10 things We Love About Straw Structural Buildings

Our high-performance panels are the result of over a decade of practical experience constructing, researching, designing and assessing straw bale homes. So we know just how fantastic they are. But unlike in Europe (where similar technology has been gaining popularity for a while now), the huge benefits of building straw structural buildings are relatively unknown here in NZ. 

We could probably wax lyrical about all the many, many upsides to straw SIPS buildings all day, but we’ll keep this short, sweet and straw-based. Here’s the top 10 things we love:

1. Top- notch Insulation: Living in a straw structural panel building means experiencing the benefits of exceptional insulation. The straw bales (tightly packed within the panels) create an effective thermal barrier. As a result, these buildings maintain comfortable temperatures year-round, reducing the need for excessive heating or cooling. It’s a warm and cosy cocoon!

2. Quick and Efficient Construction: When building a home, time is definitely of the essence. Our panels are manufactured offsite, incorporating proprietary fittings designed to improve build/ fit times once on the slab. This reduces construction timelines without compromising on quality.

3. Healthier Indoor Air Quality: One of the most remarkable attributes of our structural panel buildings is their ability to promote healthier indoor air quality. Unlike conventional materials that may emit harmful chemicals, straw is a natural and non-toxic material, ensuring that you and your loved ones breathe clean and fresh air within your home.

4. Durability and Longevity: Built for the next generations. Early ancestors of  compressed straw buildings – straw bale buildings – have stood the test of time, with some structures dating back over a century. The combination of forming straw into a dense insulating material and then keeping it dry (which is key), whilst allowing humidity to pass through and not accumulate, makes it as durable as any other high tech, highly insulating building method.

5. High Fire Resistance: It’s a question we get asked a lot- what about fire resistance? In actual fact our SIPS panels of compressed straw are dense, making them super fire resistant. Similar panels to ours have achieved a fire rating (when tested) of between 1 and 2.25 hours.  You can rest easy knowing that your home is built to withstand potential fire hazards. Read more here.

6. Excellent Sound Absorption: Compressed straw in structural panels results in excellent sound absorption capabilities. Say goodbye to intrusive external noises (or the teenager’s questionable music taste), and enjoy a peaceful and tranquil living environment.

7. Environmentally Sustainable: We make it easy for people building their homes to choose an environmentally sustainable solution. Not only is straw a renewable resource, our construction methods are Low carbon and use around half the carbon of standard construction. This helps to store huge amounts from the atmosphere.

8. Connection to Nature: Straw SIPS panel buildings offer an unparalleled connection to nature. The presence of natural materials like straw fosters a sense of harmony and tranquillity, allowing you to feel grounded and closer to nature. The Danish have a great term for it: ‘hygge’.

9. Adaptability and Design Flexibility: Our structural panel buildings provide endless design possibilities. From contemporary to traditional aesthetics, these structures can be adapted to suit your unique taste and preferences. Embrace the freedom of creating a home that truly reflects your personality and lifestyle. Our favourite design aspect? We love the deep walls with their comfortable sitting niches & reading nooks.

10. Optimal Humidity:  The straw and clay plastering work together as a team to keep the house at optimal humidity.

So there you have it- our top 10 reasons why straw structural panels build the best in the business. 

Thinking about using Hiberna Modular panels for your next build? We’d love you to get in touch to start talking straw. Contact Us for some more information.