087 - Timber Thatch Hut

Andreas Hauthal & Arne Köller

Oldenburg, Germany


The concept of our building is simple. We designed it with renewable resources as much as possible. It looks similar to a forest from inside and outside. The facade is made out of pine boards, just like the floor and the ceiling inside. The roof has shingles made of wood. The walls, ceiling and floor are insulated with pressed straw. Interior walls are plastered with clay. The heat from the oven can be easily saved.

The small building stands on pillars. The timber frame is connected and stands on the piled foundations. The straw insulation is a renewable resource, for which no extra farmland is needed. Chemical treatment against pests is not necessary, since the dry stalks are unattractive for rodents and insects as a food source because of their low nutrient content.

With its high insulation values (U-values from 0.052 to 0.080) straw is among the natural insulation materials. With bales of straw with a thickness of 35 cm we can even build passive houses. The material is biodegradable, even if it get's demolished - this too is important for the overall energy balance. The pressed stalks must not be too short and not too moist, which otherwise jeopardizes the stability of the structure.

Once the straw insulation prevailed after 4 to 8 weeks, the walls can be plastered. The plaster contributes to the reinforcement of the building structure. In both types of construction the plaster is incorporated directly onto the surface of the straw or applied to a plaster base mounted on the straw insulation. Alternatively, the straw insulation can be covered with wooden boards or planks.

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