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Straw Bale construction
Transcript of Straw Bale construction
The most common places for straw bale construction to be used are areas where there is the ability to grow the many different straws used for this construction method. People living in areas where useable farmland is limited wouldn't be likely to use straw bale construction because of their limited access to materials.
Special Skills and Permits
In October of this year an appendix on straw bale construction was approved to be added to the International Residential Code (IRC). The IRC is the basic foundation for building codes across the U.S. Special skills aren't needed for straw bale construction, making it relatively easy for people to use.
There are some disadvantages to straw bale construction. One of those is that to begin building, the state where the structure is being built must have approved the straw bale building codes. Also the bales have to kept dry so areas with extreme humidity or rain would not be appropriate for this method of construction. Another disadvantage is that materials are expensive to ship if the construction site is far from the supplier. One final disadvantage is that the thickness of the walls causes more of the overall square footage to be unusable.
There are many advantages to straw bale construction. Some of these are energy efficiency, visual aesthetics, noise suppression, fire rating, environmental considerations,and ease of building. Straw bale buildings are easy to build and do not require special skills in order to construct them. Also, well built straw structures can lower heating and cooling costs by 75%. Straw bale buildings are also more resistant to fire than wood frame buildings because the area inside the walls is more air tight and fire need oxygen to spread.
Wheat, oats, barley, rice, rye, and flax are desirable straws for straw bale construction. Hay is not recommended because it is not as strong and can be easily eaten by wildlife. Straw is tough, fibrous and lasts much longer.
Steps for Construction
Straw Bale construction
Step 1:Draw up a floor plan
Step 2:Decide what kind of base you'll use for the first floor
Step 3:Prepare the foundation footings -below the frost line in cold climates -make sure the floor is level
Step 4:Build frame of wood or metal
Step 5:Put roof on to keep bales dry during construction
Step 6:Make straw bale walls
Step 7:Plaster the walls
Step 8:Put in windows and doors
Step 9:Apply paint
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