[Strawbale] CO2 production for building a house

Rob Gort, Bouwcarrousel BV r.gort at bouwcarrousel...
Wed Dec 28 19:18:01 CET 2005

Hi Sven / Valentina

I'm Rob from Holland. I haven't got exact figures either and am quite
interested to in this subject. I did some LCA-work for the government in
the past. I just know, of a dutch company which fabricates adobe-like
stones with machines (named Oskam), that the production of these stones
uses only 1 % of the normal energy consumption which is needed to
produce comparable stones.
Because straw bales are a less industrial product then prefabricated
adobe stones, their energy efficiency 'll probably be even better.
Off course, building with baked stones is a typical Dutch and English
tradition, in most other countries other materials like concrete or wood
are used more (the differences in eco-profile between wood (esp.
FSC-wood) and strawbales will be far less)...
The step between the eco-score of materials themselves and a whole house
is not just extrapolation.
Stones or straw bales are only part of the materials which are used in
building, but normally the construction takes about 80 till 90 % of the
total weight of a building (this is including the roof and floors).
The lifetime and the maintenance which has to be done, are also
important factors. Comparison between alternatives should be done in a
honest way, so for a fixed period of time like 100 years is a normal
practice. Off course the need for maintenance depends of the design of
the building, so this is quite difficult to estimate in standard

About LCA further I can say the following. In LCA-terms, because you can
view the production of straw bales for building as nothing different
from a normal harvesting  procedure, this step requires none extra
energy. So, in fact, the major factor is probably the extra transport
(in comparison with the normal transport to a fourrage dealer for
example)can be reckoned to be caused by the building process (off course
this could also be even less transport). When you adapt the straw bales
in size or shape and you use machinery like a cutter or sawing machine
for that, this should also taken into account.
Plastering with clay 'll have quite a positive effect, in comparison
with using standard plasters on basis of cement etc.

Valentine, when you have more information, please let me / us all

Rob Gort
info at bouwcarrousel...

-----Original Message-----
From: strawbale-bounces at amper....muni.cz
[mailto:strawbale-bounces at amper....muni.cz] On Behalf Of valentina
Sent: woensdag 28 december 2005 16:37
To: European strawbale building discussions
Subject: Re: [Strawbale] CO2 production for building a house

Hi Sven,
here valentina from barcelona .... i will be able to give you this  
data at the end of 2006.....an investigation project of the  
university of barcelona will take place and will give results....and  
i guess the data will be of free circulation....hope you can wait or  
find somewere else.....i'm really interested in this information too...
for what i know...the rules are quiet difficult....to trust....it  
seems that evrybody has is own...and the numbers are very  
differents..... the people that work on this use software like  
SimaPro.....for LCA analysis....and Transis for energy efficiency....
best regard, valentina

El 28 Dec 2005, a las 13:07, Sven Aerts escribió:

> Someone with thumb-rule figures on how much CO2 is produced by
> building a standard alone standing house for a normal family and  
> that compared to a strawbale one.
> Nobody has a book where that is mentioned ?
> Is it kilotons or megatons of CO2 that are produced due to brick-
> houses ?
> and a strawbale house that's like 2% of that?
> I just need some thumb rule figures.
> Tried about everything and everybody here in Belgium... but no answer.
> thank you
> --
> Sven
> GSM: +32 (0)485/389679
> http://homepage.mac.com/aertssven/
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> ----------
> Have a nice day...
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