BaleHaus at Bath changes location

The BaleHaus® at Bath has moved from its previous location to a new site 80m away from its original home. The University of Bath needed the original BaleHaus® site to be vacated to create space for a new 5 storey education block to be built.

The original BaleHaus® at Bath was completed and opened by Kevin McCloud, of Grand Designs, in 2009. It has been used as a research building for the ModCell® straw bale panel system. The research recorded data every 15 minutes from within the ModCell® panels and the building as a whole. Other research included hurricane testing and identifying the reduced heating requirement due to the super-insulated nature of the ModCell® panels. Numerous other research testing has also been completed.

Due to the modular nature of the ModCell® system and the desire to not lose this innovative building, it was decided to dismantle the BaleHaus® and re-assemble it in its new location. The stated aims were to reuse and recycle as much of the building materials as possible, whilst also proving the ability to relocate buildings using the ModCell® system.

As the timber cladding was being removed, the new sites foundations were being laid. The ModCell® panels were detached from each other and moved, via a tele-handler, to a temporary storage area next to the new site. The new site had a number of trees that were under protection, so great care and planning was taken to ensure that they were in no danger.


As previously mentioned the stated aim of the project was to re-use and recycle as much of the original buildings materials as possible.

Recycled and re-used materials:

  • 100% of the ModCell® panels
  • 100% of the roof deck and wood fibre insulation
  • 100% of the internal walls and timber beams
  • 100% of the internal floor between ground floor and first floor,
  • 100% of the windows and doors
  • 75% of the original timber cladding - this was used on three faces of the building, the 25% of new timber cladding was applied to one face of the BaleHaus - you can see this in the picture slide show above
  • The original site foundations were broken up and used as hard core for the new 5 storey education block

The BaleHaus® at Bath is now being used by the University as an office building. The BaleHaus® now has a cloakroom, kitchen and a variety of differant size office spaces. A palette of bright colours has been used throughout the building to create a vibrant work space.

The building will continue to be monitored as part of the ongoing research by ModCell® and the University.