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Could Rice Straw be the Answer to Building with Bales in Humid Climates?

Written by Andrew Morrison

I received the following comment on my old blog. It got me thinking about building with bales in humid climates and rice straw. I noticed that many of the humid climates are actually where rice grows and thrives. To that end, I wondered if it might really be possible to build with bales in a humid climate if the bales were rice straw. I am not in a position to undertake this study, but want to present a challenge to you all:

rice field in BaliAre you willing to do the unbiased research to see how rice straw holds up under humid conditions?  This will need to be a scientific experiment to hold mustard with critics. If you are interested, please let me know. Perhaps we can get some funding to do the research if your proposal is strong. I am excited about this chance to expand the world of straw bale construction.

Here’s what the blogger had to say.

Andrew, I just happened to run across this post and comment section as I was searching through various alternative construction sites. I am not an expert in any shape or form on any of these methods but I noticed the questions from the people in Southeast Asia about bale construction there .

One of the sites on materials I was looking at on my earlier searches for information made the claim that rice straw takes twice as long to decompose as wheat straw because of the higher silica content.

Whether this is true or not I cannot say. I simply wanted to pass the information along so others working in these areas might be alerted to check further on whether or not this is indeed true. If it is it might positively effect the viability of building with bales in humid climates in areas that have access to inexpensive rice straw.

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51 Responses

  1. Hi Arpit. Thanks for your message.Rice is a great building material and is totally safe. A well built rice straw bale home will last as long as 100 years or more. There are examples of straw bale houses across the world, and in almost every climate. Extra humid climates are the most difficult to build with straw in.

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