Builders that use natural building techniques don’t have to decide between fiberglass batts and spray foam. They can use straw.
The Toronto Star reports that a veteran general contractor and designer is building a 2,400-square foot home that will be insulated with large bales of straw. The home’s walls are 32 inches thick, and the jumbo bales (up to 7 feet long and weighing up to 800 lb.) provide an insulation factor of R60.
The straw must be kept dry and mold-free, so it is covered with tarps at every stage of construction. Students and volunteers are assisting with the construction.
After the success with jumbo bales, designer Henry Wiersma is eager to put up another low-energy house. Not only does it provide a healthier indoor environment for occupants, “it engages people more than buying a ready-made product,” says the builder who switched from conventional construction to join the “renaissance” of natural construction 12 years ago.