What is Straw Bale Construction?

Straw-bale construction uses conventional small bales of straw (commonly wheat, barley, rye and oat straw) as structural elements, insulation or both.

5 reasons why to consider a straw bale building:

  1. Energy efficient
  2. Sustainable & environmental (ECO-friendly)
  3. Safe in fires and earthquakes
  4. Friendly for homeowner builders 
  5. Warm in the winter and cool in the summer


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Straw, grass, and reeds have been used as building materials for centuries. Straw houses have been built on the African plains since the Paleolithic Era. Straw bales were used in construction 400 years ago in Germany; and straw-thatched roofs have long been used in northern Europe and Asia. In the New World, teepees were insulated in winter with loose straw between the inner lining and outer cover.

Straw-bale construction was greatly facilitated by the mechanical hay baler, which was invented in the 1850s and was widespread by the 1890s. It proved particularly useful in the Nebraska Sandhills. Pioneers seeking land under the 1862 Homestead Act and the 1904 Kinkaid Act found a dearth of trees over much of Nebraska. In many parts of the state, the soil was suitable for dugouts and sod houses. However, in the Sandhills, the soil generally made poor construction sod; in the few places where suitable sod could be found, it was more valuable for agriculture than as a building material.

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