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TEDx Sydney: Joost Bakker’s Straw House

At TEDx Sydney recently I was lucky enough to witness presentations and performances from some incredible forward thinkers and doers. Among lawyers, activists, mathematicians, archivists and political scientists was Joost Bakker; a Dutch born creative operating out of Melbourne. I say creative because Joost’s range of skills are hard to pin down with one word. With a beginning in floristry, he is now designing structures, as well as concepts for ‘closed loop’ sustainable restaurants.

No one needs to be reminded of the devastating affects of bushfire in this country. Sitting at the Sydney Opera House surrounded by water on a cool day, it was hard to imagine the intensity of CSIRO’s fire test on one of Joost’s projects… until he showed us the fire test carried out on his straw house prototype. Reaching external temperatures of 1000 degrees celsius after 30 minutes of ‘major fire front’ testing, the internal temperature peaked at only 35. This classified the straw building as a bunker.

Magnesium oxide board was used to clad the straw house, and the 38 metre square structure was erected in only 7 days. The test was carried out to get the go ahead for a home being built By Joost in the Victorian Otways, an area prone to bushfire.

You can read more about the test, and watch the video here.

From Lauren Bezzina, Secret Agent Communications. 

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