You're probably thinking, ''they've been using straw for hundreds of years, if not more", and you'd be correct! But only now are we starting to realize and utilize the full potential of the material.
Straw bale construction is a leader in energy efficiency. According to studies performed by the University of Bath in the UK on Modcell, a leader of straw bale construction in the UK, saw their homes receiving energy reductions of up to 90%. Cutting heating/cooling time in addition to straw holding carbon, can possibly lead to a carbon-neutral or carbon-negative footprint.
When combined with the right type of plaster, straw bale walls are superior sound barriers. They block out most high and mid-range frequencies, and when combined with thick (>3.5cm), earthen plaster walls, is excellent at dampening those low-frequency sounds.
Isn't Straw Flammable?
Contrary to popular belief, straw bale homes take more time (3-4 times longer) to burn than traditional construction homes. The combination of tightly-packed straw and plaster walls provides the fire much less oxygen to breathe.