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

Digital models of straw walls in BIM (FR)

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The work on the production of BIM objects will describe a dozen walls representative of the main current practices of straw construction. We will therefore find all of the construction systems described in the professional rules of straw construction (filling of frames, caissons) but also, for example, carrying straw. The objective is very simple: - enhance the advantages of straw construction which combines exceptional thermal performance, remarkable comfort, carbon storage, proximity, the pleasure of building and living ... - allow players in straw construction to benefit from the same tools as their competitors - encourage the adoption of straw by those who do not yet know this approach. Concretely, this will result (mid 2020) in the free availability of computer files which will be composed of: - plan and section views of typical walls - lists and quantities of materials used - various illustrations - main technical and environmental characteristics. These files can be imported into CAD (Computer Aided Drawing) software to enrich the wall libraries. The designers will then be able by a simple “drag and drop” to assess the interest of a wall made of straw, calculate an approximate quantity, etc. Read More

Work on the MOOC is progressing (FR)

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It's official, the MOOC Bulding for change - Naturally has been accepted for deployment on the MOOC sustainable building platform of ADEME ( Environment and Energy Management Agency). ADEME thus provides free access to its platform and finances assistance to the contracting authority for the construction of the MOOC. The UP STRAW working group has put a lot of energy into this deliverable in recent months to arrive at a quality MOOC, on time. The creation must be spread out between now and June-July for a first session in October 2020. Read More

A directory of straw construction professionals (FR)

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A directory of straw construction professionals in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region In order to stimulate local dynamics and facilitate the visibility of stakeholders, Résonance Paille and the ODEYS cluster have produced a directory of building professionals in New Aquitaine and members of the RFCP. This was organized according to the main categories: - Professionals (project managers, engineering, construction, others), - Training organizations providing “Pro-Paille” training, - Suppliers of straw bales, validated by Résonance Paille. Identified by the “Pro-Paille” logo, this accreditation, obtained on successful completion of the “Pro-Paille” training exam, certifies that the professional is authorized to design and / or make straw buildings. Read More

Submission of fire test reports Private establishment Emmanuel d'Alzon (FR)

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Following LEPIR II * and SBi ** fire tests on a wood, straw, plaster frame configuration, funded by SCI Sainte-Anne, contracting authority for the private establishment Emmanuel d'Alzon, Mrs. Nicole Lalanne, president of the SCI, officially donated to the RFCP two analysis reports and authorized: - The RFCP (French Straw Construction Network) to publish and disseminate to a large public the results and the Minutes of these reports. - Any project owner to use the test results for their own projects. And thus demonstrate that straw material has its place in construction! // * The LEPIR test consists of soliciting a facade mounted on a room with 2 levels. The fireplace, consisting of a pyre, is located in the room on the ground floor. / Source CSTB ** Single Burning Item: to subject a product to heat and study its behavior. / Source CSTB Read More

Training Experts in straw construction (FR)

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From October 16 to 18, the first co-training and selection of straw construction experts took place. After 3 days of work, a new selection process emerged for access to training, content for the training of the core curriculum and final validation. It is planned that this process will be tested and will succeed at the next national straw construction meetings, at the end of May 2020. Read More


Visit of 3 buildings Almere / Netherlands

, Almere / Netherlands

At September 28th there was again a fully booked excursion (45 visitors) to 3 straw buildings at Almere Oosterwold. This is an area where they have chosen for an experiment with a high level of sustainability and a combination of self-support in living and small-scale agriculture. The 3 buildings that could be visited are build in different way’s with different techniques and could be seen in different stage of completion. In advance there was a presentation about SBN and about the visit of this afternoon and a more detailed presentation about the construction of the first home that we could visit. At the first building the prefabricated panels of straw for the floor wall and roof were just installed. Most of straw surface will be plastered with a layer of earthplaster before they are covered with a roof or cladding or a floor. The second building that could be visited was at the beginning of the completion phase. Foundation was done by a contractor but most of the other jobs have been executed by the owner and his friends. The main structure of this building is a wooden-construction with post and beams with a strawbale infill. The roof was insulated with loose straw. The outside will be partly covered with wooden cladding and partly with lime plaster. At walking distance, we could visit the 3rd building. Here are several buildings designed around a small open area. The first building that has been completed is a bakery. But also, the foundation and some wood construction of the next buildings (dwelling) has been started. At the bakery, the main structure is made of laminated wood and the secondary construction is made of I-beams with straw-bale infill. The straw has an earth plaster on both sides and is covered at the inner side with Fermacel and at the outside there will be a inlands wooden cladding. The roof is covered with profiled steel.
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Groundbreaking ceremony for largest straw-insulated building in southern / Germany

