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The straw house, champion of lowering the energy bill?

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At the start of the 2010s, it was just one more new trend: building your house out of straw, an eco-friendly act that smacks of a return to nature, with vaguely baba-cool hints. From now on, in a foggy socio-economic context, it is serious, with the key to resolutely concrete and pragmatic interests, which are expressed in terms of energy bill, carbon footprint or even energy saving work. energy.

Building your straw house

Building your house out of straw is not, strictly speaking, a novelty. Our very distant Neolithic ancestors (more than 3000 BC) were already building solid dwellings in cob reinforcement, a mixture of clay and straw. Building homes while straw dates from the late 18th century, however, remained in the shadow of iron and concrete of the industrial revolution. Since the beginning of the 2010s, the straw seems to have found the way to emancipation: 700 buildings were listed in France in 2010, a figure soared to 3,500 units in 2015, with 500 new constructions on average per year.

Energy savings and lower carbon footprint

The interests of straw construction are real, both in ecological terms and in the cost of work. Straw has been known since prehistoric times for its remarkable insulating capacities, keeping both warm and cool according to the seasons. It is also a material that efficiently stores CO2. Energy consumption and carbon footprint are thus decisively impacted, resulting in a significant reduction in the energy bill.

Building your house out of straw is also potentially an economic gain. Straw is an inexpensive, commonly available material. For the moment, most new constructions are carried out in participatory construction sites, or "self-constructions". While it is obviously better to be endowed with a good dose of envy and / or friends used to big jobs, the savings can be real, limiting the intervention of building professionals. The average price per m² thus varies from 1,200 to 1,500 euros.

Finally, contrary to popular belief, when it is strongly compressed, the straw does not ignite easily, and fully meets safety standards. On the other hand, its wooden frame ensures remarkable longevity. The straw house thus seems to have good years ahead of it. According to the French straw construction network, the French sector is the most dynamic in Europe.

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