Can Bales Really Support a Building

For many people, it is a considerable leap of faith to believe in the strength of a straw bale wall that is unsupported by lumber or any other structural framework. However, as both experience and scientific testing show, load-bearing walls exhibit a strength equal or superior to standard frame walls. But how can this be when bales are a compressible material? Shouldn't the walls sag or give?

There is a double-edged answer to this question. Yes, straw bales can support the roof of a building. But, no, they don't actually hold up the roof, even in a load-bearing building. Confused? So were many bale builders, until some engineers started to analyze the performance of the walls to determine how they really function.

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