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STEP Straw Bale Training 2021 with Certificate

Herbert Gruber
vorgestellt von Herbert Gruber

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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. New in 2021: We start with Unit 7 – Design & Architecture and then go step by step in theory and practice from foundation to construction and infill to interior finishing and decoration. In this way, you learn to build a straw bale house from the beginning (planning) to the end (calculation) in theory and practice.

Our Corona Guarantee: The 8 Theory Units take place in 3720 Ravelsbach, Baierdorf 6, but since they are also available as interactive online courses, they are guaranteed to take place online at the same time (with full trainer support via Zoom) as scheduled, even with Corona travel or event restrictions. In addition, from mid-February 2021, you will also be able to complete the entire training (without trainer support) online with free scheduling and ask our trainers if necessary. Even if, for example, something is unclear, to listen, learn or deepen the content.

Here in the STEP magazine you will find all the dates, links to the handbooks and the description of all learning outcomes:

STEP TRAINING with FINAL ASSESSMENT (written and oral) and CERTIFICATE of Achievement
The total price for Full Training8 Units Theory with explanatory Practice (on-site or online with trainer support, total 50 days) is: 2.900/€ 2.400 for students and unemployed participants.
You can book the full training or single units (prices see below), payable in advance (10% reduction for asbn-members if you pay before mid of February 2021) or in 10 rates á € 300/€ 250. If you book the whole STEP Training you get the 5-day course „STEP EXTRA: Installation & Windows“ for free. All 8 Units are guaranteed to take place, either on-site in 3720 Ravelsbach, or – in case of restrictions due to Corona – as online training with trainer support.

STEP PRACTICE with CERTIFICATE of Practice
The total price for 20 practice days (4 modules: U2, U3, U4, U5) is: € 1.290/€ 960 for students and unemployed and you can arrange them individually according to your time budget and the availability of practice workshops. You can also book single practical workshops (€ 65/day or € 50/day for students and unemployed) or workshop days (min. 3 consecutive) later. All practice days (8 hours each) will be entered in your Certificate of Practice. You can also do a part in 2021 and the rest in 2022 or later. The practice workshops cannot be held online, we have scheduled them for 2021 (so you can reserve the times), but we have to postpone or cancel them if they cannot take place with at least 5 participants due to a lockdown or travel restrictions.

CERTIFIED STRAW BALE BUILDER
As soon as you have completed the 8 Units of STEP training with a successful final examination* AND the 20 practical days, you are a European certified straw bale builder according to ECVET.
*In the theory exams you have to answer at least 50% of the questions correctly, from 90% you receive the grading EXCELLENT. If you do not achieve the desired grade in the joint written test (approx. 1.5-2 hours), you can still improve 5-10% in the oral test the next day. In practice workshops you will be graded directly by the trainers, so there is no final exam. Practice days that you have completed (and received confirmation of) at other straw construction practice sites can be credited.

You can find all dates in the downloadable STEP magazine (above) in the calendar or here as a jpg (2 A4 pages to save or print):

 Accommodation during all 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), we are happy to give you a shuttle (please tell us your arrival time at least 1 hour before by phone).

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: € 200/person; € 150 for students and unemployed
Partner price: Your partner/friend just pays the reduced student price!

Language: English/German, Date: see time-schedule, Place: 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.

5 days Theory with Practice: € 330/person; € 250 for students and unemployed
Partner-price: Your partner/friend just pays the reduced student price!

Language: English/German, Date: see time-schedule, Place: 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.

4 days Theory & Practice: € 260 /person; € 200  for students and unemployed
Partner price: Your partner/friend just pays the reduced student price!

Language: English/German, Date: see time-schedule, Place: 3720 Ravelsbach, Baierdorf 6


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 days Theory & Practice: € 260 /person; € 200  for students and unemployed
Partner price: Your partner/friend just pays the reduced student price!

Language: English/German, Date: see time-schedule, Place: 3720 Ravelsbach, Baierdorf 6


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

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 or pre-spritz as plaster ground as well as making connections to windows and posts.

6 days Theory with Practice incl. materials: € 620 /person; € 500  for students
Partner price: Your partner/friend just pays the reduced student price!

Language: English/German, Date: see time-schedule, Place: 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: € 390 /person; € 300 for students
Partner price: Your partner/friend just pays the reduced student price!

Language: English/German, Date: see time-schedule, Place: 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: see time-schedule, Place: 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: € 390/person; € 300 for students
Partner price: Your partner/friend just pays the reduced student price!

Language: English/German, Date: see time-schedule, Place: 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 and Sessions 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.