ECO-BUILDING – PART 10 – Working the Bales into Shape

Cats loves to live in straw bale houses with smooth and beautifully curved windows and elements

A straw bale house is commonly equipped with soft curves. The advantage of having softer curves around the windows is that they allow more direct light to filter into the rooms while also acting as reflectors for indirect light. These curves are easy to make and have an additional effect on the aesthetics of the house.


When a mesh is used for the engineering of a building, the creation of curves becomes quite easy. The mesh provides a form for the straw. The desired shape is created when the loose straw is placed behind the mesh, which is then nailed to the framing. For some shapes, such as curve around a window or door, additional plaster may be needed.

When using a metal mesh however, there is always the risk of creating a Faraday’s cage.

Niches and nooks

The characteristic of the walls being relatively thick makes it possible to create niches and/or nooks, if one desires. The spaces can be carved into the walls after the bales of straw have been stacked. They act as a decorative addition to on the walls, and can also be used to highlight an item in your home. These nooks can also be made into an ideal feature if a light fixture is attached to them.

These are a number of different options available as for the mesh – welded wire mesh, plastic mesh, chicken wire. It is worthwhile to experiment with various methods regarding to various usages.

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