UBC Undergraduate Research

An investigation into the use of cob and/or straw bale construction in non-residential buildings Li, James; Gray, Matthew; Coulter, Sam


The effects of climate change and exhaustion of natural resources has triggered a movement towards “sustainable” or “green” construction (Offin, 2010). This trend has created a renewed interest in construction with natural building materials. This study aims to examine the suitability of Cob and Straw Bale based construction for the UBC farm’s new building based on 3 primary factors; economic, social, and environmental. Primary research was conducted through online, in-print, and professional resources. Existing examples of Straw Bale and Cob utilizing buildings were both the inspiration and the main target of research and information gathering efforts. This study shows the suitability of Straw Bale based construction for a large scale building, and the complementing Cob based construction for a smaller building or new wing of an otherwise traditional building. These conclusions should prove useful in all future infrastructure investments of the University of British Columbia. Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

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