The viability of straw bale as a construction material in Indian context

  • YEAR
    Gupta, Monika
    Roy, Uttam Kumar
    Roy, Madhumita
    2019 Conference Papers
    Conference Papers
    Construction Material and Construction Practices


India has the largest area under rice cultivation as rice being the dominant crop in the country.
India produces 98 million tonnes of paddy with roughly 130 million tonnes of straw. To increase the crop
yield, farmers do not keep the field idle and they try to make the field ready for the next crop. Thus
managing the residual straw for site clearance is always an issue. Burning these residuals is the
quickest solution for them. Again, Architects, engineers are in desperate search of environmentally
responsible building material. Straw- bale can be a very good solution to meet all the related
issues for a environmentally sustainable material. Straw is not a new building material in our country.
The image of the entire rice producing rural belt area in the country has changed over the past few
decades. The roof cover has shifted from thatch made of straw to tin or asbestos. While, the use of
straw bale in contemporary construction has increased significantly in recent years in many
countries like US, UK, Canada, Australia and Japan,in India, formally the straw bale construction is
not yet so popular and accepted in spite of a felt absence of sustainable building materials. The
aim of this paper is to examine the viability of straw bale as a material-technology to meet our
future construction needs especially in pre-urban and rural areas.

Keywords: Strawbale, sustainable, embodied energy, prefab construction materials


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