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

Yearbook French version

Posted on

The Belgian and French partners have produced an enriched edition of the 2021 directory in French with specificities linked to these two countries. Called "Guide construction paille" it is intended for public investment. It was distributed at the closing event of the UP STRAW project, on 7 December 2021 in Orléans. Read More

Groundwork Report: Bale House Visitor Centre

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Groundwork South (GS) supported the development of a new, sustainably built (straw bale) Visitor Centre in the HCPLNR. At the very outset GS helped to secure significant EU Interreg monies to support construction costs, and throughout the build process we have been playing a key role to help ensure a world class sustainable visitor centre is provided for the benefit of the local community and visitors to the park from further afield. Read More


Norman Assizes of the Circular Economy / France

, Colombelles

The UP STRAW project was present on December 3, 2019 at the 2nd Norman Conference of the Circular Economy, alongside other Norman players in green building. This presence was an opportunity to present the market development tools implemented in Normandy through ACCORT-Paille Normandie and to make new contacts with regional players, in particular the Rancoper network (Network of Norman Buyers for Orders Public Eco-Responsible).
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Wood and straw construction days / France

, Limoges

The ODEYS Cluster, Résonance Paille and Alter Amazones joined forces with the Interprofessions of the Forêt-Bois-Papier sector of Nouvelle-Aquitaine to organize the Regional Wood Construction Days on November 28, 29 and 30, which will therefore have a coloring “ Straw ”this year. Wood and straw are strongly linked and this link will therefore be illustrated throughout these meetings. At the Zénith de Limoges: conferences, trade fair, exhibitions, visits, gala evening and above all a lot of exchanges!
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Presentation of straw wall model / Germany

, Benedictine Abbey in Plankstetten

On November 27th a straw insulated wall-mounted model was installed infront of the Benedictine Abbey in Plankstetten, Germany and presented to local authorities and press representatives. Straw bale building expert Benedikt Kaesberg explained the advantages of this building method to the mayor of Berching and the city manager as well as to the funding partners of the Abbey Plankstetten. The Monastery is building the largest straw insulated public building in Southern Germany. For the next year the wall modell with information panel will be displayed at the entrance of the monastery for public information. During the two Christmas markets in December it was very popular with visitors.
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The German partners of Plankstetten Abbey in St Dié des Vosges (FR)

, St Dié des Vosges

Our German partner, Benedikt Kaesberg organized a study and awareness-raising trip to straw construction at the end of November. Professionals, institutions and a group carrying out a participative housing project in the Freiburg region visited two sites: the St Dié des Vosges residence, exemplary achievement (energy efficiency, bio-based materials, Passivhaus certified) and a visit to the construction site of seven houses in Sexau (Germany). In Saint Dié, the reception was particularly neat because eleven years ago, the Toit Vosgien (the social landlord), had met its German counterparts upstream of the wood / straw project, to benefit from their knowledge in PassivHaus certification ... Since its completion in 2014, the Jules Ferry Residence has demonstrated to a wide audience the daily interest, especially for its users, of such an achievement. As for our group of Germans, he left enthusiastic: discoveries, exchanges, networking and future projects… in straw
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Maker Faire / France

, Paris

From November 22 to 24, APPROCHE-Paille was present at the Maker Faire in Paris. It is an event with a global influence which took place at the City of Sciences and Industry in order to present all the components of "do it yourself": from furniture to clothing through the vegetable patch and therefore the constructions of straw houses. We had a great echo at this event, hundreds and hundreds of people were able to discover what straw construction was and realize that it was possible for almost all types of projects.
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Straw bale building days / Germany

, St Dié des Vosges / France & Freiburg / Germany

Straw bale building days in Breisgau are a little series of events in the very south-west of Germany to demonstrate to the general public, to builders, to politicians, to NGO's and to clients the performance achieved with building with straw. There will be two site visits, one of them accross the German border in St. Dié (F), another one close to Freiburg, a lecture evening open to the public and a meeting of professionals.
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Visit of 3 buildings Almere / Netherlands

