Straw homes went on sale to the general public this week in the southwest English city of Bristol.
The environmentally friendly homes use prefabricated timber-framed walls that are packed with straw bales, according to the BBC.
The sustainable design — by researchers at England’s University of Bath, together with architecture firm ModCell — has been refined through structural, weight-bearing and thermal-insulation tests.
“I think there’s a lot of misconception about using straw — stories about the Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf, concerns about fire resistance,” Professor Pete Walker told the BBC.
Researchers say it is a robust and safe construction material, boasting several environmental advantages such as insulation efficiency. Straw homes lose far less heat than a traditional home and can reduce energy bills by up to 90%.
“The more we can build out of renewable materials like straw and timber, the less carbon will be in the atmosphere, so we can reduce climate-change effects,” said ModCell director Craig White.