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There are two main categories of strawbale construction: load-bearing and non-load bearing. A post and beam framework that supports the basic structure of the building, with the bales of straw used as infill, is the most common non-load bearing approach. This is what many building authorities will allow. There are many examples of load-bearing strawbale buildings, but possible settling of the strawbales can occur as the weight of the roof and other parts of the building compress the bales. Erecting strawbale walls can go quickly as little skill is required; however, creating the load-bearing structure is similar to other wood-framed buildings. Strawbale buildings typically save only about 15 percent of the wood used in a conventionally framed building. The cost of finishing a strawbale house can often exceed that of standard construction because of the specialized work that goes into plastering both sides of the walls. Benefits of strawbale construction include energy efficiency, fire resistance, noise reduction, environmentally benign, widely available and renewable natural materials.


Strawbale Wall

In-fill strawbale structures rely on framing to carry the vertical loads. Lateral loads, or shear strength, are carried by the wall assembly as a whole. The bales, the structural wire mesh, and the plaster all play a part in the handling of lateral loads. ©2011 Strawbale.com