When I mentioned a project by students aiming to build the greenest house in Canada (by means of the Living Building Challenge and LEED Platinum certification), I noted that students planned to use “prefabricated straw bale walls.” It turns out they finished this portion of the project using BioSIPs from NatureBuilt Wall Systems in Ontario, Canada.

These BioSIPS are 16″ thick with an insulation value of about R35. The walls consist of tightly-packed straw that’s covered in 1″ of cement and lime plaster, according to NatureBuilt.

With the high level of insulation and thermal mass of these walls, NatureBuilt indicates that a homeowner can save money on heating and cooling costs, particularly through the specification of a smaller HVAC unit.

In terms of installation, BioSIPs can be unloaded with a boom truck or crane in about one day, and the actual work to attach the walls to the foundation takes maybe a couple days. Endeavour Centre students shared the process of making BioSIPs and installing BioSIPs online, in case you’re interested in reading more detail.

[+] Follow the construction progress of Canada’s Greenest Home.

Credit: The Endeavour Centre.