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Straw council houses

Here is an interesting story. I wonder if the One Cornwall council will follow this lead:

Britain's first straw council houses to be built.

Britain's first straw council houses are to be built in a bid to cut costs and energy consumption.

The six semi-detached homes will be built from 250 bales and will be indistinguishable from normal homes because of their lime-washed walls.

The straw is so tightly packed that it pose no fire risk and according to designers, it can save householders up to 80 per cent a year on heating bills.

At £60,000, the three-bedroom properties also cost £20,000 less to build than a conventional house.

The first council to experiment with the ground-breaking designs is North Kesteven in Lincolnshire, although more are now said to be queuing up for details.

Marion Brighton, leader of the North Kesteven County Council, said she believes straw has massive potential. There are more than two million tons of straw a year surplus to requirements in the UK - sufficient to build 250,000 homes.

She said: "The straw houses tick all the boxes - cost and energy efficiency. Also, we have a lot of straw in the area. It makes sense to make use of it.

"The properties will look similar to conventional council properties except the outer walls will be whitewashed with lime rather than red brick.

"We hope to continue building with straw and to encourage other councils to follow suit."

A total of four, three-bedroom properties are due to be built in the village of Martin in April, with two more due to be built later in the year in nearby Waddington.

They have been designed by Amazon Nails, which was originally a roofing business run by women that has evolved into a not-for-profit social enterprise specialising in environmentally-sensitive building.

The homes are expected to have a good lifespan since some of the first that were built in America 100 years ago are still going strong.

Each house will be attached to the National Grid but gas would only be supplied for cooking with warmth supplied by a wood burning stove for the cold winter spells.

David Hacker, of construction company A Hacker & Son, said: "It's an incredible exciting venture. It will be the first time we will have built using straw and will involve intensive training. We hope it will be the future."

The full story is here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/4358313/Britains-first-stra...