Hygrothermal performance, energy use and embodied emissions in straw bale buildings

Chuen Hon (Alex) Koh, Dimitrios Kraniotis (Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Straw bale is a low embodied energy and technically acceptable thermal insulation material. As per today, there is a lack of standardized technical data on utilizing straw bale in building construction, while the existing research studies rather focus on limited specific experimental or computational scenarios without summarizing in an organized way the behaviour of straw bale construction under different climate conditions and assembly configurations. This comparative study presents systematically the hygrothermal and energy performance of straw bale buildings with different exterior cladding and finishing mortar or sheathing board, exposed in various representative climates. The findings provide an insight into the optimal selection of materials and furthermore highlight the importance of climate adaptation of straw bale wall constructions. Overall, straw bale buildings show robust hygrothermal performance, when properly designed, and achieve very low energy use at a minimum of embodied emissions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111091
Number of pages14
JournalEnergy and Buildings
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Embodied emissions
  • Energy use
  • Hygrothermal performance
  • Mould growth
  • Straw bale
  • Sustainability
  • Thermal insulation


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