Date of Award


Document Type



Santa Clara University


Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Mark Aschheim


Straw bale is a sustainable building material that repurposes agricultural waste for use in the structural system of buildings. This material will be used as a component in the lateral force resisting systems of walls, especially helpful in the California seismic environment and under heavy wind loads. The four main components of a post-and-beam method straw bale wall are timber framing, straw bales, wire mesh, and plaster. This report will focus on the design of the exterior plaster and the design of “workhorse” and “strong” walls for simple construction and areas of higher seismic activity, respectively. Our test results will be used to validate straw bale as a viable structural material for future building code development.