Straw Bale Landscape Walls: An Eco-Friendly Alternative

From on November 03, 2009 in Green Remodeling

straw bale wall home

If you want a truly unique landscape wall, then you’ll love straw bale walls – a style that oozes with the charm of yesteryear and offers a remarkable amount of design flexibility. Made from bales of hay, the straw bale wall offers a rich texture and adobe-like sculptural facade. It’s easy to shape, mold, and design, giving you complete artistic control. Rounded edges, sweeping curves, open windows and built-in benches are but a few ideas you can use to create your wall.

Why Build a Landscape Wall?

Landscape walls add detail and depth and serve as privacy barriers. They can be simple or elaborate and made from almost any type of building material, including stone, brick and wood. Design possibilities are limited only by one’s imagination and budget. The storybook Carmel-meets-Hobbit straw bale landscape wall featured above is a perfect example of the various possibilities available today.

straw bale wall shedDarling garden shed built from straw bale

The Beauty of Straw Bale

Straw is organic, abundant, renewable and sustainable. It’s affordable and easy to work with. Once covered with earthen or cement-lime plasters, the wall is fireproof and it’s a natural when it comes to blocking out street noise. The architectural beauty of straw bale easily blends with any style of home.

Other creative uses for straw bale include home construction and sheds. The insulating performance on a straw bale home is between R35 and R50, which is about two to three times the insulation of a frame and wall home. Because the straw doubles as structure and insulation, the cost of materials is significantly lower. They’ve been building straw bale homes for hundreds of years because of the insulation aspects and natural beauty.

The landscape wall featured below was built with straw bale. Notice the deep window sills – that’s creative flexibility!

straw bale wall house

Landscape Wall Height

The walls can be as short as 3 feet tall and used to create a meandering wall or accent in the garden. Any wall over 3 feet will need buttress walls to support the landscaping wall from blowing over in high winds. A common height for a straw bale privacy wall is 6 feet, 8 inches. Because the material is flexible, you can effortlessly curve the wall around existing trees, shrubs and structures.