FAQs


01

What about fire?

Fire needs a ready supply of oxygen to burn and, without it, no combustion will occur. ModCell Straw bales are tightly packed and enclosed behind a range of external finishes. The panels provide a near airless environment, so fire resistance is very good. ModCell Traditional panels have a 2 hours and 15 minute fire certificate, over double the current UK Building Regulations requirement.

02

What about infestation?

Straw contains very little nutritional value and will not, in itself, support a pest population. The density of straw discourages rodent activity. I over 14 years of use ModCell panels have never had any rodent or any type of infestation

03

Will Straw decompose?

ModCell panels are designed to be breathable and prevent the buildup of humidity levels. It is high humidity levels that causes decomposition to take place. Straw begins to decompose when the moisture content exceeds 25%. Our research has shown that the moisture content of ModCell is less than 15%, well below the level at which decomposition becomes a potential risk.

04

What about damp?

ModCell is delivered to site as closed panels with all but the final finishing surfaces applied. Relative Humidity (RH) and moisture levels are measured at the factory gate. Research has shown that damp is kept at bay naturally as part of the breathable properties of the materials used.

05

What about mould?

Moisture content and air changes from the panels 'breathing' prevent fungal and microbial activity.

06

How thick are the panels?

ModCell Traditional panels are 480mm deep.
ModCell Core at 400mm deep plus battens and cladding on both the internal and external face.
ModCell Core + 452mm plus internal battens.

07

Why are they so thick?

ModCell uses standard size UK straw bales, this dictates the thickness To meet the same u-value achieved by the ModCell panel, walls built using brick block and mineral wool as insulation would need to be 533mm thick.

08

Does ModCell® help towards the thermal mass of the building?

ModCell panels vary from ‘thermally heavyweight’ for the lime rendered Traditional panel and thermally middle weight for the Core and Core + panels. ModCell has an optimum combination of mass and super insulation. .

09

What are the u-values?

Yes. U-values are dependent on the panel type:

ModCell Traditional = 0.19
ModCell Core = 0.13
ModCell Core + = 0.11

Insulation values are nearly 3 times higher than current regulations require.

ModCell panels deliver an airtight construction, up to PassivHaus specifications. As a result, buildings using ModCell can help deliver zero heat requirements, saving money and CO2 emissions.

10

What about Carbon?

ModCell panels are 'carbon negative'. Embodied carbon - A 3 x 3.2m ModCell panel has equivalent of 1400kg of atmospheric CO2 locked up in its fabric. A typical two story home of 100m2 banks almost 43 tonnes of atmospheric CO2

11

How are they made?

The structural timber frame is ‘infilled’ with straw bales, which are stacked to form a wall, compressed and held together for stability. The wall is then either rendered using a protective breathable render, or clad with timber or other cladding materials

12

What are they made of?

Straw bale, timber, lime render, breathable renders or wood cladding and small quantities of steel fixings. They are precision-engineered using modern methods of construction (MMC).

13

Are they sustainable?

Yes, ModCell panels are made from almost 100% renewable materials. ModCell Panel frames are constructed using certified legal and sustainable timber using the CPET standard and include FSC or PEFC certification as standard. All straw, which is an annual 3m tonne by-product of the agricultural industry, is untreated and locally sourced. At end of life, the panels can be disassembled and all elements can be re-used, recycled, used as biomass or safely composted

14

Do they cut noise levels?

Yes they produce an approximate reduction of 50db

15

Do you build them onsite?

No, ModCell is an offsite prefabricated panel system.

16

Where are they made?

ModCell panels are fabricate in a central manufacturing unit, using locally sourced straw and other materials

17

What quality controls do you have?

ModCell panels are entirely manufactured and assembled under controlled conditions at The manufacturing process has been independently certified and has been awarded BM Trada’s Q-Mark certificate. The quality of each panel is assured and signed off at various stages during manufacture. ModCell is delivered to site as fully closed panels. Moisture content levels are constantly monitored throughout the manufacturing and delivery process

18

Do you supply to self builders?

This is dependent on the size of the development and will be reviewed on a case by case basis.

19

How long do they last?

Life cycle would be the same as a traditionally constructed building. At end of life they can be easily reused or disassembled. Straw and wood are biodegradable and can be used as biomass. All metal fixings can be recovered and recycled. There are thousands of straw bale buildings throughout the world, some of which are over 120 years old.