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Local architect highlights benefits of straw bale construction

A Powys architect based in Newtown is advocating for the use of sustainable and locally sourced materials in the construction industry, highlighting the benefits of incorporating Welsh straw into building design.

2 weeks ago 1734 views

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A Powys architect based in Newtown is advocating for the use of sustainable and locally sourced materials in the construction industry, highlighting the benefits of incorporating Welsh straw into building design.

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Hughes Architects, led by Principal Architect Doug Hughes, has successfully promoted the use of Welsh wool in building insulation and is now turning its attention to straw as a versatile and eco-friendly construction material.

According to Mr. Hughes, straw bales offer superior insulation properties, helping to regulate internal temperatures and significantly reducing energy consumption in buildings.

Additionally, straw is a renewable resource that is readily available, making it a sustainable choice for environmentally conscious homeowners.

A recent report by the University of Bath found that straw walls in new houses can provide up to two times more insulation than required by current UK building regulations, resulting in potential energy bill reductions of up to 90 percent.

Straw can be utilized in various ways in building projects, including as load-bearing walls, infill insulation, and as a traditional thatching material for roofs.

By creating a new demand stream for straw as a by-product of cereal crops, construction projects using straw bales can also bring economic benefits to the agricultural community.

Mr. Hughes expressed his commitment to promoting sustainable building practices that not only benefit the environment but also support the local economy.

He believes that straw bale construction has the potential to become a popular and natural product in the construction industry, offering innovative and sustainable solutions that align with environmental responsibility and architectural values.

This initiative by Hughes Architects follows their successful promotion of Welsh wool in building design, which not only highlighted the natural benefits of the material but also supported Welsh sheep farmers by increasing the use of wool by-products.

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