The history of straw bale construction

Pilgrim Holiness Church, Arthurm Nebraska, 1928

Pilgrim Holiness Church, Arthurm Nebraska, 1928

The first straw bale houses were built in the USA in Nebraska by European settlers. Because of the lack of wood and other building materials needed for their homes, they had to improvise. Using the newly invented horse-powered straw-baling machine, they gathered the grass from the surrounding area and they made bales which they piled up creating walls. The walls were plastered with mud afterwards on the outside, as well as on the inside. This created very habitable warm houses which lasted for even a century. The technique was used up to the beginning of the industrial revolution when brick and concrete eliminated the use of straw bales. Nevertheless, the 1980 brought a revival of the straw bale constructions accompanied by publications and conferences as the interest started spreading in the USA and later on in Europe (particularly France, Germany, Austria, UK).

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