UP STRAW: Urban and Public Buildings in Straw

Project Summary

STRAW: premium biobased building material

Creating a healthy and comfortable inner climate in buildings and reducing CO2 can go hand-in-hand! Building with straw, in combination with clay, has this effect.

CO2 reduction takes place by optimal insulation and by the CO2 contained in the natural material straw itself. The use of straw and clay creates a healhy, dampopen inner climate.

Straw is widely available and can be applied in new constructions (houses, offices, schools, public buildings). Straw is also applicable for the insulation of existing buildings. Straw can be used immediately from the production location (farmland), without a further processing.

This makes straw the premium biobased building material.


UP STRAW: a collaborative approach to creating straw awareness and use

Heating all of the buildings in NWE accounts for about 15% of the GHG emissions. The implementatie/application of straw as building insulation helps to reduce that in a natural way.

We will demonstratie that in five projects: buildings made of bales, wrapped in straw and created with prefab straw panels. Ready for implementation in the building industry.

Educational programs for architects, constructors and straw craftsman will facilitate knowledge development. University modulair program elements make students aware of the possibilities and application conditions.

Implementation of straw elements in building methodology and Building Information Modelling software will facilitate the use of straw elements in the building industry.

Communicating the advantages, application and the effects of building with straw will create interest in the possibilities and application.


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Project Partners

Lead partner

Organisation Address Email Website
Centre National de la Construction en Paille 69 bis rue des Déportés et des Internés
stephanie.ventre@cncp-feuillette.fr www.cncp-feuillette.fr
Name Contact Name Email Country
Strobouw Nederland Wouter Klijn wouter@strobouw.nl Netherlands
Plankstetten Benedictine Abbey Benedikt Kaesberg Benedikt.Kaesberg@kloster-plankstetten.de Germany
Hastings Borough Council Rachel Ellis Rachel.Ellis@groundwork.org.uk United Kingdom
The School of Natural Building Eileen Sutherland eileen@schoolofnaturalbuilding.co.uk United Kingdom
Gemeente Tilburg Ruud Oerlemans ruud.oerlemans@tilburg.nl Netherlands
Cluster Eco-construction Hervé-Jacques Poskin hj@ecoconstruction.be Belgium

Action & Activity

CNCP - The building site starts (FR)

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The construction of the future CNCP training centre is started! With the first batch of asbestos removal/demolition carried out by the company Eccodec during a week and a half of work. This future building will house the CNCP training centre with a theoretical training room and a practical training area, as well as reception areas for trainees. The project involves both rehabilitation and construction on a site that includes two buildings listed as historical monuments: the Feuillette house built in timber frame and straw insulation (1920) and its shed. After 4 versions of sketches, the project was validated and the building permit was submitted in June 2021. The rehabilitation part will be carried out with an ITE with wood wool. The new building will be built in wood with local essences, prefabricated walls and straw insulation. Read More

News from The Bale House at Hastings Country Park (UK)

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Since its official opening on 4 June, The Bale House Visitor Centre at Hastings Country Park has received many visitors. The Bale House organises community, family and heritage activities in the park and at the Bale House Visitor Centre in Firehills, and offers a wide range of volunteering experiences to local people. The building serves its purpose perfectly for volunteers and visitors alike! See the dedicated FB page : https://www.facebook.com/thebalehousenr/ Read More

EPD – Environmental product declaration for Straw as insulation material (UK)

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The purpose of this EPD is to compile environmental data of materials and products used in the built environment. So that the environmental data can be used in calculations of buildings and / or civil works or an LCA of the final product. Find all the details of the report on the ESBA website: https://strawbuilding.eu/epd-environmental-product-declaration-for-straw-as-insulation-material-in-uk/ Read More

Straw building official context and Policy report (UK)

