Council to build homes out of straw
Council tenants are being offered houses built of straw in a British first.
Four straw-bale semi-detached homes are due to be built by North Kesteven District Council, in Lincolnshire, as part of its drive to provide affordable and eco-friendly housing.
The homes are made of tightly-packed straw and this will be the first time they have been used in Britain for council houses.
The innovative homes have been designed by Amazonails - a former women's roofing company that is now a not-for-profit social enterprise.
Director Barbara Jones said the straw-bale homes would be a "world first" in council houses.
She said: "We are very excited about it, I have to say. For a local authority to do this, North Kesteven is really leading the way."
She said the council approached them to design the homes, and although straw houses have been around since the late-90s, they are not yet mainstream.
She said: "They have remarkably good results, it's the most thermally-efficient house you can get. That is the biggest advantage because it means the long-term running cost of the house is very minimal."
She said other advantages include the eco-friendly aspect of the homes, which will be "carbon negative" rather than just "carbon zero".
She also said without planting any extra crop for straw, there is already enough to build 250,000 homes a year if necessary.