Bales in Other Parts of Your Building

Straw bales have been used successfully as ceiling and floor insulation. For roof or ceiling insulation, framing must be beefed up to handle the extra weight of the bales. The large dimensions of bales often precludes the use of standard spacing for framing members. The installation of the bales can be a tricky and heavy procedure and can expose the bales to rainfall before the roof sheathing is installed. Unplastered bales will also be exposed to the air on the top side — as in any roof or ceiling installation — creating a home for pests and, possibly, creating a fire hazard. Borax and other chemical treatments have been used to lower these risks, as have thin slip coats of plaster. If you plaster the open side of the bales, you add considerably more weight to the bales and create complications in the application process. However, with creative thinking and a clever use of resources — especially manufactured wooden I-beams — you may devise a suitable way to use bale insulation in your ceiling.

Bales have been used as floor insulation in concrete slab floors. For slab floors, bales are placed a few inches apart in rows. Concrete is poured between the bales, creating a honeycomb of bales and concrete that is eventually covered with the top few inches of the slab. There are valid concerns about the amount of

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