[Strawbale] certification of straw bales

Caroline Meyer White hojtpaastraa at gmail.com
Tue Mar 5 12:58:56 CET 2013

Dear All,

In Denmark, as I believe - and hear from your answers - in most other
European countries, we have a "performance building code" Which means, if
you can document that what you are doing, will PERFORM as the regulation
requires, there are no specific way that you have to follow - no specific
materials you have to use. A few test programs run i 2004 at acknogledged
institutions, where straw walls were tested for fire - only a 30 minute
test, insulation properties and mould growth, lead to a small publication
with some guidelines on how to do a "safe" SB wall, has opened all doors

Regarding fire in Poland and certification, I wonder, if it is a certified
BALE you need, or a fire test of a wall assembly? The bale in it self is
obviously not giving fire resistance, but the section with render is. Here
in Denmark, 30 mm of clay or lime render, gives you a 30 min fire - accept,
only because that was the only test the SB organisation could afford at the
national institute for fire testing. That can give us similar complications
on larger/public buildings were higher degrees of fire safety is required.,
as the Polish face.

And then how is it..
We all follow the same engineering codes (EuroCode), but we have national
building codes (regulations). If a fire test of 60 or 90 minutes was
carried out in one European country or in a collaboration between several
countries, would it not benefit all European countries? And if it has been
carried out already - I do not know if it has any where in Europe, only in
the US, couldn't we all use that?
And if yes to the above: Would we not really benefit from having a database
of all official documented tests carried out in Europe?
At the Danish national building research institute, they are open to use
all tests out there Danish, European or not, in a complete publication on
SB, IF they undertake to do such a thing ... in a few years..

As I understand the rules, if you want to pre-fabricate a whole wall system
- THEN you may face that your specific system has to be CE-certified, and
that may include the bales in it and not only the assembly. But in situ
construction does not require certification of each material. BUT yes
indeed, I can face the same problem with carpenters and contractors, who
are not always willing to take the responsibility of using non-certified
materials, and that can be straw bales as well as under roofing etc. - But
that is not because of an official requirement, that is because they end up
with a responisbility that some feel insecure about. - And thus I only work
with those who have the common sense to see that this works if they do it

I agree Herbert, it is very important to go down the road as the French,
rather then going for a certified bale - VERY IMPORTANT :))


2013/3/5 asbn <asbn at baubiologie.at>

> Hi to all balers outside
> A great THANK YOU for your answers, it helps a lot!
> As I thought (and feared), the certification in a country
> * gives safety to carpenters (if they use these certified bales) and helps
> them with their responsibility.
> * but seems to start a parallel process, that uncertified bales will be
> forbidden with the argument,
>    that there are certified bales available on the market (even when they
> are not available).
> In Austria we have a situation now, where only skilled builders (and that
> means with a special education and qualification)
> are allowed to take responsibility for a building, and even if I want my
> own responsibility,
> I cannot take it as a self-builder without these special qualifications,
> even for a small experimental building.
> This situation stops innovation, as only prooven and tested techniques
> (and materials) are allowed.
> I agree, that this supports "industry" and bigger companies, which are
> able to afford tests and certification processes.
> And in long terms it stops all self-builders from building on the basis of
> experience, long known knowledge and tradition.
> I personally think therefore, that establishing a national building code -
> like in France - is the much better way as a certification process.
> Although I know, that it is much more work and needs much more effort than
> a (simple) test and quality management.
> And my personal recommendation: If you think about a certification in your
> country, nevertheless (which is not my first choice),
> do it like FASBA in Germany or (with restriction) the GrAT in Austria do,
> try to find a non-profit organisation, which makes a mobile certification
> on bales of your choice, independently from the season of the year,
> otherwise you always depend on the amounts of certified straw bales, a
> company has stored.
> yours sincerely
> Herbert
> -----------------
> asbn - austrian strawbale network
> 3720 Ravelsbach, Baierdorf 6
> Tel. 02958-83640
> asbn at baubiologie.at
> www.baubiologie.at
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Caroline, Tahir, Noah

Friland 11, 8410 Rønde, Denmark, tlf. (+45) 40 76 19 80, skypename:
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