News story

BBC showcases innovative straw house development in Bristol

A new housing development built in Bristol is surprising people - as it's made out of straw.

Image of the text of the BBC's flagship programme, The One Show
ModCell appeared on the BBC's The One Show

The eco homes of the future are made with factory-built straw bale panels which are brought to the housing site in one piece.

It means you can now get a mortgage on a house made of straw. Surprised?

Built to withstand hurricanes as well as wolves

Innovate UK helped fund the research into the straw panels, a ModCell® product which was developed with help from the University of Bath.

A housing development using the straw panels is being built in Bristol. All 7 houses were built in 9 days - and can withstand hurricanes.

The new ModCell development was featured on the BBC’s The One Show. Watch the episode now (the ModCell story appears at 2 minutes 34 seconds).

Image of Craig White, Director of ModCell
Craig White, Director of ModCell, show's the BBC around the new Bristol development

Cheaper to buy, build and heat

ModCell is a small Bristol company set up in 2005. The company manufactures and markets prefabricated panels made of straw as low carbon building materials.

Director Craig White said of the new straw bale house development in Bristol:

“It’s a quicker and more effiecient way of building homes.”

Instead of plaster board, compressed straw is used. The straw and air combined stops air and heat leaking out of the buildings, allowing them to stand up to be the houses of the future.

Saving on energy and cost

Craig hopes that the straw houses could reduce heating bills from £600 a year to only £60.

One resident who’s been living in a straw-insulated home in Leeds for 5 months says her heating bills have dropped to 20% of what they were in her old home.

Lara Eggleton said:

“The energy savings are really noticeable, really remarkable.”

Find out more about ModCell and its straw technology

Published 2 March 2015