peter Geekie profile image

      Peter Geekie 

      5 years ago from Sittingbourne

      Dear samashy

      Thank you for an interesting concept of both using waste material and building in an Eco-friendly manner.

      Voted up, useful and interesting.

      Kind regards Peter

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)