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Work progressing on straw bale council houses
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The first straw bale council houses in the UK at Waddington in Lincolnshire, are progressing. The main fabric is almost finished - the straw bale walls are now fully constructed and the roofs have been added. Work on the first floor walls concluded last week, and the roof was lowered on Monday, putting the walls under compression, and giving them their strength.
Work progressing on straw bale council houses

The first straw bale council houses in the UK at Waddington in Lincolnshire, are progressing. The main fabric is almost finished - the straw bale walls are now fully constructed and the roofs have been added. Work on the first floor walls concluded last week, and the roof was lowered on Monday, putting the walls under compression, and giving them their strength.

The next stage in the building process is lime rendering, which is already well underway on the ground floor. Once the straw walls are rendered, they will more closely resemble traditional houses.

Work will begin on the interiors of the houses within the next few weeks. North Kesteven District Council in Lincolnshire is the driving force behind the construction of the houses. It is overseeing the project in order to directly tackle the problem of providing affordable homes in the District, as well as improving the sustainability of the community.

Two houses are being built in Waddington, with another two planned for Martin. These three bedroom family homes will look like conventional brick built properties, and be the first ‘typical affordable council houses’ to be built by a local authority using strawbale construction. The houses have been designed by Amazonails from Todmorden, West Yorkshire.

Leader of North Kesteven District Council, Councillor Mrs Brighton, OBE, said: “The straw houses are getting nearer and nearer to completion. With the walls now built and the roofs attached, there is a great sense of excitement and anticipation.

“These are the first council houses of their kind in the country, and North Kesteven District Council is proud to be the driving force behind the scheme. We hope that other local authorities will be inspired to build affordable, sustainable houses like these.”

It is hoped that the houses will be ready to live in by March 2010. When they are completely finished, they will be allocated through the normal North Kesteven District Council register and housing allocation scheme. Anyone can apply, but all will go through the same process

The District Council has set a budget of £110,000 per home,which is approximately £20,000 less than a traditional brick-built property of the same size and design. A figure of £60,000 has been quoted in the national press. However, this figure relates to self build, where there are no labour costs.

The council hope that once they have built the first set of houses, the experience gained will enable them to build more straw houses at a lower cost.

For more information on the straw houses, visit www.n-kesteven.gov.uk/straw




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