Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering

BaleHaus: manufacture of sustainable prefabricated straw bale houses

At a glance

Funding body: Technology Strategy Board
Principal investigator: Pete Walker
Co investigator: Andrew Heath
Researcher: Dr Katharine Beadle
Industry partners: White Design, Integral Structural design, Wilmott Dixon, Agrifibre Technologies, Eurban Construction, Lime Technology, CWCT
Dates: 2008-2010

Abstract

This project seeks to further development of the manufacture and delivery of an innovative low carbon system for housing construction.

BaleHaus proposes to use prefabricated straw bale wall panels to build load-bearing low rise residential buildings. Straw bale construction has the capacity to deliver affordable high thermal performance buildings, through a process of localised low capital intensive modern methods of off-site construction using renewable crop based materials. Embodied carbon levels of BaleHaus walls are significantly lower than most competing technologies.

To take forward BaleHaus requires basic development of: material and structural understanding; product design; the local off-site manufacture process; through life support and service delivery.