The First Strawbale Building in Haiti

Posted: December 14, 2010 by Andy Mueller in Uncategorized

Stacking bales in Port-au-Prince

By the Builders Without Borders team –
Welcome everyone.  This blog will chronicle the construction of the first strawbale building in Haiti, currently under construction in Port-au-Prince.  Read more soon . . .

  1. Alex Miller says:

    Dear Haiti Straw Bale,
    I visited your grassroots site back in July, and was very excited to see the straw bale prototype up and finished. I have been telling people that straw bale is perfect for Haiti, but they seem to raise a valid point in response. Where do we get the straw? I know Haiti has a large portion of corn, rice, and sugar cane farms, but none that I know of that are wheat. How is the material sourcing playing into the introduction of straw bale construction to Haiti?
    I’m working for a company in south Haiti doing the new construction of 250 homes, and the repair of 750. We are using traditional methods, but straw bale is quite attractive, but again we don’t know how to secure the production of bales, or straw for that matter. Any help on this subject would be most appreciated.
    Thank you,

    • Andy Mueller says:

      Dear Alex,
      Rice straw is plentiful in Haiti, as rice is commonly grown in the broad Artibonite Valley northwest of Port-au-Prince, as well as near Les Cayes on the south peninsula and quite possibly other smaller climatically supportive pockets within Haiti. At least 80% of rice straw in Haiti goes to waste, usually burned after harvest, polluting the air in the process. Two and sometimes three rice crops are grown annually, making straw a rapidly renewable resource in Haiti. The Ti Kay Pay used manually baled straw, for its wall system, reinforced with bamboo and covered with interior clay and exterior lime plasters. Clay is readily found throughout Haiti and a tradition of clay plaster exists. You can visit and click on the Haiti gallery to see the bale making process.
      We contracted with a local farm owner and negotiated a price per bale.
      Andy Mueller

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