documentation of the building process of the "centre for sustainable building" groundbraking september 2012 the idea began in 2005, when we decided to expand the ecological centre. the idea was to build with strawbales in order to spread sustainable building and building with straw. the idea of this buiding is to show how to build sustainably with wood and straw. and to do it with 5 storeys, thatâ´s new in germany. we did 3 storeys with straw, but not 5. the preparation work was enourmous - we had to do a lot of research, especially fire tests for higher buildings. test walls with wood and straw, covered with different clay and lime plasters were tested fo fire resistance. we measure the temperature that reaches the straw, through the lime plaster.
this temperature must be lower than 200 degrees celsius since thatâ´s when straw starts to give off gases. it was exciting to see that it works: you can cover a strawbale wall with a lime plaster... ...and during a 60-minute fire test the straw wonâ´t even change colour, let alone burn. high-tech wood construction we are constructing the whole building in 3 d, every little piece, every drilling whole, every saw cut. everything already exists on the computer. and all this information will be sent to the production machines. in this hall we do the cutting of the raw wooden parts. all of the cutting is operated digitally. this cutter is 10 centimeters wide and itâ´s very fast and precise. itâ´s interesting how precisely it cuts the cones which will transfer the vertical loads of the building.
itâ´s all done by the automatic cnc technology. we lay down the wall pieces into one row, exactly as it will be done on the building site. like this, we can measure if itâ´s all correct or if we have to do some improvements. then the wall elements are packed onto lorries and transported to verden. insulation: 48 cm thick strawbales strawbales have a fantastic ecological footprint: it takes very little energy to use them for building. itâ´s a by-product of grain harvest, straw is available in abundance, and it doesnâ´t suppress food production. that was an important factor for us. straw as building product is unbeatable. every other organic insulation material has to be processed...
...using a lot of energy during production. straw is already there. first layer of lime plaster we donâ´t just spread the lime plaster onto the wall but we really rub it into the straw. of course itâ´s easier to rub the plaster into the straw when the wall element is lying on the floor. on a building site, we would have to do this in the vertical. parallel building process: prefabrication inside.... ...building of the basement outside with prefabrication we have the advantage to be independant of the weather. like this, we reduce the time of exposing the shell construction to the weather.
altogether, prefabrication saves time. 178 wall elements wall raising: 5 storeys - june/july 2013 we needed about 8 weeks to build the shell construction, so that was quite fast. it took more time to build the solid basement than raising the 5 storeys prefab wood and straw! topping out ceremony - august 2013 it makes sense to build schools and kindergardens like this. so we can show young people very early how to build ecologically and sustainably. i think thereâ´s a market for this, and itâ´s very necessary nowadays!
high-insulated facade windows second and third layer of lime plaster whatâ´s special about this building is that we needed a much thicker plaster than usual. because of fire protection requirements it had to be 6 cm thick plastering the straw directly was very important to us because if there is humidity in the wall.. ..the capillary-absorbent effect of the lime plaster will keep humidity off the straw. we like the look of the plaster. you can round off the corners, and work with colours. the project is unique in europe, nobody else has done this on a 5 storey strawbale building. opening - april 2015
the building is wonderful! we are very proud and happy about the quality of the rooms inside... ..as well as the outer appearance. all visitors are enthousiastic. i am happy about the resonance. there are a lot of compliments for the "center for sustainable building" in this building, progress is visible, sensible, and i hope that many people will build sustainably. i like the exhibition because you can touch things and remove prejudices against certain materials. itâ´s great to experience it directly! on the ground floor and in the basement, we built the exhibition "sustainable.building.experiencing." we try to convince people to build sustainably by letting them experience the materials directly. and those who are a bit more couragous might be motivated to use new building methods.
the exhibition is very diverse. you can pull out different elements and compare solutions. there are 4 o4 5 examples right next to each other, so i can see: whatâ´s suitable for my house. you learn a lot in detail. about the cladding of a building, the engineering, and quality management. itâ´s made for all senses, not just verbal explanations but you can really touch things. and i notice the great condition of the air in the building. another speciality of the exhibition is that we show the buildingâ´s technology as it is working. so itâ´s not just turned off machines, but operating systems that are running in the building. we will reach a plus-energy standard. passive house standards are easily achieved. the building needs less than 10 kw/h per square meter a year. that would be about 1 litre of oil for heating per square meter and year.
the building produces more energy than it needs for heating and hot water. itâ´s important to build sustainably, because we have to protect our climate. maybe, like this, we will be able... ...together with many others, to create a society that is fit for the future. itâ´s time to stop just taking everything from nature. the word "consumer" - "consuming"... ..just take it and waste it - thatâ´s outdated! ã–kofilm - films that make sense