Home  5  Books  5  GBEzine  5  News  5  HelpDesk  5  Register  5  GreenBuilding.co.uk
Not signed in (Sign In)


Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

PLEASE NOTE: A download link for Volume 1 will be sent to you by email and Volume 2 will be sent to you by post as a book.

Buy individually or both books together. Delivery is free!

powered by Surfing Waves

Vanilla 1.0.3 is a product of Lussumo. More Information: Documentation, Community Support.

Welcome to new Forum Visitors
Join the forum now and benefit from discussions with thousands of other green building fans and discounts on Green Building Press publications: Apply now.

    Hi All,

    I am staring to look at the possibility of building on a field that I own. The field itself is 2.75 acres and there are buildings either side of it. It is in my local small town on the west coast of Wales.
    Anyway, I would like to build if possible and have been looking at different systems.
    I am very tempted to have a look at starw bale construction as they seem fairly cheap if you labour yourself and very well insulated.
    I just wonder what the main issues are as they are very rare in the UK and how do planners view applications generally. From what I can find thet seem to turn most applications down.
    I have also looked quickly at Modcell in Bristol and you can actually get a mortgage against their bale system now.
    Please give your thoughts as this may be a terrible idea to some but great idea to others.
    Thanks in advance.
    • CommentAuthorEd Davies
    • CommentTimeFeb 11th 2016
    Apart from the slightly larger house footprint, why would the planners worry about straw bale one way or the other? I don't think you'd even need to tell them unless you wanted to.

    Rachel, who used to be on this forum, might be able to give some input on West Welsh bale:

    • CommentAuthorskyewright
    • CommentTimeFeb 11th 2016
    Posted By: gustyturbine
    I just wonder what the main issues are as they are very rare in the UK and how do planners view applications generally. From what I can find thet seem to turn most applications down.

    IIRC Lincolnshire CC built some themselves?

    Quick search. Turned out it was North Kesteven DC (Kesteven is a sub-division of Lincolnshire):

    • CommentAuthorDarylP
    • CommentTimeFeb 12th 2016
    Planning Officers 'care' about aesthetics, whereas Building Control care about how the building is actually constructed. So as long as you can explain the reveal/windows junctions depth to the LPA, there should be no problem with bales as a construction material....?
    Good luck :smile:
    • CommentTimeFeb 12th 2016 edited
    The planning issues won't be concerned with whether it's built from straw bales. In our case it was brought up as a feature during the planning process - "it's 'eco', built from straw bales you know". Not by us but by the councillors and planners to convince themselves to give us permission. We did use the construction method to argue for why it was the shape it is rather than the chocolate box pastiche that their style guide suggests.

    Planning issues will just be general ones like is it in a development area, is the development density at the right scale for the area in accordance with government rules and so forth.

    I believe you can get mortgages from Ecological Building Society for straw bale houses, though I think at the moment you have to go for passivhaus certification as well.

    I don't like the Modcell system personally. Ours was designed with a structure a lot like the North Kesteven ones but tweaked a bit to meet the passivhaus goal (foundation and roof structures and window details come to mind as examples). I think there are some details from North Kesteven among those on Barbara's site - http://www.strawworks.co.uk/technical/

    Some people have built cheaply but I wouldn't plan on it. The bales themselves are reasonably cheap but things like lime render aren't. Another big expense can be scaffolding. You have to keep the site dry for a long time, and a full scaffold with tin roof costs folding money. There are other ways but you need to weigh up the practicalities and risks. If I wanted to build cheaply I'd probably look at more conventional techniques. Block and EWI, deep timber frame etc.

    Edit: if you're looking for factory fab then it may be worth looking at http://www.eco-fab.co.uk/
    Thank you for the information.

    I will investigate this a bit more and keep you informed of any developments.

    Rachel's house from what I can gather may just be in Pemprokeshire. When you compare them to Ceredigion they are like chalk and cheese.

    Thanks again.
Add your comments

    Username Password
  • Format comments as
The Ecobuilding Buzz
Site Map    |   Home    |   View Cart    |   Pressroom   |   Business   |   Links   

© Green Building Press