Straw-Bale Panel House using Huff and Puff SITUPS | In progress…

We are thrilled to share our latest project under construction: a Straw-bale panel house near Tumbarumba, near the picturesque Snowy Mountains. This innovative project uses the “Huff and Puff SITUPS,” strawbale panels. This off grid, solar passive, well insulated home showcases our commitment to sustainable building practices and demonstrates how good design can provide high performance, functionality and aesthetic beauty.

Benefits of Straw-Bale Panel Houses

Straw-Bale Panel House

Straw-bale panel houses offer numerous benefits that make them an excellent choice for environmentally conscious homeowners. Here are some of the key advantages:

  1. Energy Efficiency: Straw-bale panels provide exceptional insulation, reducing the need for artificial heating and cooling. This results in lower energy bills and a smaller carbon footprint. This is particularly important in the Snowy Mountains which regularly get s sub zero temperatures in Winter.
  2. Sustainability: Straw is a renewable resource, often considered a byproduct of agricultural processes. Using straw bales in construction helps reduce waste and promotes sustainable building practices. The off site manufacture of the panels also reduces waste, as only the materials needed are delivered to site, in the factory any offcuts or left overs can be used for other panels.
  3. Thermal Performance: The thick walls of straw-bale houses combined with the lime render offer excellent thermal mass, helping to maintain a consistent indoor temperature regardless of external weather conditions.
  4. Sound Insulation: Straw-bale walls have natural soundproofing qualities, creating a quieter and more serene living environment.
  5. Fire Resistance: Contrary to common misconceptions, straw-bale houses are highly fire-resistant. The tightly packed bales contain little oxygen, which significantly reduces the risk of combustion.
  6. Healthier Indoor Air Quality: Straw-bale houses are typically constructed using natural and non-toxic materials, contributing to better indoor air quality and a healthier living space.
  7. Aesthetic Appeal: The unique texture and appearance of straw-bale walls can add a rustic charm and distinctive character to any home, blending seamlessly with natural surroundings.

Project Progress

Currently, we are in the initial stages of the build, the strawbale panels have gone up and the roof has gone on. We worked closely with John and Susan Glassford from Huff and Puff on the design of the panels and were able to use the 3D CAD drawings that we produced in Archicad to ensure thatchy gad all the correct measurements for the construction of the panels, particularly given the unusual angles and oblique gable end roof.

The owners are keen to get a first cost of lime render on the exterior before the winter cold sets in. The silver and blue wrap you see in the construction photos is there to protect the straw-bale panels until we can get the roof on. This temporary measure ensures the panels remain in optimal condition, safeguarding them from the elements.

Our team is dedicated to ensuring that every aspect of this project meets the highest standards of quality and sustainability. We are excited to bring this vision to life and to demonstrate the potential of straw-bale construction in creating comfortable, energy-efficient, and eco-friendly homes.

The unusual shape of the house meets the needs of the site, with north facing windows to the kitchen and dining room to catch the winter sun and south eastern facing windows in the living room to get the view of the mountains which are capped in snow in the winter.

Stay tuned for more updates on our Straw-bale Panel House project near Tumbarumba. We look forward to sharing our progress and the many ways this innovative building technique benefits both homeowners and the environment.

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