Assessment of straw degradation inside straw bale walls in severe cold region of China
With the increasing concerns of low carbon development of building industry, the feasibility of using straw bale buildings has been widely discussed for the last decade in China. However, there are few studies focus on assessment of durability of this building type regarding the climatic features in China. This paper analyzes the features of straw degradation inside straw bale walls in the severe cold region in China. The analysis involves two parts of researches: The first part analyzes the degradation potential of straw inside straw bale walls in high humidity and high temperature conditions which was recorded in the summers in the climatic region; The following research examine straw conditions inside an experimental straw bale building in the region after one-year competition of the building. The results show that the straw inside straw bale walls have no concerns of degradation in the high hygrothermal environment in the severe cold region in China. The following inspections of straw conditions inside experimental building indicate that straw have moderate concerns of degradation in the area 2-3cm deep behind the lime render. The work of this research will help to build up models for predicting straw degradation levels inside straw bale building in severe cold region in China. This impact of this research will be the growth in low carbon energy efficient straw bale construction with confidence over its long-term durability characteristics in severe cold region in China.