Straw bale construction in northern China: Analysis of existing practices and recommendations for future development

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Straw bale buildings in China have been mainly limited to rural farm houses and self-builders. An expansion of strawbale construction into main-stream medium-rise buildings has the potential to make a significant contribution to the reduction of both embodied and operational carbon in China as well as removing a major source of pollution. As a response, there has been the construction of straw bale buildings, however these buildings have several issues, resulting in the limited adoption of the technology. This paper makes recommendations for future straw bale design in northern China based on an inspection of existing buildings. The issues identified with existing construction details were subjected to computational simulation analysis which identified shortcomings in existing practice and proposes revisions to design detail in order to accommodate the environmental conditions in northern China. The paper provides a unique insight into current straw bale practice in northern China and proposes a practical and environmentally sound solution to the pollution crisis in this region.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)408-417
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Building Engineering
Early online date21 Apr 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018



  • Wheat straw
  • Rice straw
  • Straw bale building
  • Construction quality
  • Thermal bridging
  • Northern China

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