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Review

Physical Properties of Straw Bales as a Construction Material: A Review

1
Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture, University of Catania, Via Santa Sofia 64, 95123 Catania, Italy
2
Faculty of Engineering and Architecture, University of Enna Kore, Via delle Olimpiadi, 94100 Enna, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(12), 3388; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11123388
Received: 24 May 2019 / Revised: 14 June 2019 / Accepted: 17 June 2019 / Published: 19 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Exploration of Sustainability in Traditional Rural Buildings)
Straw bale buildings provide significant benefits in terms of costs, human health, and environmental sustainability. Several studies in different regions have underlined the remarkable properties of straw bales as insulating and construction material; however, to the authors’ knowledge, there are no reviews published on this topic. The main objective of this paper is to provide a better understanding of straw bale systems, focusing on durability and thermal and acoustic insulation properties. To this end, previous tests and studies on straw bale buildings around the world were reviewed, comparing their results, assessing where research currently stands, and identifying the aspects that need to be further investigated. Results from previous tests have highlighted their ability to achieve excellent living comfort and encouraged their use. Guidelines for the characteristics to be achieved during the baling process are now required. Combining straw bale walls with a render or any type of high-density layer can improve both the thermal and acoustic properties of straw bale constructions. Finally, a quantitative assessment of the most significant properties, such as thermal resistance and acoustic insulation, is necessary to reduce the gap between straw bales and traditional building materials. View Full-Text
Keywords: environmental sustainability; moisture content; thermal performance; acoustic insulation; agricultural waste environmental sustainability; moisture content; thermal performance; acoustic insulation; agricultural waste
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MDPI and ACS Style

Cascone, S.; Rapisarda, R.; Cascone, D. Physical Properties of Straw Bales as a Construction Material: A Review. Sustainability 2019, 11, 3388. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11123388

AMA Style

Cascone S, Rapisarda R, Cascone D. Physical Properties of Straw Bales as a Construction Material: A Review. Sustainability. 2019; 11(12):3388. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11123388

Chicago/Turabian Style

Cascone, Stefano, Renata Rapisarda, and Dario Cascone. 2019. "Physical Properties of Straw Bales as a Construction Material: A Review" Sustainability 11, no. 12: 3388. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11123388

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