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CSIRO Build a bushfire-resilient straw house


By Merrin Fabre


In the fight between straw and fire, what do you think would come out on top? Scientists from the CSIRO found out when they tried to burn down a house made of straw.

They took an eco-friendly house with Modak board cladding, a steel frame and walls insulated with straw and exposed it to a worst case bushfire scenario. Did it survive? Results say, yes it did.

The house, made using a building system created by sustainable designer Joost Bakker, may provide an environmentally friendly building option for bushfire-prone areas.

The affectionately named "straw house" was blasted with a range of real life bushfire conditions, from a radiation build up phase to full flame immersion and then a radiation decay phase.

So how did it fair? The external temperature reached a scorching 1000 oC while inside the house was a cool 35 oC. There was minimal damage to the straw house's cladding and while the steel frame heated up  to 100-110 oC it remained structurally sound and intact. Attached to the house was a about 70-odd sensors that measured what was happening inside and outside the building, so there are plenty more results to be analysed. For now, we know that when exposed to extreme bushfire conditions the little house that could, stood.

Read the full article by clicking on the links below.


Bushfire Eco-Resilience

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