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Hey, Fancy Buying A Straw House?

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http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-31156579

"... The first straw houses in the UK to be offered on the open market are on sale.

Though straw walls might be most readily linked to a story of pigs making questionable construction choices, the team behind these homes says the material could help to sustainably meet housing demand. The homes are the result of an engineering research project led by the University of Bath"

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http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-31156579

"... The first straw houses in the UK to be offered on the open market are on sale.

Though straw walls might be most readily linked to a story of pigs making questionable construction choices, the team behind these homes says the material could help to sustainably meet housing demand. The homes are the result of an engineering research project led by the University of Bath"

April 2014 was the time to bail.

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Straw Bale houses are excellent but I have looked into these Modcell houses quite carefully and they are overengineered. By that I mean that they will be no cheaper than normal houses and probably considerably more expensive. One benefit is that the panels can be made near site but I imagine that alone would need a massive planning application to take place.

The best way to build with straw is to use the bales as load bearing elements themselves. See http://www.strawworks.co.uk/

With the load bearing method you can actually build a house quite cheaply and it will be very energy efficient. Of course planning is still the nub and in addition to that there are other problems. Straw bale walls are not very good at insulating low frequency sound so most designs require detached houses to pass OR the use of conventional methods to create party walls. I'm not sure if Modcell have got around this yet. As they are associated, I believe, in some ways, with BRE they might have got around this by calculation rather than in-situ testing which would probably fail the building regulations.

A good compromise would be to build load bearing straw bale walls with conventional drywall lining and partitions inside.

If the govvernment were clever enough to actually take straw bale building on board as a housing solution they could easily teach hundreds of thousands of unemployed or young people, or indeed people who didnt own a house, to build themselves energy saving houses at an affordable price. This of course won't happen due to the stranglehold of the likes of the banks and Bovis/Wimpey etc on politics in the UK and ridiculously restrictive planning laws. These can be composted for pete's sake!

Final thought, if this took off expect the price of older conventional sized baling machines and indeed the price of straw bales to skyrocket.

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Straw Bale houses are excellent but I have looked into these Modcell houses quite carefully and they are overengineered. By that I mean that they will be no cheaper than normal houses and probably considerably more expensive. One benefit is that the panels can be made near site but I imagine that alone would need a massive planning application to take place.

The best way to build with straw is to use the bales as load bearing elements themselves. See http://www.strawworks.co.uk/

With the load bearing method you can actually build a house quite cheaply and it will be very energy efficient. Of course planning is still the nub and in addition to that there are other problems. Straw bale walls are not very good at insulating low frequency sound so most designs require detached houses to pass OR the use of conventional methods to create party walls. I'm not sure if Modcell have got around this yet. As they are associated, I believe, in some ways, with BRE they might have got around this by calculation rather than in-situ testing which would probably fail the building regulations.

A good compromise would be to build load bearing straw bale walls with conventional drywall lining and partitions inside.

If the govvernment were clever enough to actually take straw bale building on board as a housing solution they could easily teach hundreds of thousands of unemployed or young people, or indeed people who didnt own a house, to build themselves energy saving houses at an affordable price. This of course won't happen due to the stranglehold of the likes of the banks and Bovis/Wimpey etc on politics in the UK and ridiculously restrictive planning laws. These can be composted for pete's sake!

Final thought, if this took off expect the price of older conventional sized baling machines and indeed the price of straw bales to skyrocket.

I too looked into Modcell. they wanted £400 to £700 per sq ft for the wood framed straw bale panels

wtf !

They said they spent £4.5 million getting the wood framed straw bales through regs, despite it having been around for 100's of yrs .

If you look at their completed projects, most are schools & public funded buildings, who else would pay these extortionate prices

http://www.modcell.com/completed-projects/

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Nothing wrong with the idea, if people and mortgage companies weren't so obsessed with bricks and mortar houses could be far cheaper to build (mind you the land would still be too f-ing expensive).

As a Greek friend of mine said (half jokingly) many years ago if there was an earthquake in the UK anywhere near the sort they get all the nice conventional build houses would probably fall down and only the non standard construction council houses would be left standing.

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