Thermal Performance of three different Strawbale Buildings at the Kerkenes Eco-Center - 2016

Soofia Tahira Elias-Ozkan and Francoise Summers
Journal of Green Building: Fall 2013, Vol. 8, No. 4, pp. 110-126.


By and large, straw is not considered to be a building material, yet in comparison with traditional materials, building with straw bales is definitely more energy-efficient, ecofriendly, and low-cost; qualities that are desirable in sustainable buildings. This paper presents information on three different straw bales buildings at the Kerkenes Eco-Center, which is located in the village of Sahmuratli in central Anatolia, Turkey. The first of these was constructed with load-bearing straw bale walls; the second with strawbales as infill in a timber-frame structure; while the third utilized straw bales in combination with Autoclave Aerated Concrete (AAC) blocks. This last was a hybrid wall construction that has been tried for the first time to take advantage of the thermalinsulation property of straw combined with the humidity-regulating property of mud plaster inside and the weather-resistance property of AAC outside. These three buildings are being monitored for their temperature and humidity variances with the help of data loggers; this data is also presented herein.

Unconventional Insulation Materials - 2016

Neşe Dikmen and Soofia Tahira Elias-Ozkan
Chapter in Insulation Materials in Context of Sustainability, Intech Publishers.


Materials obtained from petrochemicals (mainly polystyrene) or from natural sources processed with high-energy consumptions such as glass and rock wools are commonly utilized for the insulation of buildings. From the perspective of sustainable development, it is important to choose easily recyclable, renewable, locally available and environmentally friendly raw materials. Thermal performance of unconventional insulation materials such as pine apple leaves, wheat straw, rice straw, rice husk/hull, coconut fibre, bagasse, date palm fibre, cellulose fibre-forestry waste, corn cob and sheep wool were investigated for this study. In addition, an experiment was conducted to compare the thermal performance of different materials being used at the Kerkenes Eco-Center in Turkey. As a result, it can be said that the thermal conductivity of petroleum by products (XPS, EPS, polyurethane foam) is slightly lower than that of plant/agricultural waste materials; however, preferring the latter over the former has many hidden advantages that have great long-term impacts.

Post-occupancy evaluation of straw-bale buildings in Turkey - 2016

Pedergnana, M.
In: Natural Building in the 21stCentury International Straw Building Conference. Methven 3-9 March.

The Kerkenes EcoCenter Project. OR Meets Archaeology - 2011

Summers, G., Summers, F., Elias-Ozkan S.T. &. Weber, G.-W.
Architecture and Engineering for Science and the Improvement of Living Conditions in Rural Anatolia. In: Problem of nonlinear analysis in engineering systems, 17: 156-158.


A background on stablishing Kerkenes Eco-Center and its development

EKOYAPI - August/September 2011

Magazine focused on natural building - Turkey