Saturday, July 18, 1998 10:57:02 PM
From: GSBN@...,Txinfinet Incoming
Subject: Digest for 7/18/98
-> Re: New Members From The European Community
by "Lars Keller" <lars_keller@...>
-> Re: Nebraska straw bales open to the public
by Joyce Coppinger <jc10508@...>
-> fwd: from Sweden
by M J Epko <duckchow@...>
-> Portland Cement/SB/Moisture
by Huff and Puff Constructions <huffnpuff@...>


Date: 18 Jul 1998 05:58:15 -0500
From: "Lars Keller" <lars_keller@...>
Subject: Re: New Members From The European Community

Dear M J Epko

Is Fabien Baker also going to be part of GSBN when he gets an e-mail
address, since he is a contry representative as well ?

On Friday the 17th / July you wrote:

>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
> 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
>the end of the world, like the romans said) in Brittany, France to meet
>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
>Coreff-beer. You can imagine we did an excellent job during the
> The mayor of Plougonven, where the actual meeting was held, made a
>welcoming speech to this international audience, advising to build
>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
>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
>Pascal Thepaut (France). Lars Keller from Denmark reported from the
>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
>on the legal breakthrough in the Netherlands. Recommendations were
>on organising the European network and a common testing program. Matts
>Myhrmann with his profound knowledge and experience counselled us to
>the topics that should be dealt with the next morning, eventually
>the group to the establishment of a European (legal) organisation.
>was completed with a traditional local 'Fez Noz' party in a rural barn,
>traditional songs in celtic language, bagpipe music and dansing with
> 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
> **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@...
> **Sweden(S)
> Stefan Wallner, wallner@...
> The secretariat and European information point will be run by Lars
>at the Folkecenter For Renewable Energy in Denmark. Lars will also
>coordinate legal constitution. The association may in the future be
>with other associations forming a european federation of natural
> 2. A database at the Folkecenter will gather all available
>setting up a who-is-who list, a list of strawbale building, of events,
>workshops, lectures, documentation (books and videos) and will provide
>website. A fee for posting and handling, processing papers, telephone,
>website, etc., to submit by every national Strawbale organiation, will
>paid to Lars Keller to enable him to continue his work for half a year.
> 3. Instead of producing national newsletters we will recommend
>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,
>environmental and social-engaged people, socially unprivileged groups,
>politicians, building officials, decision makers, farmers etc.
>and public wall-raisings will be offered, lectures will be held, flyers
>printed, press-kit established, participation at faires will be set up
>films, videos and public tools will be made. It is felt that this train
>good intentions needs to be grounded to serve people who build (their
>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
>work in other parts of the world on moisture, thermal properties,
>structural properties, stucco, fire resistancy, breathability, insects
>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
>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
>for tests.
> 6. Matts Myhrmann and Judy Knox will make a proposition for the
>members to join the GSBN: Martin Oehlmann (NL), Pascal Thepaut (F),
>Linde (D), Tom Woolley (UK), Lars Keller (DK), Rolf Jacobsen (N) and
>Wallner (S).
> 7. Lorenzo will establish a press-kit.
> 8. Next gathering will be held approximately on a half year from now
>Swalmen, the Netherlands, organised by Harald Wedig.
> 9. An invitation to join the CASBA conference on March 5th 1999 has
>transmitted. Representatives of the Eeuropean group will attend this
> It has been great fun to organise this pioneering event in Europe.
>people shared a wonderful feeling thanks to Matts and Judy who raised
>level of knowledge and co-operation, establishing a strawbale family
>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
>with red cedar shingles.
>The very best greeting to all, let's get it done friends,
>Martin Oehlmann

Get Your Private, Free Email at


Date: 18 Jul 1998 12:19:33 -0500
From: Joyce Coppinger <jc10508@...>
Subject: Re: Nebraska straw bales open to the public

In Nebraska, there is the obvious ones - Pilgrim Holiness Church in
Arthur which can be accessed by contacting Ted Frye, 308.764.2391 (PO
Box 115, Arthur NE 69121), and the Martin-Monhart bungalow in Arthur,
contact Lucille and Jake Cross, 308.764.2484 (PO Box 124, Arthur NE
69121). The building in Emerald used to be a restaurant and open to the
public, but now it's privately owned and for sale. The realtor is Harold
Vandehoef, FMA Realty, Ste 100, 390 N Cotner Blvd, Lincoln NE 68505,
A new building which will be open to the public once finished is a
commercial space (convenience store/bar/bait and tackle shop) being
constructed by the Angel family near Spencer, Nebraska (north central
Nebraska along the Niobrara River). Scott says he's been contacted by
TLS to write an article, so you may already have their
address/phone/e-mail, but in case you don't, here it is: Scott and Patty
Angel, PO Box 27, Spencer NE 68777, 402.589.1012, nebangel@...
Hope this helps!

