After the welcoming address by Freiburg's building mayor, Prof. Dr. Martin Haag, architects and master carpenters reported on their experiences with the traditional and at the same time innovative construction method in specialist lectures and presented current construction techniques as well as large building projects of the building categories 3, 4 and 5 in Germany and Europe.
At the evening panel discussion, straw construction experts discussed which steps are necessary to bring straw bale construction out of its niche and into the German construction market. On the virtual podium sat the wellknown straw construction architect Dirk Scharmer, the master carpenter and board member of the carpentry „Grünspecht“ in Freiburg, Markus Wolf and Prof. Dr. Benjamin Krick, managing director of the Passive House Institute in Darmstadt (see foto above).
During the discussion, Scharmer emphasised the importance of increasing the awareness of construction method in the market, qualifying skilled workers and breaking the habits of the construction industry.
Prof. Dr. Krick emphasised the importance of the political framework conditions which should favour the use of renewable building materials by including "grey energy" in the life cycle assessment of building materials.
Master carpenter Markus Wolf added that it was essential for the spread of straw construction to take into account the architectural tastes of builders who did not want "a house with round corners". Many people did not know that straw construction could be realised in very diverse architectural variations.
The experts agreed that for multi-storey buildings in building categories four and five, one could not avoid making constructional compromises with regard to ecological sustainability. Only in this way was it possible to realise not only single-family houses - as has been the case to date mainly - with straw insulation, but also multi-family houses and public buildings with their very high building law requirements, e.g. for fire protection.
On November 28th participants could also join the online presentations at the annual meeting of the German Straw Bale Building Association for free.