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European Green Capital now building in straw!

Bristol, as well as boasting the title European Green Capital in 2015, has gone another step and is one of the first UK cities to have straw bale affordable homes.

The seven townhouses which go on sale this week, have been developed and built by Connolly and Callaghan and were designed by Bath University engineers in conjunction with manufactuers, Modcell.

Prof Pete Walker from the University of Bath, who led the project to develop and test this construction method,stated: “I think there’s a lot of misconception about using straw – stories about the three little pigs and the big bad wolf, concerns about fire resistance.”

As part of this EU-funded project, Prof Walker and his colleagues have systematically tested and refined the technology – including testing its structural and weight-bearing properties, and its thermal insulation.

“Our testing over a number of years, and our research has demonstrated that it is a robust and safe form of construction.”

He added that, since straw absorbs carbon dioxide as is grows, using it as a building material actually “locks carbon into the walls” of a building.

The designs have been recently given a vital quality stardard certification. under Q Mark which is recognised by Industry and critically home insurers and warranty providers , 

Developed using a traditional  timber frame structure, the compressed straw bales are inserted between the studwork to offer high levels of durability and weather resilience. “They’re also a very efficient insulator, so they should reduce energy bills by as much as 90% compared to other houses around this site,” Prof Walker added.

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