the black range wrote:
> 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
> The Last Straw Journal
> HC66, Box 119
> Hillsboro, NM 88042
> (505) 895-5400
> <thelaststraw@...>


Date: 18 Jul 1998 13:38:48 -0500
From: M J Epko <duckchow@...>
Subject: fwd: from Sweden

[This was posted to the CREST list]


Date: Thu, 16 Jul 1998 13:01:15 -0400 (EDT)
From: karld@...
Subject: Mud gets in our eye, OR we are having a plaster blaster.

Hi gang et all!

Just wanted to give you a brief raport re the progress on the straw bale
house that I'm helping a friend with. For the possible newcombers, this is
the scenario:

This chap (whom I'm helping) is the man who made me intrested in S/B when
we went to collage together getting our MA.

He is building a 1 1/2 stories house with approx 1500 sqft. Cost I don't
know as to yet. (But it's cheap with Swedish standard). The constr. in
brief is a beam and post structure with strawbale infill. Plaster directly
on it WITHOUT the mesh ( I wouldn't have done that, but I suppose that he
knows what he's doing).

And this weekend it's time for the second layer of plaster... I'm going to
make a "rapport" on the lot, and "publish" it later...

Keep you all posted.

Kind regards

Karl Dahlman
Gothenburg, Sweden


Freewheeling autonomous speculation - Think!
Personality #7 represents only itself.
M J Epko - duckchow@...
Kingston, New Mexico
USA Today has come out with a new survey:
Apparently three out of four people make up
75 percent of the population.
- David Letterman


Date: 18 Jul 1998 19:50:53 -0500
From: Huff and Puff Constructions <huffnpuff@...>
Subject: Portland Cement/SB/Moisture

John Glassford from Australia here

Welcome to all the new members to this list and here is a post I sent to
crest which some of you may have some answers to, especially those with
render experience.

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Date: Wed, 15 Jul 1998 10:10:47 +1100
From: Huff and Puff Constructions <huffnpuff@...>
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John Glassford here

I would like to add my comments to Bill's post re wall-coatings. I too
have an aversion to PC (portland cement) in wall finishes, however it is
early days here and our building authorities understand PC. It is hard
enough getting SB (straw bale) approved with PC render and would be even
harder with clay/lime finishes. Firstly load bearing walls require PC
for strength and secondly we do not have any data on alternative renders
in combination with load bearing walls to satisfy Councils as to their
strength. I want to use clay/earth/lime renders and floors as soon as
possible. My questions to the list:

Are there any people out there who have built load bearing walls
with clay/lime renders or earthen that have obtained building
approvals? If so how strong was the clay/lime render?

Is there anyone doing research on alternative renders in
combination with load bearing walls? If not, are there any
potenial PHd students out there who want to?

Has any survey been conducted on existing SB houses that have
been up for some time from the point of view of moisture
penetration? Would it be possible to do such a survey and if so
how could it be funded? For my part I would help from our end.
Between New Zealand and Australia we would have 30-40 houses up

We have a SB wall that we built 18 months ago, it was built in a
workshop`situation and as a consequence was not finished. This has
meant that we have a wall in three phases of construction. I use the
wall to demonstarte to potential clients. However the wall is now
deterioting badly in the areas that did not have the brown or finish
coats. I have also sampled straw from the finished areas and even the
straw in these areas are high in moisture and starting to go mouldy on
the edges. We are experiencing a very wet winter. Our rainfall is
normally 48" per annum, we had 8" in one day last month. I will be
pulling the wall down soon, (we are leaving Kangaroo Valley and moving
out West) and I will do an analysis on the wall and let you know what
has happened.

My genuine concern is that we do not know enough yet about PC, moisture
and SB and more observations and research are needed. In the mean time
I will carry on building and pursuade my clients to have large eaves and
preferably wide verandahs. The people of NE Poland who have had SB
houses up for some 35 years built theirs with verandahs all round and
down to the ground.

Regarding cracking in this wall we did not get any at render time
however it started to crack 6 months ago and has developed three large
vertical cracks indicating to me that the render in the walls are now
taking all the weight.

In the complex of buildings at Moss Vale we painted all the walls with a
cement based acryclic paint. (See my web page on current project).
This paint goes by the trade name Murrobond and is claimed to be
breathable as well as waterproof. It had better be, as there are no
eaves on these buildings.

Regards John Glassford. Wet, Worried and Wondering about Water.

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