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STEP Straw Bale Training 2021 with Certificate

Herbert Gruber
vorgestellt von Herbert Gruber

STEP – Straw Bale Building Training for European Professionals is an ECVET Training with European Certificate. We offer an English/German training, starting again in spring 2021, and in the Easter Holidays with our first practical building site Workshop. The 8 Theory Units take place in 3720 Ravelsbach, Baierdorf 6, but are also available as online-courses (you can start your online training in January 2021 until the final assessment in September with free time management).

Full Training (8 Units Theory & Practice): 4.700/€ 3.400 for students (you can book single units or the full training, prices see below), payable in advance (10% reduction for asbn-members if you pay before the end of 2020) or in 10 rates á € 480/€ 350. If you book the whole STEP Training you get the 5-day course „Off-Grid/Tiny-House“ for free. All dates are here in the time schedule (download as PDF):

It is highly likely that there will be more optional practical workshops in 2021, but the dates have to be agreed. Practical building sites may change due to weather conditions, but we try our best to keep to the schedule.

Accommodation during practical courses: you can sleep in multi-bed-rooms, eat (breakfast/lunch/dinner), shower (2 bathrooms) and wash your laundry in our training centre for 25,-/day (we cook for ourselves). The nearest train station is Ziersdorf (50 min from Vienna, Franz Josefs Bahnhof).

Registration & Infos (look also for FAQs): asbn, Herbert Gruber, E-Mail: asbn@baubiologie.at


Unit 1: Introduction to Straw Bale Building

We start with a general introduction into the history and status-quo of Straw Bale Building. There is a lot to learn about the building material (straw bales) itself: procurement, production, quality assessment, testing, handling, storage … The tools are presented and partly self-made (stuffers and persuaders) + Safety on the Straw Bale Building Sites.

3 days Theory & Practice: € 250/person; € 180 for students
Partner price: Your partner/friend just pays the reduced student price!

Language: English/German, Date: March 19-21, 2021, Start: Friday 12:00, 3720 Ravelsbach, Baierdorf 6


Unit 2: Straw Bale Infill, CUT (cells under tension) technique, Prefab

We get to know the different wood frame construction methods: Wooden constructions (CUT in the middle, CUT supporting planking, double post) are infilled with straw bales without gaps (infill = filling in), prefabricated wooden straw components (panels) assembled professionally. Bales are cut, tied and/or efficiently compressed into the walls. In the practical workshop, a detached house in timber frame construction is filled with straw bales and then (in the second half) plastered with clay (and lime). We show how windows are sealed with flax and sealing tapes, how electrical cables are laid in straw bale walls and how details are executed correctly.

10-12 days Theory & Practice: € 850/person; € 610 for students
Partner-price: Your partner/friend just pays the reduced student price!

Language: English/German, Date: March 22 – April 3, 2021, (second option for Practical U2: July 9-17), Start: Monday 12:00, 3720 Ravelsbach, Baierdorf 6


Unit 3: Load-bearing straw bale building

The initial straw building (Nebraska style) does not need any supporting construction for walls, the (plastered) straw bales themselves are „load-bearing“. Wood is used for protection and support (base plate, roof assembly, window frames), structural integrity (ring beam) as well as for additional construction. In theory, we handle the preparation and selection of the correct bales, statics, the construction schedule and construction of load-bearing straw bale houses. In the practical workshop, a sample building with small bales is built load-bearing.

7 days Theory & Practice: € 590 /person; € 420  for students
Partner price: Your partner/friend just pays the reduced student price!

Language: English/German, Date: May 1 – 7, 2021, Start: Saturday 12:00, 3720 Ravelsbach, Baierdorf 6 (practice in Ravelsbach or Gmünd)


Unit 4: Wrapping – External Straw Insulation

In „wrapping“ buildings are covered all around with straw bales or flakes (the layers of bales). We show 6 different wrapping possibilities for insulation thicknesses from 15 cm with diagonal bracing, planks, pallets, battens and façade boards. We learn how to make an additional foundation and set up an auxiliary construction, as well as the professional attachment and the windproof design.
In the practical workshop, walls are wrapped with flakes and/or straw bales and plastered (in a separate workshop) with lime or planked with wooden cladding (U5).

