Here's how Straw Bale Walls Hold Up!

One of the main questions that I hear regarding straw bale walls is "how do they hold up over time? Don't they rot?".

 

This is a very good question and the answer is that they hold up perfectly well if they are detailed properly around windows and doors, and given a plaster skin that seals the bales up well, while still allowing for any excess moisture int he wall to wick outwards. 

 

Here is a video of Kandi Wood's straw bale home, built in 2006. The wall is a west facing wall, with full exposure to the weather as it is a gable end without any hip or side skirt roofs to protect it from rain. The plaster is cement/lime/sand plaster at approximately 1.5" thick.

 

She is recently adding an addition (yes, straw bale). They cut through the wall below a window to change the window to a door way into the new addition. The video shows the state of the straw after 11 years:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4mbmHnUOak&feature=youtu.be

 

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