Straw bale building projects with Modcell
Find out more about how we approach this building scenario.
ModCell has worked with Back to Earth since 2011 for the supply of a number of products complimentary to our own product range. We have used the business for the supply of air sealing tapes and membranes and also for a number of rendering products and accessories. We have found it’s services invaluable to our business and benefit from our shared sustainable values. Chris’s product support knowledge and enthusiasm has been tailored to suit our individual project requirements and we have benefited from his hands on approach. ModCell recommends Back to Earth to anyone seeking a professional and personal service level from their product supplier.
Bristol-based company ModCell, leaders in the field of straw bale manufacture, have completed the LILAC (Low Impact Living Affordable Community) Co-Housing project in Leeds. It was built on the site of a former primary school. The scheme is made up of twenty affordable homes, a mixture of houses and apartments.
The scheme uses ModCell’s standard straw bale panels which are then spray rendered internally and externally with Baumit K39 lime render and left undecorated. ModCell has used Baumit K39 for the last 10 years simply because it works so well for them in terms of durability and robustness, ease of use and breathability. They have never found another render that can do everything the K39 does.
For more information on the ModCell’s LILAC project click here
Working with ModCell over the last year we have also helped them design their new Core+ panels which are now being used in a school building project with Skanska in Bristol. Using our products and hygrothermal modelling we have enabled them to achieve Passivhaus levels of insulation and airtightness from the new panels along with an exterior finish that will take all that a school environment can throw at it.
The new panels achieve U-values as low as 0.11 W/m2K and an air permeability of 0.68 m3/m2/hr at 50pa. Importantly, they have the correct moisture diffusion gradients within the panels to ensure that the straw is kept dry in any weather, ensuring a long life span.
Unger-Diffutherm’s 40mm UdiSPEED board with the UdiPERL render system is used on the outside of the panels to further minimise any thermal bridging of the timbers. It also provides a robust impact resistant surface that won’t crack when footballs or cricket balls hit it. Whilst the UdiPERL finish render is very breathable and flexible, it also contains silicone materials which repel dirt and graffiti, making it ideal for this environment.
For more information on ModCell’s school project click here.
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We offer dynamic heat and moisture modelling as well as condensation risk analyses.
Back to Earth is a natural building material supplier. We're not your typical builders' merchant though and instead work closely with our clients during the planning, designing and building phases of projects.