Straw may sound like an unlikely building material but it is increasingly being used in the construction industry. It is growing in popularity because straw is an excellent insulator, which is ecological friendly and cheap.
Working with straw
Using straw in building requires some specialist skill. To make a load-bearing wall, a timber frame needs to be constructed. The bails of straw have to be tightly packed inside, pinned and shaped. Then several coats of render have to be applied to the straw to give it rigidity.
Oliver Gibbs was commissioned to help build an ecological office in Minsterley using only sustainable materials like straw. The building was designed by a Shropshire architect and was spherical in shape with lime-rendered straw walls and a turf roof. The client undertook the build himself with help from crafts people. Inside, the office had three rooms, including a wet room and kitchenette with handmade kitchen units. Oliver did the carpentry and structural joinery. He also made the internal doors and kitchen, as well as help the client lay the straw walls and grass roof. The external doors and windows were made by another Shrewsbury firm – A. R. Manley and Son Ltd.
Straw walls are precarious in nursery stories, but they can be a sustainable investment. To discuss the carpentry and joinery for your eco-building or the construction of straw walls, please contact our carpenters in Shropshire.
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