Date of Award


Document Type



Santa Clara : Santa Clara University, 2017.


Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Mark Aschheim


Strawbale construction is a sustainable, viable alternative to conventional building practices. As a newly introduced appendix to the International Residential Code (IRC), the strawbale construction requirements may benefit from further evaluation and possible refinement. Such evaluation and refinement may lead towards code change proposals that will improve the provisions and make strawbale construction safer and more accessible to the general public. This seismic test series addressed the effect of mesh wire type on ductility and the validity of the existing wall slenderness limits. The tests focused on slender walls dominated by flexural deformations. Welded wire mesh wall performed better than the woven wire mesh wall of the same detailing, yet fell short of expected values. Slenderness must continue to be analyzed as the results of a wall using 14” bales were impacted by bale irregularity. The additional tests done as part of this thesis, including vertical load tests and materials testing, added to the understanding of strawbale construction performance and expanded the corpus of strawbale wall test data. All tested walls performed satisfactorily under vertical loading in post-seismic conditions. The purpose of this test series was to validate and potentially suggest improvements to the building code provisions to enhance the prevalence and safety of strawbale construction.