Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - SCU Access Only


Santa Clara University


Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Mark Aschheim

Second Advisor

Tonya Nilsson


Straw bale construction provides a sustainable alternative to conventional building methods. Through a series of small-scale boundary condition tests, our team determined the most ductile connection details to be used in the companion project full-scale wall tests. Various mesh types and connection details are evaluated in depth through individual wire testing, horizontal mesh testing, and small-scale boundary testing. The individual wire and horizontal mesh tests helped determine the mesh/meshes used in the small-scale boundary condition tests. From the small-scale boundary tests, modified versions of details 4B and 6C were selected for the design of the “workhorse” and “strong” walls, respectively, with strengths of 2994 lbs. and 5794 lbs. respectively. Groups two and three designed, built and tested one so-called “workhorse” and three variations of “strong” walls. Data from the tests of these full-scale wall will provide a solid foundation for the further research of straw bale in post and beam construction.

SCU Access Only

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