'When I was researching this article, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the well-known fairy tale ‘The Three Little Pigs.’ In the story, the first little pig builds his house from straw but suffers at the hands of the big bad wolf. The third little pig who has built his house of brick is safe from the wolf, telling us all that brick is the safest and most effective building material to use. However, it seems this trend is reversing, as eco construction companies are beginning to use straw as an alternative to conventional building methods!
Green building is a method of construction which takes into account the environmental effect of building. Environmentally responsible building methods and techniques aim to reduce the impact of building upon human health and the environment by making efficient use of energy, water and resources as well as minimising waste and pollution.
Leading the way in green building is ModCell®. Their pioneering straw technology is transforming normal schools into becoming renewable schools. One of their projects, Hayesfield Girls School in Bath, has been awarded Gold in Green Apple Awards. This is a prestigious environmental award presented at the House of Commons, and awarded for the best environmental practice'.
'Renewable schools are built using prefabricated straw bales. Straw is a by-product of agricultural practice, making it a renewable resource. In the UK alone, there is a surplus of 2m tonnes of straw each year, so this technology ensures that this invaluable material doesn’t go to waste. Surprisingly, and counter to the fairy tale, straw is a remarkably strong material. It is also highly insulating, much more so than the standard declared by building regulations, helping reduce energy bills.
This low-carbon building material is being used to meet the high demand for teaching space in our schools. ModCell® use local labour to produce and build their schools, the design of which is tailored to meet the needs of each school. As a sustainable material and a natural bi-product of agriculture, straw bales are extremely cost-effective.
Bristol is proudly home to a ModCell® Renewable School. May Park Primary School in Eastville, Bristol have had a roomy expansion using this fantastic eco-technology. In phase one, a four room extension was attached to the school. In the second phase, an additional building was created including 16 new classrooms, a hall, a kitchen and space for Special Educational Needs facilities. Pupils not only have a lovely new school, but also have the opportunity to learn about this new technology during the design and construction processes.
ModCell® Renewable Schools are a fantastic solution to the increasing demand for additional teaching facilities and the need to modernise older buildings. Hopefully this brilliant green technology will be utilised for other purposes. With the success and recognition that ModCell® are gaining, this seems highly likely'.
Article written by Danielle Jackson of Bristol Green Capital
Read original article at Bristol Green Capital