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Content: History and Modern Straw Bale Building, Customizing & Handling: quality, orientation, measuring, shaping, dividing, rebinding, cutting and notching bales, density, moisture, tools for straw bale building and storage of bales.


After completing this course, trainees can

  • check the quality of a building straw bales
  • use a bale in the correct orientation
  • measure bales (dimensions, humidity, weight)
  • adjust the shape of a bale and square off the ends
  • divide and rebind a bale
  • cut and notch a bale
  • calculate the density of a bale
  • assess moisture in a bale
  • use the tools for handling and customizing bales
  • keep the bales dry and well ventilated during storage

STEP U1 Handbook (online on Yumpu) / All dates and details on

STEP U1 Intro: Welcome Video, Learning Outcome & Preview

Introduction and preview of skills and competences gained in this course: types of straw, properties of construction bales, customizing and handling, dividing and shaping straw bales with appropriate tools; the advantages of straw bales in sustainable building.

History of Straw Bale Building

STEP U1-S1: History and Modern Straw Bale Building

With the invention of straw baling machines in 1870 settlers started to build straw bale huts, which grew bigger and bigger, as they were comfortable and easy to build. We take a look from the beginnings to modern straw bale construction and houses, which are up to 7 storeys all around Europe today.

STEP U1-S2: StrawTalk

In this Straw Talk we take a look at the types of straw and it’s properties and recommendations for good construction bales. We also talk about why straw insulates, how to check and measure a good building bale, why straw is so sustainable and ecological, how to store it and what tools you need for efficient straw bale building.

Team Building, Safety and Communication on the Building Site

There are fewer accidents and errors, if everyone is motivated and if the communication on building site is working. Being a team rather than in competition, helps to generate a climate of awareness and inclusion. Feedback is essential for recognition and teambuilding on your construction site.

STEP U1-S3: Handling & Customizing Straw Bales

In this lesson you learn, how to handle and customize, carry, measure, dress, stuff, compress, divide and rebind straw bales in various different ways. You will learn how to make a miller-knot, but more important, how to stuff straw, so that the plaster doesn’t pull out your artwork again. No joke: stuffing is really an art.

STEP U1-S4: Tools for Straw Bale Building

The construction of straw bale walls requires almost a few specialized tools. Some of them are self-made, like stuffers, infill boards and persuaders, some are really essential, but not really expensive. We talk about some tricks and tipps, what to buy, to have the best result. The right tools make the job easier, faster, and more secure.

STEP U1-S5: Organisation of the (training) building site

Course Content

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