UP STRAW: Urban and Public Buildings in Straw

Project Summary

STRAW: premium biobased building material

Creating a healthy and comfortable inner climate in buildings and reducing CO2 can go hand-in-hand! Building with straw, in combination with clay, has this effect.

CO2 reduction takes place by optimal insulation and by the CO2 contained in the natural material straw itself. The use of straw and clay creates a healhy, dampopen inner climate.

Straw is widely available and can be applied in new constructions (houses, offices, schools, public buildings). Straw is also applicable for the insulation of existing buildings. Straw can be used immediately from the production location (farmland), without a further processing.

This makes straw the premium biobased building material.


UP STRAW: a collaborative approach to creating straw awareness and use

Heating all of the buildings in NWE accounts for about 15% of the GHG emissions. The implementatie/application of straw as building insulation helps to reduce that in a natural way.

We will demonstratie that in five projects: buildings made of bales, wrapped in straw and created with prefab straw panels. Ready for implementation in the building industry.

Educational programs for architects, constructors and straw craftsman will facilitate knowledge development. University modulair program elements make students aware of the possibilities and application conditions.

Implementation of straw elements in building methodology and Building Information Modelling software will facilitate the use of straw elements in the building industry.

Communicating the advantages, application and the effects of building with straw will create interest in the possibilities and application.


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Project Partners

Lead partner

Organisation Address Email Website
Centre National de la Construction en Paille 69 bis rue des Déportés et des Internés
stephanie.ventre@cncp-feuillette.fr www.cncp-feuillette.fr
Name Contact Name Email Country
Strobouw Nederland Wouter Klijn wouter@strobouw.nl Netherlands
Plankstetten Benedictine Abbey Benedikt Kaesberg Benedikt.Kaesberg@kloster-plankstetten.de Germany
Hastings Borough Council Rachel Ellis Rachel.Ellis@groundwork.org.uk United Kingdom
The School of Natural Building Eileen Sutherland eileen@schoolofnaturalbuilding.co.uk United Kingdom
Gemeente Tilburg Ruud Oerlemans ruud.oerlemans@tilburg.nl Netherlands
Cluster Eco-construction Hervé-Jacques Poskin hj@ecoconstruction.be Belgium

Action & Activity


2000 straw bales pressed for monastery building / Germany

, Benedictine Abbey in Plankstetten, Germany

The info day "Experience straw bale building" including a live bale pressing action planned for Saturday, March 21st had to be canceled due to Corona. Nevertheless the pressing of more than 2000 straw bales took place successfully. With the bales South Germany’s biggest straw insulated house will be built this summer in the Benedictine Abbey of Plankstetten (Bavaria). The monks are constructing a general purpose building with 30 guest rooms, a kinder garden and parish offices. It took several days to transform about 400 m3 of ecological straw from the monastery fields from big bales into bales right sized for building. For this purpose the prototype of a mobile press machine was brought from Austria to the Abbey. The company Sonnenklee had developed it over three years. The machine produces between 1,5 and three tons of straw bales per hour (10-25 m3 per hour depending on the bale size). With this press house builders can get straw bales from their regional farms and produce them at any time in the year customized to the format needs of the carpentry in charge. The planned public event "Experience straw bale building" was of high interest for journalists, building professionals and lay builders who already had announced to come. Therefore the pressing action was filmed and a video podcast will be published shortly on the building project and the straw bale production.
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Visit of cellar in loadbearing straw with Odéys / FR

, Arsac

The Clos Perrain, 1st chai in Gironde, in loadbearing straw, to use this technique. This is to meet the requirements of biodynamics: no emission of volatile substances likely to pollute wines, thanks to an optimum level of insulation. > 172m² straw walls, 570 straw bales Among the guests there were professionals in the wine sector but also contractors in the construction sector. Beautiful visit that ended with a wine tasting offered by the winemaker!
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Zero Carbon Building Techniques

, Glasgow, Scotland

This event was in collaboration with the world famous Glasgow School of Art. Barbara Jones talked about UP Straw, differing straw bale building techniques, using straw bales in load-bearing walls, and cement-free foundations. Q&A followed. Free, but ticketed. Held in the Reid building lecture theatre. Barbara Jones, FRSA, is well known internationally as a pioneer of straw bale building and designer of innovative foundations (including using car tyres). She has been designing and building with natural materials for 20 years; including forming part of the Straw bale tour of the USA in 1999, organised by Judy Knox and Matts Myrhman, that brought European straw bale pioneers to the US. Barbara has also developed a uniquely empowering method of practical training on building sites. She was given a Lifetime Achievement Award by Women in Construction in 2011, and a Woman of Outstanding Achievement Award in 2009. Her practical skills include strawbale building, clay and lime plastering, carpentry and roofing.
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Norman Assizes of the Circular Economy / France

, Colombelles

The UP STRAW project was present on December 3, 2019 at the 2nd Norman Conference of the Circular Economy, alongside other Norman players in green building. This presence was an opportunity to present the market development tools implemented in Normandy through ACCORT-Paille Normandie and to make new contacts with regional players, in particular the Rancoper network (Network of Norman Buyers for Orders Public Eco-Responsible).
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Wood and straw construction days / France

, Limoges

The ODEYS Cluster, Résonance Paille and Alter Amazones joined forces with the Interprofessions of the Forêt-Bois-Papier sector of Nouvelle-Aquitaine to organize the Regional Wood Construction Days on November 28, 29 and 30, which will therefore have a coloring “ Straw ”this year. Wood and straw are strongly linked and this link will therefore be illustrated throughout these meetings. At the Zénith de Limoges: conferences, trade fair, exhibitions, visits, gala evening and above all a lot of exchanges!
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Presentation of straw wall model / Germany

, Benedictine Abbey in Plankstetten

On November 27th a straw insulated wall-mounted model was installed infront of the Benedictine Abbey in Plankstetten, Germany and presented to local authorities and press representatives. Straw bale building expert Benedikt Kaesberg explained the advantages of this building method to the mayor of Berching and the city manager as well as to the funding partners of the Abbey Plankstetten. The Monastery is building the largest straw insulated public building in Southern Germany. For the next year the wall modell with information panel will be displayed at the entrance of the monastery for public information. During the two Christmas markets in December it was very popular with visitors.
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The German partners of Plankstetten Abbey in St Dié des Vosges (FR)

, St Dié des Vosges

Our German partner, Benedikt Kaesberg organized a study and awareness-raising trip to straw construction at the end of November. Professionals, institutions and a group carrying out a participative housing project in the Freiburg region visited two sites: the St Dié des Vosges residence, exemplary achievement (energy efficiency, bio-based materials, Passivhaus certified) and a visit to the construction site of seven houses in Sexau (Germany). In Saint Dié, the reception was particularly neat because eleven years ago, the Toit Vosgien (the social landlord), had met its German counterparts upstream of the wood / straw project, to benefit from their knowledge in PassivHaus certification ... Since its completion in 2014, the Jules Ferry Residence has demonstrated to a wide audience the daily interest, especially for its users, of such an achievement. As for our group of Germans, he left enthusiastic: discoveries, exchanges, networking and future projects… in straw
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