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As we have seen, it is natural, breathable, ﬂexible, non-toxic, low in embodied energy, safe and fun to work with. Once it has ﬁnished its usable life as a building material it will go back to the Earth as part of the natural cycle of nature without creating any waste, damage or pollution. So in designing with straw it is sensible to use other natural materials as well, as like goes with like. Therefore you will ﬁnd roofs and ﬂoors insulated with sheepswool, hemp or recycled paper, solid ﬂoors made of limecrete and insulated with recycled glass or blown clay, and roofs covered with cedar shingles or planted with sedum.
Does any of it fall away? What’s it made of – is it gravelly soil, stony or clayey? An average two-storey strawbale house has a bearing weight of about 60kN/m2. e. you’re not sure what it’s made of because it isn’t undisturbed subsoil) • wet soils • moving sand soils. All other types of subsoil should be good bearing soil. For ﬂexibility, use appropriate materials There was a major change in foundation design that occurred around the 1920s and 1930s when cement started being used in mainstream construction, and this was a shift from ﬂexible foundations to rigid ones.
The roof weight must be placed on the centre of the walls, not on one edge or another. • The key to durability with a strawbale house, as with any other, lies in good design and detailing, quality work, and maintenance when necessary throughout the building’s life. • Avoid using metal in the walls if at all possible – and if it’s not possible to avoid using it, wrap it in hessian or something similar, since it is a cold material and may encourage warm, moisture-laden air from the inside of the house to condense on it.