Friday, July 17, 1998 10:57:32 PM
From: GSBN@...,Txinfinet Incoming
Subject: Digest for 7/17/98
-> straw bales open to the public
by the black range <blackrange@...>
-> New Members From The European Community
by M J Epko <duckchow@...>
-> What is this thing?
by M J Epko <duckchow@...>


Date: 17 Jul 1998 00:22:15 -0500
From: the black range <blackrange@...>
Subject: straw bales open to the public

Hello All,

Please help me out -- I'm working on an article for TLS on public straw-bale
buildings. I have the obvious ones, but know there are some more out there
that exist that we might not know about here.

I'll need some basic contact information and under what conditions the
buildings are open. I would also like one good photo -- and of course we are
under a deadline of the end of next week (July 24th).

Please get back to me ASAP, with your ideas... Many thanks!

Best Regards,

Catherine Wanek, Managing Editor

<bold>The Last Straw Journal

</bold>HC66, Box 119

Hillsboro, NM 88042

(505) 895-5400




Date: 17 Jul 1998 18:16:44 -0500
From: M J Epko <duckchow@...>
Subject: New Members From The European Community

Rene Dalmeyer, Netherlands, rened@...
Axel Linde, Germany, Zypresse1@...
Tom Woolley, United Kingdom, T.Woolley@...
Lars Keller, Denmark, (email address removed)or fcenergy@...
Rolf Jacobsen, Norway, roljacob@...
Stefan Wallner, Sweden, wallner@...

Martin Oehlmann (Netherlands) and Pascal Thepaut (France) were also
nominated by Matts & Judy; however, I don't have email addresses for them.


The following report on the First European Strawbale Gathering in
Brittany, France, on June 26th-28th, comes from Martin Oehlmann and will be
reprinted to some degree in the next TLS:

An inspiring group of people went all the way to Finistere (Fini terra,
the end of the world, like the romans said) in Brittany, France to meet at
Pascal Thepaut's lovely strawbale home in Trovoas. Pascal Thepaut, Axel
Linde and Martin Oehlmann organised this meeting. The group had to deal
with digestion of lots of information and exceedingly delicious meals,
recollect the difficulties and priorities to focus on while enjoying
aperitifs, hors d'oevres, fruits de la mer, crepes and Morlaix wonderful
Coreff-beer. You can imagine we did an excellent job during the weekend.

The mayor of Plougonven, where the actual meeting was held, made a nice
welcoming speech to this international audience, advising to build Europe
on something concrete, like straw. Friday started with introducing
ourselves, 25 highly strawbale-infused personalities.

Saturday morning we learned by means of inspiring slides of projects of
our key-speakers Matts Myhrmann and Judy Knox (Arizona, USA) and of Tom
Woolley (Queen Univ. Belfast, Northern Ireland), of Harald Wedig
(Netherlands, Germany), of Martin Oehlmann (Netherlands, Germany) and of
Pascal Thepaut (France). Lars Keller from Denmark reported from the results
of a strawbale-gathering of Scandinavian people at the Folkecenter For
Renewable Energy in Denmark on June 6th 1998. It has been a great step
forward for the further of strawbale building development of the Nordic
countries: Denmark, Sweden and Norway with some sharing of Martin Oehlmann
on the legal breakthrough in the Netherlands. Recommendations were prepared
on organising the European network and a common testing program. Matts
Myhrmann with his profound knowledge and experience counselled us to raise
the topics that should be dealt with the next morning, eventually leading
the group to the establishment of a European (legal) organisation. Saturday
was completed with a traditional local 'Fez Noz' party in a rural barn,
traditional songs in celtic language, bagpipe music and dansing with local

Sunday the group achieved meaningful goals and decisions in three
established working groups - Communication, Outreach and Technics:

1. We will form a European umbrella strawbale association with national

**The netherlands (NL)
Rene Dalmeyer, rened@...
**France (F)
Fabien Baker, fax:01 30 53 76 97, phone 01 30 53 44 10
**Germay (D)
Axel Linde, Zypresse1@...
**United Kingdom(UK)
Tom Woolley, T.Woolley@...
**Denmark (DK)
Lars Keller, (email address removed)or fcenergy@...
**Norway (N)
Rolf Jacobsen, roljacob@...
Stefan Wallner, wallner@...

