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Science News


Source article

IRIN humanitarian news and analysis

Published By

Dr. Dick van der Wateren


Earthquake Hazards, Building, Straw-bale houses, Nepal

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Straw houses: earthquake-resistant and cheap

05.05.2011, Age: 3794 days

Easy-to-build and cheap houses built of straw blocks and mud plaster are surprisingly strong. They may offer poor countries a realistic solution for building in high-earthquake-risk areas. Nepal is the first country to build straw houses on a large scale.

This month, the first straw-bale house in Nepal will be bult under supervision of the Institute for Social and Environment Transition (ISET). This may serve as an example for other poor countries such as Haiti that are regularly threatened by major earthquakes. The main obstacle may be to convince the populations, who traditionally trust brick and concrete are modern and strong building materials, that straw may indeed be stronger and safer while definitely more affordable and even more comfortable.

Read the full report by IRIN humanitarian news and analysis "NEPAL: Strong hopes for straw houses"

Supported by Earthquake-Report and SOS Earthquakes.

Building Your Straw Bale Home by Brian Hodge, available in hardcover and ebook (COSIS bookshop).

Building a Straw Bale House: The Red Feather Construction Handbook. Author: Nathaniel Corum, in COSIS bookshop.

Building with Straw Bales: A Practical Guide for the UK and Ireland. Author: Barbara Jones, in COSIS bookshop.

An added advantage is that straw-bale houses have a carbon rating of less than zero.

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