4+5 days Theory & Practice: € 760 /person; € 550  for students
Partner price: Your partner/friend just pays the reduced student price!

Language: English/German, Date: May 20 – 28, 2021, Start: Thursday 12:00, 3720 Ravelsbach, Baierdorf 6


Unit 5: Finishes (Clay, Lime Plasters, Wood Cladding, Installations)

Only the most meticulously designed surfaces prevent structural or moisture damage in the long term, especially in diffusion open building construction. Material knowledge (clay, lime plaster), as well as a lot of practice from base plaster to fine plaster, from air- to windproofing, characterize this unit.
In the practical workshop we plaster with clay (earth) and lime, manual plastering is shown as well as spray plaster and some decorations (COB). You will learn to fix reed-stucco as plaster ground as well as making connections to windows and posts. You will also learn how to make installations (electric, wall heating, water) on straw bale walls – in the plaster.

4+8 days Theory & Practice: € 980 /person; € 710  for students
Partner price: Your partner/friend just pays the reduced student price!

Language: English/German, Date: July 5 – 17, 2021, Start: Monday 12:00, 3720 Ravelsbach, Baierdorf 6


bauphysikUnit 6: Building Physics & Sustainability

Knowledge of the physical properties of building materials is an indispensable basis for their optimal use. It is thermal bridges, mold, moisture (condensation) … to recognize and avoid. We treat the subjects of thermal insulation, fire protection, sound insulation, moisture protection and heating and calculate and optimize straw construction according to their required properties. We show how sustainability, wellbeing and a healthy indoor climate can be implemented in a straw bale house.

5 days Theory & Practice: € 420 /person; € 300 for students
Partner price: Your partner/friend just pays the reduced student price!

Language: English/German, Date: August 2 – 8, 2021, Start: Monday 12:00, 3720 Ravelsbach, Baierdorf 6


Unit 7: Solar Architecture and Design

The principle of „straw bale construction“: you learn to read plans and to implement construction plans and learn how construction, insulation, electrics, water, building services and heating … interact. With a straw bale construction overview, you prevent building defects and repair building damage and keep the budget within limits. We also show how organic straw bale building is possible and how to save on building costs. With practical workshop planning of a straw bale house (in Sketchup), videos and discussions.

5 days Theory & Practice: € 420/person; € 300 for students
Partner price: Your partner/friend just pays the reduced student price!

Language: English/German, Date: September 6 – 10, 2021, Start: Monday 12:00, 3720 Ravelsbach, Baierdorf 6


marketing-kommunikationUnit 8: Communication & Cost Calculation

Market knowledge improves your bargaining position, knowledge of suppliers and prices enables costing. We show (open-source) tools and software for self presentation (CI), administration and successful (social media) appearance. The basis of everything is communication and knowledge about target groups, other craftsmen (networking) and suppliers (where can I get what?). We show how the price of a straw bale house can be estimated, calculated and communicated and explain the differences between soft and hard costs as well as showing how savings can be made.

5 days Theory & Practice: € 420/person; € 300 for students
Partner price: Your partner/friend just pays the reduced student price!

Language: English/German, Date: September 12 – 16, 2021, Start: Sunday 12:00, 3720 Ravelsbach, Baierdorf 6


Final Examinations to become a „Certified Straw Bale Builder“:
Written & Oral Tests (also on agreement).

€ 170/person; € 120 for students, 3720 Ravelsbach, Baierdorf 6
Language: English/German


STEP-Trainers:

FAQs (Trainers, questions & answers)

strawbale.training (Learning Outcomes Deutsch/English)

Über den Autor

Herbert Gruber

Herbert Gruber

Netzwerker seit der Gründung des ASBN 1999, Obmann des ASBN seit 2006, Buchautor (Bauen mit Stroh, Neues Bauen mit Stroh), Gesellschafter von StrohTec (Österreichs erster Strohbaufirma), hat in Ravelsbach im Zuge eines Haus der Zukunft plus-Projektes die Virtuelle Stroh-Baustelle ins Leben gerufen, wo seit 2010 regelmäßig Workshops stattfinden. 2015 gründete er die Kooperation StrohNatur, die nun auch Strohballenhäuser (mit und ohne Workshops) errichtet.