The secretariat and European information point will be run by Lars Keller
at the Folkecenter For Renewable Energy in Denmark. Lars will also
coordinate legal constitution. The association may in the future be linked
with other associations forming a european federation of natural building

2. A database at the Folkecenter will gather all available information,
setting up a who-is-who list, a list of strawbale building, of events,
workshops, lectures, documentation (books and videos) and will provide a
website. A fee for posting and handling, processing papers, telephone,
website, etc., to submit by every national Strawbale organiation, will be
paid to Lars Keller to enable him to continue his work for half a year.

3. Instead of producing national newsletters we will recommend subscribing
to The Last Straw and we will try to develop a European section in TLS.

4. Information for specific target groups will be prepared: children,
youth, women, elderly people, volunteers, professionals, owner-builders,
environmental and social-engaged people, socially unprivileged groups,
politicians, building officials, decision makers, farmers etc. Workshops
and public wall-raisings will be offered, lectures will be held, flyers
printed, press-kit established, participation at faires will be set up and
films, videos and public tools will be made. It is felt that this train of
good intentions needs to be grounded to serve people who build (their own)
houses, to integrate people into the developing process of strawbale
building and to add to the refinement of strawbale techniques.

5. We will develop funded tests in co-operation with persons who do this
work in other parts of the world on moisture, thermal properties,
structural properties, stucco, fire resistancy, breathability, insects and
rodents vulnerablility. A testing network has been established by Tom
Woolley(UK), Mark Bigland-Pritchard(UK), Martin Oehlmann(NL), Tom
Rijven(F), Francois Verhoeven(NL) and Dennis Fillie(NL) who hope to include
Margret Kennedy from Hannover Germany and Stefan Wallner from Goteborg
Sweden. This network will co-operate with corresponding people from the
Global Strawbale Network (GSBN). Apart from testing the goal of this
network is raising funds for testing and gaining Europe-wide acceptation
for tests.

6. Matts Myhrmann and Judy Knox will make a proposition for the following
members to join the GSBN: Martin Oehlmann (NL), Pascal Thepaut (F), Axel
Linde (D), Tom Woolley (UK), Lars Keller (DK), Rolf Jacobsen (N) and Stefan
Wallner (S).

7. Lorenzo will establish a press-kit.

8. Next gathering will be held approximately on a half year from now in
Swalmen, the Netherlands, organised by Harald Wedig.

9. An invitation to join the CASBA conference on March 5th 1999 has been
transmitted. Representatives of the Eeuropean group will attend this meeting.

It has been great fun to organise this pioneering event in Europe. Many
people shared a wonderful feeling thanks to Matts and Judy who raised the
level of knowledge and co-operation, establishing a strawbale family all
over the world and thanks to you who all found the way to Finistere
especially to Brian Lockhart from Bisbee Arizona.

We completed the gathering with a sightseeing tour to Pascal's creations at
Morlaix. A beautiful annex for a studio and a nice little teenager's house
with red cedar shingles.

The very best greeting to all, let's get it done friends,

Martin Oehlmann


Date: 17 Jul 1998 20:10:30 -0500
From: M J Epko <duckchow@...>
Subject: What is this thing?

Anybody want to whip up a couple-hundred-word (or less) GSBN update for
The Last Straw sometime over the next couple days? Shouldn't be too
difficult, eh? I'd do it myself, but I've got my fingers all over this
issue (book and software reviews, mostly) and it sure would be nice to hear
somebody else's voice.

Freewheeling autonomous speculation - Think!
Personality #7 represents only itself.
M J Epko - duckchow@...
Kingston, New Mexico
The tongue of man is a twisty thing,
there are plenty of words there of every kind.
- Homer, The Iliad


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