Using Engineered Shear Panels in Your Straw Bale House

Written by Andrew Morrison

straw bale shear bracingI have spoken before about the use of engineered shear panels and I want to once again speak in favor of them. Shear panels are engineered and thus easily accepted by almost any building official. Their installation is relatively simple and speeds the construction of the home considerably. Be sure you know exactly where they will go in the house before you pour your foundation because the anchor bolts need to be placed in the exact spot in the concrete so they will properly line up with the panels during the framing stage.

That said, it is possible to omit the bolts during the pour and drill them in later with the use of a rotary hammer drill and some rated epoxy. Some building officials may not feel as secure with this option; however, most companies that offer shear panels will accept this as a suitable installation of the panels.

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4 Responses

  1. Hello there, I have been searching everywhere in the state of Texas or USA for prefab Strawbale wall panels! I cannot find them anywhere. Would you happen to know of anyone that would make them?

  2. Hi Dusty. I hear ya. It’s not something that is being used in large capacity here in the States. I would suggest contacting Chris Magwood at the Endeavour Centre in Ontario as he works a LOT with pre fab panels and is working hard to get them into the market in both Canada and the US. You might also contact the folks at ModCell in the UK as they have a cool company as well. Best of success to you.

  3. Are there SB engineered panels for interior walls that are thinner like 12 inches vs 16 or 18 inches. This to allow more usable interior space? And where would we find them. Thanks.

  4. Hi Brad. I am not aware of any products like that. There are some straw panels that have been built, but they are not readily available. Most people build conventional, light frame walls for interior partitions.

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