Development of Straw Bale Building in Northern China

  • Xunzhi Yin

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


This thesis is an investigation of developing suitable types of straw bale building for northern China. Although the technique has been introduced into northern China since 1998, the construction method and potential problems within straw bale walls have not been fully understood and responded.The research conducted has resulted in 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.Following the analysis of existing straw bale construction both in north China and worldwide, this thesis proposes modifications to the straw bale construction details currently used in north China. These modifications were incorporated into an experimental building constructed in north China, and after having been monitored for 11 months, the modified construction details were critically assessed of suitability of climatic conditions in northern China. The data demonstrate that rice straw bale walls are resistant to agents of decay in the climate of northern China.As rice straw is a major raw material for straw bale building in northern China, the water adsorption characteristic of the species of straw is researched in this thesis. Although the surface and cross-sectional structure of the two straw species are different at micro scale, sorption properties of the two straw species are broadly similar. A modified water sorption isothermal model regarding real situations is proposed after understanding of the sorption characteristic of the two straw species. The study on the water sorption property of rice straw and wheat allows for the assessment of durability within a wall construction.
Date of Award3 Oct 2018
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorRobert Lawrence (Supervisor) & Dan Maskell (Supervisor)


  • Straw bale building
  • Northern China

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