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Remember the tale of The Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf?
The first little pig builds a house of straw, but a wolf blows it down and eats the pig. The second pig builds a house of sticks, but with the same ultimate result. Each exchange between wolf and pig has repetitive phrases:
“Little pig, little pig, let me come in!”
“Not by the hair on my chinny-chin-chin!”
“Then I’ll huff, and I’ll puff, and I’ll blow your house in!”
The third pig builds a house of hard bricks. The wolf cannot huff and puff hard enough to blow the house down. He attempts to trick the third little pig out of the house, but the pig outsmarts him at every turn. Finally, the wolf resolves to come down the chimney, whereupon the pig boils a pot of water into which the wolf plunges, at which point the pig quickly covers the pot and cooks the wolf for supper.
Researchers at the University of Bath will be testing to see if houses of straw are the buildings of the future. They will be constructing a “BaleHaus” made of prefabricated straw bale and hemp cladding panels on campus.
Science Daily reports:
Straw is the ultimate environmentally-friendly building material since it is renewable and is a by-product of farming.
The crop used for the straw can be grown locally, and because it absorbs carbon dioxide as it grows, buildings made from it can be seen as having zero, or even a negative carbon footprint.
Also, due to its high insulating properties, houses made of straw bales need almost no conventional heating, keeping running costs low and minimising environmental impact.
Professor Pete Walker, Director of the BRE Centre in InnovativeConstruction Materials at the University of Bath, said: “Up to thispoint straw bales have not really been seen as a credible buildingmaterial by much of the industry, even though straw has always beenused in building for centuries, and straw bales have been used forabout 100 years.
From 20 July people will be able to log on here to watch the progressof the build via “Strawcam”.
Read the full article here.
The straw house constructed by the researchers at Bath University will hopefully be impervious to huffing and puffing.
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Poem that features straw
Annette Marie Hyder
Previously published in Thunder Sandwich
I chopped the wood.
I carried the water.
I baked your yellow hued bricks.
To see someone else
lay the cornerstone,
stand at the fire,
season the soup,
is more than I can take.
My trusty axe
will not dull in making
another home for me.
My bucket will carry
on without you.
There is always more mud
May your arm not know how to lift.
May you always know drip and leak.
May your endeavors fall apart
to match your nature
friable, uncooked man.
Links of interest:
CNN: The quake-proof house made of straw
50 Straw Bale House Plans
House of Straw