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June 10, 2009

Fleming College students prefabricate sustainable wall panels

PETERBOROUGH

Fleming College has installed straw bale wall panels — constructed using a new prefabrication technique — at the Camp Kawartha Environment Centre on the campus of Trent University in Peterborough.

The straw bale wall panels were prefabricated at Fleming College’s McRae Campus by the students in the Sustainable Building Design and Construction program under the guidance of co-ordinator Chris Magwood.

The panels were then installed by crane to the foundation of the 2,000 square foot building.

“This new technique allows straw bale walls to be built and installed as cost-effectively as conventional construction materials and methods”, said Magwood. “This prefabrication technique eliminates the disadvantages that have kept straw bale construction out of the mainstream building industry.

Straw bale walls also feature significant environmental and energy saving advantages using healthy, non-toxic, energy efficient and carbon-neutral materials. The prefabrication technique is believed to be the first of its kind in Ontario.

Built in partnership with the Gainey Foundation, the environment centre will be one of Canada’s most sustainable buildings and will use almost all local and some reclaimed resources.

DCN News Services

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