WIT Press

Towards Sustainable Waste Management Through Structural Testing Of Rice Straw Bale Cement Plasters


Free (open access)





Page Range

435 - 445




1,216 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


G. L. Garas, M. E. Allam & A. Ragab


Over the past ten years burning rice straw has become a tragic environmental event that produces black clouds of smoke, the cause of a high degree of pollution, especially to the population of Cairo. Using rice straw bales (RSB) in construction is a pioneering step in Egypt to solve this uncontrolled environmental problem. Although this technique has been shown to be strong and durable throughout the world in both load-bearing and post-and-beam structures, it is not yet a well acquainted technique in Egypt. This research is a part of an ongoing global project that aims to test and demonstrate the use of straw bales as a building unit. This preliminary step is aimed at providing a baseline for establishing an appropriate addition to the Egyptian Building Codes using this non-traditional, sustainable, environmentally friendly building unit. This paper aims to test the compression strength, modulus of elasticity and modulus of rupture of some Portland cement and lime plaster mixes. The results of this stage of research are intended to recommend the most appropriate cement plaster mix to be applied on the straw bale walls with respect to the structural behaviour. A comparison between the results of those tests and others reported in some previous published literature will also be discussed in this paper. Keywords: environmental pollution, black cloud, rice straw bales, cement plaster tests.


environmental pollution, black cloud, rice straw bales, cement plaster tests.