Investigation of the Applicability of Rice Straw Boards as Structural Walls in Residential Construction
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Straw panels are relatively new materials used in construction. They are mostly used for partitioning and insulation, but they are starting to be used as load bearing floors and walls. In this report, their structural adequacy as walls is investigated. Their compressive and bending strengths are determined through carrying out tests, and their behavior noted, all for analysis purposes. Design stresses are compared with material strengths to determine if they pass. Modelling and hand calculations are carried out to determine the design stresses. The straw boards passed in compression and bending but failed in serviceability. They are therefore not suitable to be used as structural walls. Recommendations of more research into their properties naturally occurring binder, using boards of different sizes and densities, using tougher cardboard paper, among others are made.