I'm sure many readers are familiar with so-called 'eco-friendly' building methods, using mud brick, straw, and other materials to build simpler, cheaper homes that are said to be more 'in tune' with environmental concerns. I've not been impressed by many of the illustrations I've seen of such homes . . . until now, that is. The Daily Mail reports:
A farmer is about to move his family in to a new dream home - Britain's biggest straw house.
Work is nearing completion on the five-bedroom detached country house in Rushall, between Marlborough and Devizes, Wiltshire.
It has three en-suite bedrooms, a family bathroom, living room, dining room, spacious entrance hall, double garage and a huge kitchen with wood-burning range.
The roof is thatched roof and the building has no foundations - it rests on stones which keep the bales dry and off the ground.
The house was built with 1,200 straw bales around a timber frame, pinned together with hazel stakes and rendered inside and out with lime.
The straw is packed tightly to reduce the risk of fire. It also has the benefit of creating great insulation as does the straw-thatched roof and the bales in the space under the roof.
. . .
Architect Nigel Keen said the home had been a challenge for local carpenter-builders Steve Pullen and Marc Powell.
'Everyone has been fantastically supportive of this project, from the planners and building control officers at the local council to members of the community, who have been fascinated to watch the house develop,' he said.
'Although the house is unorthodox, the owners will not have to slum it. All the mod cons and more, that you would expect in a brand new property have been integrated into the design, including environmentally-friendly air-sourced under floor heating, low energy lighting and water sourced from a borehole.'
There's more at the link.
You know, if a straw home can be built to that level of excellence, it might indeed be a feasible replacement for mainstream construction methods. I wonder what the cost is like, compared to typical frame-and-siding construction? I'd like to find out more.
Have any readers had experience with straw houses, particularly 'higher-end' buildings like this one? If so, would you please tell us more in Comments, and perhaps provide links to other Web sites for more information?