BaleHaus: It's Not a House, It's A "Domestic Carbon Bank"
Seth Godin says that "the best hope for the eco movement is to tell a story of efficiency and growth and ingenuity" and that story has rarely been told as well as it is by the people at Modcell, who demonstrate that we can live carbon free and "maintain a healthy and comfortable quality of life."
How many buttons does this push? prefab, modern, bauhaus, strawbale, zero carbon, the tag line writes itself for this one. It is all built out of load-bearing straw-filled modules:
"The BaleHaus uses ModCell Straw cladding panels, to provide a super-insulated home, made from locally available materials that are designed to be dismantled, re-used and recycled at the end of a typical 75+ year life. This super insulating system meets the PassivHaus specification for zero heat homes."
"The BaleHaus has an additional feature however that allows it to become a carbon "bank". Straw and timber are renewable resources that can provide a continuous renewable supply of building material, replacing high embodied energy (i.e. "CO2 generating") materials such as steel and concrete. As straw and timber grow they absorb CO2 through photosynthesis, keep the carbon atom to make cellulose and give the oxygen atoms back to atmosphere. This is how we "bank" the carbon into the structure and fabric of each BaleHaus.
This process "banks" the equivalent of 130 tonnes of CO2 per house to deliver a less than Zero Carbon Home before any one moves in. Even allowing for the ca 70 tonnes of CO2 emitted during manufacture, supply and installation of the building fabric, structure, fixtures, fittings decoration mechanical and electrical equipment, this still leaves 60 tonnes of carbon in the "bank".
This "carbon credit" is enough to offset 10 years of BaleHaus' energy requirements using fossil fuels and over 40 years if energy is supplied from renewable, grid-based sources."