pole barn buildings

Asked October 21, 2014, 11:39 AM EDT

Have a 2.5 acre country plot in temperature climate near Delaware, OH. Want to construct energy efficient pole barn building for storage and garden and hobby use(woodworking). Back of lot faces south with front of lot facing road and north. Searching for information for project. Thanks for your help and have a good day. PSU alum 68 Al Pusnik docal@roadrunner.com

Medina County Ohio

1 Response

Normally, pole barn construction is chosen for its economy of materials resulting in quick, low cost construction. Energy efficiency is not a typical attribute of the method, but the integration of alternative building methods can greatly increase pole barn construction performance. Straw bales can offer a low cost, infill wall material with good thermal performance and the ability to resist shear or lateral forces.

The application of reinforced plaster to the interior and exterior can enhance the durability of the system, increase fire-resistance, provide greater shear strength and keep vermin out of the wall.

Roof framing and insulation would follow more conventional approaches, yet should be adjusted to provide a ventilated roof deck and insulation levels in-line with the DOE recommended levels based on bio-climatic region. Refer to this table for appropriate design: https://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=home_sealing.hm_improvement_insulation_table

An appendix on straw bale construction was approved at the International Code Council’s (ICC) Final Action Hearings in October 2013 and will be included in the 2015 International Residential Code (IRC) for one- and two-family dwellings. This is important because communities that adopt the 2015 IRC building code will have the option to also adopt the appendices, making this part of the residential building code used predominantly throughout the United States.

Link to the proposed Appendix R:


Additionally, the University of Missouri Extension has partnered with the USDA - Natural Resources Conservation Service to Promotes Affordable, Efficient Straw-Bale Houses. An article on the USDA – NRCS website outlines how straw bale construction has advanced in rural southwest Missouri. Link to the article: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/mo/newsroom/stories/?cid=nrcs144p2_012915

A YouTube video of one of the Missouri projects can be seen at this link: