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Straw bales, a possible solution for hygro-thermally comfortable dwellings in Chile's central valley: physical test chambers and in situ measurements

Whitman, Christopher 2014. Straw bales, a possible solution for hygro-thermally comfortable dwellings in Chile's central valley: physical test chambers and in situ measurements. Journal of Green Building 9 (2) , pp. 161-181. 10.3992/1943-4618-9.2.161

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Abstract

Dwellings in a Mediterranean climate, such as that of Chile's Central Valley, must provide hygro-thermal comfort both during the cold winters, and the hot days and cool summer nights. Straw, once a material common in Chile's indigenous and vernacular architecture, could meet these demands when coupled with sufficient thermal mass in the form of earth renders and floor finishes. This article presents measurements of dry bulb temperatures and relative humidity, both in physical test chambers and Chilean straw bale homes. The results of these measurements confirm that straw bale construction could provide hygro-thermal comfort with heating demands 28% less than those of constructions that meet the Chilean thermal building regulations. Straw bale, therefore, could provide a viable solution for comfortable, energy efficient, rural dwellings in Chile's Central Valley. Whilst over 40 private straw bale projects have been completed in Chile to date, restrictions applying to projects receiving government subsidies prevent this technology being available to those who need it most.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Architecture
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
N Fine Arts > NA Architecture
Uncontrolled Keywords: straw bale, hygro-thermal comfort, residential, energy efficiency, Chile
Publisher: College Publishing
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 29 Jun 2019 05:44
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/69703

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