, Almere / Netherlands

At September 28th there was again a fully booked excursion (45 visitors) to 3 straw buildings at Almere Oosterwold. This is an area where they have chosen for an experiment with a high level of sustainability and a combination of self-support in living and small-scale agriculture. The 3 buildings that could be visited are build in different way’s with different techniques and could be seen in different stage of completion. In advance there was a presentation about SBN and about the visit of this afternoon and a more detailed presentation about the construction of the first home that we could visit. At the first building the prefabricated panels of straw for the floor wall and roof were just installed. Most of straw surface will be plastered with a layer of earthplaster before they are covered with a roof or cladding or a floor. The second building that could be visited was at the beginning of the completion phase. Foundation was done by a contractor but most of the other jobs have been executed by the owner and his friends. The main structure of this building is a wooden-construction with post and beams with a strawbale infill. The roof was insulated with loose straw. The outside will be partly covered with wooden cladding and partly with lime plaster. At walking distance, we could visit the 3rd building. Here are several buildings designed around a small open area. The first building that has been completed is a bakery. But also, the foundation and some wood construction of the next buildings (dwelling) has been started. At the bakery, the main structure is made of laminated wood and the secondary construction is made of I-beams with straw-bale infill. The straw has an earth plaster on both sides and is covered at the inner side with Fermacel and at the outside there will be a inlands wooden cladding. The roof is covered with profiled steel.
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Groundbreaking ceremony for largest straw-insulated building in southern / Germany

, Plankstetten Monastery

Numerous representatives from politics, church, public authorities, architects, planners and construction companies came on Sept 28th 2019 for the groundbreaking ceremony for the future house St. Wunibald in the Plankstetten Monastery. At the same time, the 25th anniversary of the Abbey’s Thanksgiving Market was celebrated with 15.000 visitors. House St. Wunibald is currently the largest straw-insulated building in southern Germany that is being built. From 2021 on it will offer space for a kindergarten, the parish administration and 30 new guest rooms. The new building corresponds to the focus of the monastery on sustainability and will be a European-wide example of climate-friendly construction, explained Abbot Beda. After years of construction planning, the search for financing and last but not least the securing of the western slope in the construction area, the construction of the new building can now finally begin, said Abbot Beda. The Bavarian Minister of Finance and Home Affairs Albert Füracker, Vice-President of the Rhineland Palatinate state parliament Christoph Reichert, Member of the German Parliament Alois Karl, District Administrator Willi Gailler and Mayor Ludwig Eisenreich came to the groundbreaking ceremony with city councilors. The diocese of Eichstätt was present by General Vicar Peter Michael Huber. As in previous sections of the general renovation of the monastery complex, it is important for the monastic community to build this new building in an environmentally sustainable and energy-efficient manner. Therefore, the building is built with timber from the monastery forests and the walls are insulated with straw bales from the ecologically managed fields of the monastery property. Energetically, the building reaches the passive house standard. Long history of construction project The first city council resolution for the new construction of the kindergarten Plankstetten goes back to the 24th of February 2015. On November 22nd 2017 the construction site was blessed. Since then, there have been many challenges, including a landslide and rising construction costs. The Minister of Finance and Home Affairs Füracker confirmed, however, that the support from the federal government and the Free State of Bavaria were justified. Today is a big holiday for the abbey Plankstetten, for the young families with small children in the region and a holiday for the city Berching said Mayor Ludwig Eisenreich. Like Rome, Plankstetten Monastery was not built in one day, said Member of German Parliament Alois Karl. He also supported the necessary refinancing, because "a piece of jewelery for the whole region should not be neglected", so the deputy. With the Interreg project UP STRAW the EU also contributes a part to the construction costs that in total amount to several million Euros. After the groundbreaking ceremony, the 25th Thanksgiving Market of the Abbey was opened by the mayor of the city of Berching. Around 80 exhibitors presented their products. On the UP STRAW fair stand the 15.000 visitors could get information about straw bale building and the EU project.
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