Accessible, Affordable, Sustainable & Healthy

Straw Bale House

Client: Client: Private

Following a lecture at Eco-build on Passive design Gaia Research was approached to discuss the design of a Gaia house in the South of England.

The clients wished to have an affordable, sustainable, accessible, healthy home for their growing family. They were keen to ensure that complexities were designed out and to maximise efficiencies. Gaia were appointed as sustainability champion to provide an advisory service to include

  • Developing a short list of projects that could be included in one or more study tours.
  • Recommending one or more experienced and talented architects who would be able to take on the design work
  • Assisting in the creation of a brief
  • Acting in a quality control role if required
  • Appraising any architectural proposals if required
  • Advising on the specification / orientation/ fabric / airtightness and materials
  • Advising on mechanical servicing
  • Advising on handover.

Tours in England and Scotland took in mass timber construction, Brettstapel, straw, hemp and timber houses, visitor, community centres and office buildings. The clients decide to build using straw.

This Sustainability Champion then undertook and encouraged the architect and clients to undertake a training course in straw construction to better understand the practical opportunities and constraints of the technique.

Gaia are continuing to provide real-time guidance, education, training and support to the client to enable sustainability to be integrated from the outset of and to ensure that it is maintained through to handover.