Determining moisture levels in straw bale construction

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Abstract

The use of straw bales for the construction of buildings in the UK has to date generally been limited to the self-build fringe sector. In order to bring this form of construction into the mainstream sector, to benefit from its inherent low carbon and high insulation characteristics, it is necessary to guarantee the long-term durability of the straw. Maintaining low moisture levels is critical to the long-term resistance of straw to biological decomposition. This paper presents results from a study on moisture monitoring in straw bale construction, and includes the development of an empirical equation which relates straw moisture content to surrounding microclimate relative humidity and temperature. This knowledge allows continuous non-invasive condition monitoring of the straw in on-going research work and potentially as part of future managed maintenance of straw bale buildings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2763-2768
Number of pages6
JournalConstruction and Building Materials
Volume23
Issue number8
Early online date24 Apr 2009
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2009

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