Hay may be for horses, but straw bales also make an excellent sustainable building material. Constructed by former accountant Carol Atkinson, The Straw Bale Cabin in East Yorkshire is the UK’s first straw-bale holiday home! The cabin has been built with locally grown straw and other renewable materials, and it generates its own energy with a micro wind turbine, solar panels and a whole host of other eco-friendly features.
Straw bale buildings have a lot going for them, as Carol explains: “Straw bales provide a high level of insulation and have very low embodied energy, locking away carbon for the life of the building. When plastered on both sides, straw bale walls are fireproof, verminproof and airtight.” The straw bale cabin combines these features with an array of renewable energy generators, helping to significantly cut down on the cabin’s energy use. Situated in placid East Yorkshire, the eco-retreat is currently available for rent.
Carol is currently studying sustainable building with the University of East London at The Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales, and is now also leading three-day courses on how to build with the sustainable material.