THERMAL PERFORMANCE OF THREE DIFFERENT STRAWBALE BUILDINGS AT THE KERKENES ECO-CENTER

By and large, straw is not considered to be a building material, yet in comparison with traditional materials, building with straw bales is definitely more energy-efficient, eco-friendly, and low-cost; qualities that are desirable in sustainable buildings. This paper presents information on three different straw bales buildings at the Kerkenes Eco-Center, which is located in the village of Sahmuratli in central Anatolia, Turkey. The first of these was constructed with load-bearing straw bale walls; the second with straw bales as infill in a timber-frame structure; while the third utilized straw bales in combination with Autoclave Aerated Concrete (AAC) blocks. This last was a hybrid wall construction that has been tried for the first time to take advantage of the thermal-insulation property of straw combined with the humidity-regulating property of mud plaster inside and the weather-resistance property of AAC outside. These three buildings are being monitored for their temperature and humidity variances with the help of data loggers; this data is also presented herein.