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Barbara Jones and Eileen Sutherland from the School of Natural Building, have piloted this report with the participation of John Butler, sustainability consultant and Julia Bennett, architect, both of whom are well known in the UK for their work on green building development. This report presents a survey of public policies and regulations in the five project partner countries over the period 2018-2020. It identifies current barriers and aims to list specific actions to be implemented to foster the development of the straw building market, particularly for public buildings. Read More


Inauguration of the new building of the Eco-construction Cluster (BE)

, Namur - BE

The CEC has inaugurated its new exemplary building realised in the project UP STRAW. This new building of 400 m2 is the demonstrator of innovative techniques: half logs and straw, 3D prefabrication and without foundations. The architectural firm Hélium 3 and the contractor Mobic offered us a guided tour of the site. The walls of the building are made of raw wood for its internal and external faces with the use of machined spruce half-logs, and compressed straw for the insulation (121 m3). This building is the first tertiary building of this size in Belgium to benefit from 3D prefabrication. Finally, the installation of the building on screwed steel piles allowed a construction without concrete, preserving the ground and its permeability, and the possibility of a deconstruction without impact on the grounds. An audience of around 200 professional and institutional guests attended the opening ceremony.
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High political attention on topping-out ceremony of straw-insulated House St. Wunibald

, Benedictine Abbey in Plankstetten, Germany

Authorities from the church, the government and state administration were among the 40 guests who attended the topping-out ceremony of House St. Wunibald in Plankstetten. The Bavarian Minister of State for Finance and Home Affairs, Albert Füracker as well as all other speakers praised the wood-straw-building, its construction method and its sustainablity.
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2000 straw bales pressed for monastery building / Germany

, Benedictine Abbey in Plankstetten, Germany

The info day "Experience straw bale building" including a live bale pressing action planned for Saturday, March 21st had to be canceled due to Corona. Nevertheless the pressing of more than 2000 straw bales took place successfully. With the bales South Germany’s biggest straw insulated house will be built this summer in the Benedictine Abbey of Plankstetten (Bavaria). The monks are constructing a general purpose building with 30 guest rooms, a kinder garden and parish offices. It took several days to transform about 400 m3 of ecological straw from the monastery fields from big bales into bales right sized for building. For this purpose the prototype of a mobile press machine was brought from Austria to the Abbey. The company Sonnenklee had developed it over three years. The machine produces between 1,5 and three tons of straw bales per hour (10-25 m3 per hour depending on the bale size). With this press house builders can get straw bales from their regional farms and produce them at any time in the year customized to the format needs of the carpentry in charge. The planned public event "Experience straw bale building" was of high interest for journalists, building professionals and lay builders who already had announced to come. Therefore the pressing action was filmed and a video podcast will be published shortly on the building project and the straw bale production.
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Visit of cellar in loadbearing straw with Odéys / FR

, Arsac

The Clos Perrain, 1st chai in Gironde, in loadbearing straw, to use this technique. This is to meet the requirements of biodynamics: no emission of volatile substances likely to pollute wines, thanks to an optimum level of insulation. > 172m² straw walls, 570 straw bales Among the guests there were professionals in the wine sector but also contractors in the construction sector. Beautiful visit that ended with a wine tasting offered by the winemaker!
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Zero Carbon Building Techniques

, Glasgow, Scotland

This event was in collaboration with the world famous Glasgow School of Art. Barbara Jones talked about UP Straw, differing straw bale building techniques, using straw bales in load-bearing walls, and cement-free foundations. Q&A followed. Free, but ticketed. Held in the Reid building lecture theatre. Barbara Jones, FRSA, is well known internationally as a pioneer of straw bale building and designer of innovative foundations (including using car tyres). She has been designing and building with natural materials for 20 years; including forming part of the Straw bale tour of the USA in 1999, organised by Judy Knox and Matts Myrhman, that brought European straw bale pioneers to the US. Barbara has also developed a uniquely empowering method of practical training on building sites. She was given a Lifetime Achievement Award by Women in Construction in 2011, and a Woman of Outstanding Achievement Award in 2009. Her practical skills include strawbale building, clay and lime plastering, carpentry and roofing.
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