Straw Bale Building Details
252 Pages

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252 Pages

You can change the print size of this book


The devil is in the details—the science and art of designing and building durable, efficient, straw bale buildings

  • The must-have book for anyone building with straw bale
  • Documents the wisdom and experience of dozens of architects, engineers, and builders
  • Builds on the straw bale revival of the late 80's and brings the methods and books of the early 90's up-to-date
  • Meets the International Residential Code of 2015, adopted across the US, and which the CASBA team was instrumental in writing.
  • An invaluable guide to aid with design, avoid costly mistakes, increase construction efficiency, and achieve desired energy performance goals.
  • Discusses the building science behind how these wall systems work.
  • Uses accessible illustrations of properly installed architectural and structural elements.
  • Loaded with design and construction tips that facilitate the build
  • Supplies insights about how design impacts cost.
  • Documents effective practices and innovations in site-built straw bale construction that have been developed since the straw bale revival of the 1980s.
  • Explains functions of the straw bale wall assembly components without being prescriptive, inviting further innovation.
  • Describes the overall design and building process while including options and alternative methods, inviting readers to make informed choices.

Architects, engineers, contractors, owner-builders, building code officials, municipalities, designers, and contractors


  • Straw bale building is popular in the UK and Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and elsewhere in Asia.
  • the book will contain the new, revised International residential Code (IRC) for straw bale construction. A number of countries base their domestic codes on the IRC.
  • In the case of straw bale construction, the IRC is the 'go to' world-wide as the main source of regulatory guidance.
  • a list of countries that explicitly use the IRC can be found here:

The devil is in the details-the science and art of designing and building durable, efficient, straw bale buildings

Straw bale buildings promise superior insulation and flexibility across a range of design aesthetics, while using a typically local and abundant low-embodied energy material that sequesters carbon-an important part of mitigating climate change.

However, some early straw bale designs and construction methods resulted in buildings that failed to meet design goals for energy efficiency and durability. This led to improved building practices and a deeper understanding of the building science underlying this building system.

Distilling two decades of site-built straw bale design and construction experience, Straw Bale Building Details is an illustrated guide that covers:

  • Principles and process of straw bale design and building, options, and alternatives
  • Building science of straw bale wall systems
  • How design impacts cost, building efficiency, and durability
  • Avoiding costly mistakes and increasing construction efficiency
  • Dozens of time-tested detailed drawings for straw bale wall assemblies, including foundations, windows and doors, and roofs.

Whether you're an architect, engineer, contractor, or owner-builder interested in making informed choices, Straw Bale Building Details is the indispensable guide to current practice in straw bale design and construction.

Book Contributors
Foreword by David Arkin, AIA–CASBA Director

1. Why Build with Straw Bales?
2. Designing with Straw Bales
3. Structural Design Considerations
4. Electrical, Plumbing, Ducts, and Flues in Straw Bale Walls
5. Stacking Straw Bale Walls
6. Plastering Straw Bale Walls
7. Straw Bale Construction and Building Codes:
      2018 IRC Appendix S — Strawbale Construction

Appendix 1: Fire and Straw Bale Walls
Appendix 2: Managing Successful and Effective Work Parties
Principal Contributor Biographies
About New Society Publishers



Published by
Published 30 April 2019
Reads 0
EAN13 9781771422925
Language English
Document size 8 MB

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