Well, it’s nearly time to begin building on the Starflower Straw Bale Project, but until then, let’s take a look at the insulating properties of straw bale.
Some of the properties of straw are the outstanding thermal and acoustic insulating properties as well as the fact that straw bale houses are resistant to both fire and earthquakes.
Thermal Insulation – Straw bales are an affordable thermal insulation material with walls that are vapor-permeable, in other words, they allow vapor molecules to travel through them.
Heat Insulation – Research at the Vienna University of Technology showed that the heat insulation performance of straw bales had potential for considerable savings of insulation costs in comparison to other types of insulation. It was also found that the smaller straw bales with a lower density continued to meet the technical requirements for a highly heat-insulated straw bale construction. The more precise and compacted the straw bale’s shape, the less heat escapes.
Acoustic Insulation – Straw bales are also an effective source of sound insulation. This characteristic is an important factor in a home. Research has shown that straw bales can barricade sound from being transmitted and that they can absorb sound over a broad range of frequencies. It is advocated that straw bales be used as sound barriers in order to reduce environmental noise from highways and other noise pollution.
Once again the benefits of straw bales are well worth the challenges. Who doesn’t want a home that is cool in summer and warm in winter, with a propensity to keep out bothersome noise?