Why Build With Straw Bales

 

There are many different reasons people choose to build with bales. hay bales for sale near me  From an environmental perspective, bales are an annually renewable waste resource. Every year, there are thousands of tons of straw left in the fields and often just burned. Some is used for bedding for animals. What better use for this waste resource than to use it as building material, which happens to be essentially a waste product in Canada. Building with bales results in voluntary carbon sequestering; several tonne worth.

Bale homes are the likely choice for those who understand and care about embodied energy of materials. There are huge energy savings in bale buildings, given that the R-value of the walls is rated at R40-50; this allows for great savings in heating and cooling of buildings. Some people choose to build with bales due to the ease with which this technology can be learned. It is an extremely accessible form of building, for men, women, children, and people of all abilities. A common reason for building with bales is the aesthetic value. If you have not seen a bale building, I encourage you to look for Open Houses and house tours. The warmth and depth of a bale wall is inviting, and inspiring. The rounded windows, built in benches, niches, the thick walls that serve to create warmth and quiet, the fact that no two bale houses will ever be the same… all of these are reasons enough (in my opinion) to build with bales.

I am attempting, in my own little way, to reduce my footprint on the earth. In an era where we have blatantly over populated and over polluted our planet, without concern for future generations or the consequences of these actions. I feel we each have a part to play and an obligation to make a difference.

Straw bale construction uses less wood than conventional construction. There are less VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds) in Eco Building than conventional building i. e. less/no formaldyhide, arsenics, pesticides, glues, resins, herbicides, etc.

The average conventional new home takes 25-30 years to ‘off gas’ which means we live in a chemical filled environment for this time. Don’t forget, many people sell and move, often to newer homes every 5 to 10 years; very few ever open their windows (we seem to go from heating season to cooling season) so the house takes a very long time to dissipates these fumes.

Virtually no cooling is required in my straw bale house in summer. I do run a small dehumidifier on the days when we have humidity alerts, but that is only a handful of days, as a rule. I also have a small floor fan which is barely used, and the spare bedroom has a ceiling fan too.

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