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Author Topic: Straw bale barn  (Read 2635 times)


  • Joined Jun 2012
Straw bale barn
« on: May 28, 2013, 02:00:38 pm »
We want to erect a barn for our future tractor  ;D and other bits and pieces and I'm really keen to build one from natural materials.

Has anyone built any straw bale buildings? There's loads of information about building houses from straw bales but I'm envisioning a 3 bay barn, open on one side IYSWIM and I'm struggling to picture how the roof might be constructed  :-\

Also what flooring could we use? Don't want concrete and most of the designs I've seen use a timber floor but I'm guessing that won't work for heavy machinery?

Any thoughts / suggestions gratefully received  :)


  • Joined Mar 2013
  • East Sussex
    • Sussex Forest Garden
Re: Straw bale barn
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2013, 02:16:46 pm »
If you construct a pole barn and just fill the gaps in with straw bales then the walls won't need to be structural. I'd be worried about weather with it being open but I suppose lime rendering works on the outside normally.

Have you considered a cheese floor?

Failing that, plastic reinforcement grids filled with gravel should suffice


  • Joined Aug 2010
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Straw bale barn
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2013, 03:16:11 pm »
I think a pole barn is the way to go, that way it will be structurally sound just with the posts and the roof and infill panels can be whatever you like and lightweight eg OSB boarding with onduline, tin or something nicer eg wooden shingles.

You might want to consider weather protection for part of the front, depending on what you are using it for, a yorkshire boarding (hit and miss boards to let the wind through) for an overhang or even remove able panels boarded like that  which you take off in summer. Or you can get gale breaker blind type things that just roll down, made of a mesh, again will protect against a lot of the snow and rain and wind power.

Just added if you did this last suggesting you could probably stick to an earth floor as it would stay a lot drier,  alternatively if you get type 1 aggregate with plenty of stone dust in it and water it well and roll it well, it forms a pretty good floor, tho it's important to dig down before you lay the type one and put hardcore beneath it if you want a really long lasting job,
« Last Edit: May 28, 2013, 03:18:32 pm by lachlanandmarcus »


  • Joined Jun 2012
Re: Straw bale barn
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2013, 06:08:19 pm »
Thanks for your suggestions, much appreciated.

The cheese floor looks interesting, not sure about using the plastic grids as I really want to use sustainable materials as much as possible.

I did start out thinking about a pole barn but with no machinery and very little in the way of tools it's going to involve paying out quite a lot for outside help.. Everything I read about building with straw bales suggests it's much easier to achieve with unskilled labour (ie me and OH!)

I do take on board the point about the weather protection for the front, that definitely needs more thought  :thinking:


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