CASESTUDY:STRAWBALEC­ABIN

The Daily Telegraph - Property - - Property -

Tape­ley Park, the coun­try es­tate of landowner and en­vi­ron­men­tal ac­tivist Hec­tor Christie, is a melt­ing pot for low-en­ergy build­ing meth­ods. Mr Christie in­tends to have the whole es­tate gen­er­at­ing its own elec­tric­ity by the end of next year.

In a quiet cor­ner of the es­tate is a small straw­bale cabin built by Ru­pert Haw­ley as a “green build­ing” work­shop for peo­ple in­ter­ested in low-cost, lowen­ergy build­ing meth­ods. The cabin is con­structed with straw bales stacked up like gi­ant Lego bricks and pinned to­gether with lengths of hazel and steel re­in­forc­ing rods. The thick straw walls, ren­dered inside and out with a rough mix­ture of clay and sand with a fi­nal coat of lime­wash, pro­vide am­ple in­su­la­tion.

A re­claimed wood-burn­ing Ray­burn dou­bles as a cooker and cen­tral heat­ing, while two nine-watt so­lar pan­els pro­vide enough elec­tric­ity to light the cabin and run a lap­top.

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