Friday, 21 March 2014

Building a straw bale wall

In November last year I worked with a couple of friends to build a straw bale wall for the house - the last bit of the downstairs to fill in.  I had already replaced the rotten lower beam and put in uprights thinking that I would do a torchis wall.  I sourced some straw bales from neighbouring farmers and then set to re-sizing the bales to make them bigger to fit the gaps.  It was a case of trial and error - adding bits of wood and beams here and there to create a supporting structure for them.
John, a neighbour who lives off grid helps
The method  is called 'Cellule sous tension' - the bales are compressed with straps and then forced between two uprights.  Narrow strips of wood are then screwed into the uprights and positioned in  grooves made with a chainsaw in the centre of the top of each bale - this holds them in place.

A third of the wall done
In March/April I will render the bales with earth and lime.


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