10 Reasons to Consider Building Green With Straw

Building Green with Straw is often talked about when people are looking for ways to make their homes more sustainable. Building green is one way to create a comfortable, energy efficient and very beautiful home. So here are 10 good reasons to consider building green with straw if you are thinking about building or renovating a home.

  1. Building Green With Straw Is Not So Scary: Many people find the idea of building a home quite daunting and feel that they do not possess the skills required. However, if you can lift a bale of straw and stack it on top of another bale of straw then you already have the basic skill you need to build the walls of your new home.
  2. Practice Makes Perfect: The great thing about straw as a building material is that it is perfect for the owner builder. If you think you really would like to use it then you can build yourself a small shed or perhaps a chicken coop to get the feel for this great material. It’s very forgiving and the results are stunning.
  3. Super Energy Efficiency Potential: This is an example of why building green with straw is a super idea. The insulation value of strawbale walls is very high and combined with good ceiling and floor insulation, double or triple glazing and basic passive solar design principles you can create a very energy efficient home.
  4. Building Green with Straw uses Natural Materials: You don’t get much more natural than straw from a field. So too can you use natural rendering materials to weatherproof your walls – local mud, lime render and plasters and even earthen floors are all common ingredients in an environmentally friendly home such as those built from mud brick or strawbale.
  5. Let’s face it, they are gorgeous: Have you seen a strawbale home? Have you been inside one? They ‘feel’ wonderful and this is because they breathe, they have sound qualities you just don’t get in many regular houses and although it’s difficult to explain in words as soon as you step inside one, you will know that this is a great building style.
  6. Building Green with Straw allows you to reuse/recycle waste material: This is an amazing fact. Many people still set fire to the stubble in their fields after the crop has been harvested. I built my house from this waste product, mine was wheat straw but you can use rice straw, oat straw and other grain crop ‘waste’ material to build a beautiful home. An excellent example of reuse or recycle and a win for everyone.
  7. Renewable Resource: In this age of growing awareness of limits to the resources we have available, straw is an excellent example of a renewable resource. No need to wait for it either, like tree crops. This is an annual plant, eat the crop at the end of the season and build a new house in the spring. I’m sure no-one actually does that but that is the potential of building green with straw.
  8. Flexible and Forgiving materials and great for novice and expert alike: One of the joys of building green with straw is the flexibility of the material. Featured in many homes are the gentle curves of walls and the deep set windows and doorways. Even a novice can create wonderful and creative features in their home with straw that may have been impossible for them with more conventional materials.
  9. Building Green with Straw is Empowering: This is something not often recognised when someone is considering building their own home. When you decide that you are going to begin building green with straw it can become a very empowering process. You will develop great skills, learn a new language (of building), you will meet lots of new people who share your dream and your passions and you may suddenly find that you can do far more things than you ever thought possible.
  10. Become a Leader: This is a great side effect of actually building green with straw – you become someone who leads by example. You become a person who can show others what may be possible in terms of using alternative materials, using waste products, creating a home that is healthy, more sustainable and above all very beautiful and unique.

There are many more reasons to consider building green with straw and they will vary from person to person. However, ideas such as reducing waste, living more sustainably, having healthier homes and participating in activities that empower individuals, build communities and create inspiration for others are fantastic reasons to consider building green with straw.