Going Back to Straw Houses? Biomaterials like Hemp and Straw Proving to Be Better Option for Building Construction


In Europe, biomaterials are proving to be better than conventional building products due to their beneficial natural properties. Researchers and builders in six different countries are finding that using textiles, hemp, straw and other plant-based biomaterials absorb moisture, prevent mold, improve building acoustics, and offer energy savings better than conventional building material. Applications range from roofing to insulation using biomaterials such as recycled and leftover textile scraps and waste, hemp, straw, and other natural fibers that breathe and thus are great at absorbing moisture. Even better, they help reduce greenhouse gases in their production compared to conventional synthetic materials.

The project is headed up by ISOBIO which includes 11 partners across Europe, and includes companies like Rooflys and researchers at the Technical University of Madrid in Spain, and the BRE Centre for Innovative Construction Materials at the University of Bath in the United Kingdom.