UP Straw granted!
Urban Project with Straw
for a large-scale development
of straw

Written by esba

News: Interreg-Project UP Straw is granted by the European Union.

The main objective of the project is to up-scale the use of straw in the construction sector, for new buildings and for retrofitting old buildings.
The project aims to accelerate the uptake of straw building by disseminating and translating knowledge, opening the market, training professionals and exciting people’s desire.
It will also allow the construction of 5 iconic buildings in straw (public and private, renovation and construction), open to the general public and/or professionals.

Duration: 42 months, Start date: March 2017, End date: September 2020

The total budget is 6.3 million. The European Union finances the project to 60%, other partners must be found to finance the remaining 40%.

Lead Partner: CNCP – Centre National de la Construction en Paille (France)
Cluster Eco-construction, BE
FASBA – Fachverband Strohballenbau Deutschland e.V., DE
Lebensbogen eG, DE
SBN – Strobouw Nederlands, NL
Gemeente Tilburg, NL
SNaB – The School of Natural Building, UK
Hastings Borough Council, UK

Subpartner: ESBA (responsible for the communication work)

Project Summary:
Heating all of the buildings in NWE accounts for about 15% of the GHG emissions. New passive buildings and large scale renovation are needed to reduce these emissions, and construction emissions themselves account for about 12% of GHG(cement, bricks, glass and petrochemicals – source EEA).
The aim is to reach 5% of the construction market in 2030 and to save 2 MTCO2 (incl. fixed CO2).

The challenge is to improve the insulation of buildings with natural materials which have fixed carbon during their life cycle. Wood is now well known. Straw has impressive insulation characteristics too, but is still to be better known and promoted in order to be used on a large scale.
Straw bales are available all over the territory (millions of tonnes in every country). It is typically the widespread cheap sub-product of the agricultural sector, local and biodegradable: a perfect illustration of circular economy.
1,000 buildings are built in straw every year in Europe. The target for grow this 5,000 per year in 2020, 50,000 per year in 2030.


  • Create technical tools that will help professionals to know how to use straw and to prescribe it (BIM, ETA, carbon balance, straw building device).
  • Ensuring the training of students, architects, engineers, and builders for using straw in their projects.
  • Market development strategy for boosting demand and SMEs’ ability to serve this demand.
  • Validating straw insulation techniques for retrofitting existing buildings.
  • Large communication: information, dissemination, fairs, open conferences and publications will help improving the image and notoriety of straw building.

Around thirty sub-actions are associated with these main actions.

The long term effects will be a major change in the perception of straw as a building material thanks to training programmes and appropriate demonstration and communication. The project will also bring concrete solutions to actual challenges like terms of reference for public procurement, specifications for straw in BIM (Building Information Modelling) or life cycle assessment for straw and guarantee system.
ESBA which will support on the long term results of the actions UP Straw.

Join us!

  • If you would like to participate in this project, please let us know. If you have ideas about co-financing public or private, do not hesitate, contact us! 
  • If you wish to support us and be a partner of the project, contact us!


Manager UP Straw : Alex GOULLET (Director CNCP-Feuillette – France)

CNCP-Feuillette (Lead Partner) alex.goullet@cncp-feuillette.fr

ESBA  esba@strawbuilding.eu

About the author



The European Straw Building Association is an independent European association, devoid of any profit making motive. The object of the Association is to promote and develop the use of straw, as a sustainable way of building in all the senses of the term “sustainable”: renewable, ecological, healthy, energy and climate efficient, social and economic.
The Association is a federation composed of organisations and people particularly concerned with the use of straw in buildings.