Watch this eco-house take shape

March 26 2015

PUTTING the environment at the forefront of an exciting new development, is Room 212 owner Sarah Thorp.

PUTTING the environment at the forefront of an exciting new development, is Room 212 owner Sarah Thorp.

A two-story straw-bale house, which is being built behind the art gallery in Gloucester Road Central in place of an old dilapidated warehouse, is set to pop up this autumn.

Full planning permission has been received for the building, which has direct access to Bishop Lane.

Sarah has employed eco-builder Nico Smith of Red Kite Design & Build Ltd and architect Sarah Burton of SuperLANDStudio to create the 212 Straw House.

She first met Nico when he was building the straw bale hut at the Golden Hill Community Garden (see pg. 30).

This project, which incorporates sustainable materials and energy efficiency, seeks to show how ecological building systems can be integrated into modern urban living.

The deep straw walls will maximise the thermal efficiency of the house, with thick clay plaster to hold the heat from the sun within the building.

The aim is to use natural or reclaimed building materials where possible to reduce the embodied energy of the building, and for comfort and healthy living.

The construction is load-bearing, where the straw bale walls themselves make up the structure of the building, as well as provide the insulation.

Bricks from the site's old warehouse will be reused in the plinth wall of the building.

The exterior of the bales will be lime rendered with some timber cladding, and the internal walls will be plastered using clay from the foundations.

The house boasts a diverse green roof system using recycled wool carpet, rainwater harvesting and solar panels. Sheep wool insulation will also be used in the roof.

There will be many events linked in with the build to enable the curious to learn more about sustainable building and to take part in its construction.

The first, Get Creative With Cob at 212 Straw House, will be on May 6, 4-6pm as part of the BCR Neighbourhood Partnership festival.

Visitors will be able to ask questions about the build and get mucky with the mud and straw mix used for rendering the straw bales.

To follow the build and find out about upcoming events, visit: www.facebook.com/212strawhouse

CGI of straw-bale house by Sarah Burton of SuperLANDStudio Ltd