Structural development and testing of a prototype house using timber and straw bales

D Maskell, C D Gross, A Thomson, K Beadle (Wall), P J Walker, Tim Mander

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One approach to reducing embodied carbon dioxide of buildings is the increased use of plant-based construction materials such as prefabricated straw bale panels. This paper presents findings from the development and structural testing of an innovative load-bearing prefabricated straw bale building. Work on panel development is summarised ahead of presenting two numerical computer-based models that support the building design. The computer models are validated using data from a full-scale simulated static wind load test on a two-storey building. The prefabricated straw bale structural system is shown to be suitable for two- and three-storey domestic structures in a range of locations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-75
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Structures and Buildings
Issue numberSB1
Early online date29 Jul 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • field testing
  • monitoring
  • timber structures


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