Faculty Advisor

Albano, Leonard D.


Through research and testing procedures, the correlation between various plaster components and straw bale was evaluated in terms of vapor permeability, thermal resistivity, and compression strength in order to assess how applicable a plastered-straw bale system can be relative to cold climate regions. In addition, a one-family, two-story straw bale structure was designed and structurally analyzed for Worcester, MA by following the 780 CMR. A cost benefit analysis was also conducted to see how the costs between straw bale construction and standard construction methods in Massachusetts differ. Through the findings of this project, it was determined that straw bale construction is a viable alternative to standard construction methods in Massachusetts.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

January 2011


Civil Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Civil and Environmental Engineering