, Plankstetten Monastery

Numerous representatives from politics, church, public authorities, architects, planners and construction companies came on Sept 28th 2019 for the groundbreaking ceremony for the future house St. Wunibald in the Plankstetten Monastery. At the same time, the 25th anniversary of the Abbey’s Thanksgiving Market was celebrated with 15.000 visitors. House St. Wunibald is currently the largest straw-insulated building in southern Germany that is being built. From 2021 on it will offer space for a kindergarten, the parish administration and 30 new guest rooms. The new building corresponds to the focus of the monastery on sustainability and will be a European-wide example of climate-friendly construction, explained Abbot Beda. After years of construction planning, the search for financing and last but not least the securing of the western slope in the construction area, the construction of the new building can now finally begin, said Abbot Beda. The Bavarian Minister of Finance and Home Affairs Albert Füracker, Vice-President of the Rhineland Palatinate state parliament Christoph Reichert, Member of the German Parliament Alois Karl, District Administrator Willi Gailler and Mayor Ludwig Eisenreich came to the groundbreaking ceremony with city councilors. The diocese of Eichstätt was present by General Vicar Peter Michael Huber. As in previous sections of the general renovation of the monastery complex, it is important for the monastic community to build this new building in an environmentally sustainable and energy-efficient manner. Therefore, the building is built with timber from the monastery forests and the walls are insulated with straw bales from the ecologically managed fields of the monastery property. Energetically, the building reaches the passive house standard. Long history of construction project The first city council resolution for the new construction of the kindergarten Plankstetten goes back to the 24th of February 2015. On November 22nd 2017 the construction site was blessed. Since then, there have been many challenges, including a landslide and rising construction costs. The Minister of Finance and Home Affairs Füracker confirmed, however, that the support from the federal government and the Free State of Bavaria were justified. Today is a big holiday for the abbey Plankstetten, for the young families with small children in the region and a holiday for the city Berching said Mayor Ludwig Eisenreich. Like Rome, Plankstetten Monastery was not built in one day, said Member of German Parliament Alois Karl. He also supported the necessary refinancing, because "a piece of jewelery for the whole region should not be neglected", so the deputy. With the Interreg project UP STRAW the EU also contributes a part to the construction costs that in total amount to several million Euros. After the groundbreaking ceremony, the 25th Thanksgiving Market of the Abbey was opened by the mayor of the city of Berching. Around 80 exhibitors presented their products. On the UP STRAW fair stand the 15.000 visitors could get information about straw bale building and the EU project.
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Visit of construction site Emmanuel d'Alzon / France

, St Médard en Jalles

This new establishment offers its students an innovative project built on excellence and well-being, with 6100m² including 4600m2 built in wood and straw frame. The purpose of this visit was to network and facilitate business meetings for construction professionals and institutional investors. More than 70 people participated. As well architects, design offices and other building professionals.
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European Straw Bale Gathering 2019

, Todmorden, West Yorkshire, UK

ESBG 2019 is all about: - Exploring healthy public buildings made from straw - Raising awareness of the benefits of constructing public buildings from straw - Highlighting features & benefits of straw bale buildings - Understanding public procurement, building regulations, green mortgages and insurance - Inspirational case studies - Networking for professionals and students in the sector We hope to see you there.
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Visit of the construction site / Germany

, Salzkotten -

Salzkotten, July 15th 2019. One of the first straw insulated family homes in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia opened its construction site to the public on July 14th 2019. About 600 visitors participated in the presentations about straw bale building and showed high interest in the technique. “If I would build a home I would choose building with straw”, was a statement often heard by visitors when asked about their opinion. The mayor of the city of Salzkotten was very interested in the construction technique as well as other local authorities such as members of the County Council, the board of works and the state parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia. Among the visitors were several crafts people, some of which asked about straw bale building courses. The event programme included practical demonstrations and a fair with stands of the Professional Association of Straw Bale Building (FASBA), the builders’ merchant Baustroh GmbH, the straw producing farmer and a local eco building supplies store. Children experimented with straw and clay, local musicians played and the guests could purchase eco-foods from regional produce. Several media paid attention to the open day at the construction site. Five local newspapers and the main local radio station reported about straw bale building covering about 185.000 people in the region.
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