BaleHaus: A low carbon solution for buildings using prefabricated panels made from renewable materials

Roberts, H., Beadle, K., Mander, T., Parnaby, R., Walker, P. and White, C. (2010) BaleHaus: A low carbon solution for buildings using prefabricated panels made from renewable materials. In: Akintoye, A., Brindley, D., Goulding, J. and Rahimian Farzad, P., eds. (2010) Proceeding of the 9th International Detail Design in Architecture Conference 2010: Innovative Detailing: Materials & Construction Methods for a Low Carbon Future. University of Central Lancaster. ISBN 978-1901922769 Available from:

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The construction of a low-carbon building using renewable materials is described and air tightness and breathability details explained. The BaleHaus at Bath is the first prefabricated straw bale house to use ModCell (Modular Cellulose) panels. It is an innovative, offsite manufacturing system that can produce buildings with thermal performance over one and a half times greater than current Building Regulations. Straw is considered a natural, low carbon and renewable material providing high levels of thermal insulation. Straw bale construction has historically been used to varying extents, but the modern development of a wholly prefabricated load-bearing panelised housing system is a new concept. Panel design, fixings between panels and adjoining features and performance testing is described. The panels must be robust to meet modern construction demands, such as load-bearing capacity, fire resistance, thermal transmittance and acoustic performance. The BaleHaus, built on the University of Bath campus, has been designed to explore the possibility of meeting the PassivHaus standard of less than 15 Kwh/m2/yr, meaning a low or no heating requirement. Air tightness tests carried out show that the BaleHaus has potential to deliver to PassivHaus standards.

Item Type:Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords:prefabricated straw bale, PassivHaus, renewable materials, low carbon, BaleHaus, ModCell
Faculty/Department:Faculty of Environment and Technology > Department of Architecture and the Built Environment
ID Code:13991
Deposited By: A. Lawson
Deposited On:18 Feb 2011 09:16
Last Modified:23 Feb 2017 07:34

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