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straw insulation


France is a pioneer in the straw sector compared to other European countries. It builds around 500 new straw buildings per year. Today there are approximately 5,000 straw-insulated buildings in France, of all types: individual houses, collective housing and public buildings.  

In 2012, France was the first European country to introduce Professional Rules for straw construction. These rules offer a common framework to the various professionals, and their respect is the guarantee of the proper use of this material.  

France is also the country in Europe where straw bale construction is the oldest. The Maison Feuillette in Montargis was built in 1920 and is today the headquarters of the Center national de la construction straw. If this house is the first in the world to use a wooden frame and straw filling, other constructions, in load-bearing straw, are older. In the United States, in Nebraska, houses dating from 1886 are still in good condition.  ​


Thus straw construction already has a long history of more than a century, normative texts and solid feedback. Scientific advances now make it possible to quantify its thermal insulation qualities and classify it as one of the most efficient materials on the market. Its relatively high density, 100kg/m2, makes it an insulation suitable for winter comfort, but also for summer comfort, unlike so-called light insulation.  

Finally, straw meets the ecological challenges of our time. This material is not produced as such, but is a residue from the agricultural production of wheat. The straw is renewable in one year, and therefore inexhaustible and above all particularly abundant. The French Straw Construction Network estimates that in France 10% of annual production would make it possible to insulate all the buildings constructed that same year. Even if straw is not the only ecological insulator, it is certainly the one that brings together the most advantages.


500 buildings per year in France

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2012: creation of professional rules for straw construction

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A material that can be renewed in 1 year



1886, oldest straw-built building still in good condition

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The Feuillette house was designed in 1920 by the engineer Émile Feuillette (1871-1939) with the aim of creating an economical and quick-to-build dwelling.

Article published in 1921 in the journal  Science and Life  :  "Cool in summer, warm in winter, straw houses are above all economical", highlights the advantages of straw constructions.

Specific points

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Fire standards

A fire test carried out at the CSTB on a wall made of insulated boxes with bales of straw demonstrated that straw can satisfy the fire safety regulations relating to establishments open to the public up to R+2.

According to tests conducted by the  French Straw Construction Network  in 2010, the bale of straw coated with lime obtains a classification B s1 d0


Which means :

B = weakly combustible.

s1 = Producing little combustible gas

d0 = Produces no flaming droplets or debris

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Water protection

Like all biobased products, straw insulation fears water. Prolonged exposure to water causes straw bales to rot and need to be changed.


To avoid this problem Cubeco has developed a floor drain system coupled with reinforced sealing under each water outlet. So even in the event of major water damage, the water is evacuated and never comes into contact with the straw. This system is present in bathrooms, toilets and kitchens to guarantee maximum safety and increased durability of the house. 

Biosourced materials and fire / Prefect of the Centre-Val de Loire region

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