The strawbale build
We needed more staff accommodation and gained planning permission to build two 3 bedroomed houses on site. However, rather than go for a conventional brick/block structure we, rather ambitiously, set about building the world's first fully load-bearing, two storey, semi-detached straw bale houses! There were many trials along the way, obstacles to be overcome and plans to be re-drawn; however, we recently weather-sealed the houses with doors and windows on and now need to finish the internal fit-out.
There is no cement or concrete in the build. Foundations are quarried rock and recycled glass, blown into foam blocks. The walls are all straw and the skin is a fully breathable , traditional lime plaster.
The houses will be very warm in winter with the straw walls being very thick and insulating, thus requiring little additional heat source. In addition, they will remain cool even in the hottest summer!
We also completed the instalation of £23K worth of solar panels on the roofs of the main hotel building to assist with our water heating .
This, in addition to recycling where we can and buying as much of our produce as locally as possible, assures that we are doing our bit to be kind to the environment!