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Bernard Becker
The people at EcoNest have a nice saying about straw bale houses. They need nice boots and a nice hat. That is they need a good roof with good overhangs, and the straw needs to sit up and off the earth on a good solid foundation so it doesn't soak up water.

When talking about moisture, it's important to differentiate between humidity and water immersion or penetration. Most of the problems that people have complained about with straw bale houses are due to water, not humidity.

Plaster and to a lesser extent straw are permeable to water vapour and so they absorb and adsorb water vapour according to the environment. I'm unfamiliar with the permeability of cork, but the glass tiles will most likely act as a vapour barrier and may not be a great idea. If your concern is fire, that is already addressed by the up to 2" of clay that coats the outside of the bales.

Unless I lived in a very dry environment (I don't) I don't think I'd experiment with straw flooring, or anywhere that straw comes in direct contact with the earth, or sits in water.

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (Sort of like FannyMae and Freddy Mac in the US) published a study a long time ago on straw bale houses and moisture. Despite all the fear mongering about straw and fire in this thread, water penetration and rot is probably the real threat.



Most of the concerns around water would also apply to wood construction, put a fence post directly in the earth in most environments and your fence will fall over in short order when the bottom of the fence post rots away.

Make sure your house has a good hat and good boots.
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Bernard Becker
Clay and straw are heavy and may not lend themselves well to a portable application.
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dreamcatcher2900
These are "straw" bale houses-not hay houses. You do not use hay. There is no food value in straw so rodents aren't going to be attracted.

Hay is dried grasses, straw is the dried plant stem from grain crops. Hay is prone to spontaneous combustion if it isn't dried enough and to be dry enough for a house makes the hay useless as a feed crop. Never buy hay bales to build with as they will not be dried to a low enough moisture content. They have been baled for the purpose of feed.
   

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