Thursday, December 10, 1998 12:00:29 AM
From: GSBN@...,Txinfinet Incoming
Subject: Digest for 12/9/98
-> Re: Smoke Index SB
by "Lerner, Helmuth, McCandless" <options@...>
-> Re: Re: Smoke Index SB
by Strawnet@...


Date: 9 Dec 1998 09:04:23 -0600
From: "Lerner, Helmuth, McCandless" <options@...>
Subject: Re: Smoke Index SB

At 10:44 PM 12/8/98 -0600, you wrote:

Cassadra Adams of the University of California, Berkeley hax conducted ASTM
compliant flame spread tests, last year at the Richmond field station. Her
phone # is; 510-643-5607, email: (email address removed) She's up for
tenure this year so she may be hard to get ahold of. Good luck!


Kelly Lerner
>Date: 8 Dec 1998 03:08:11 -0600
>From: Huff and Puff Constructions <huffnpuff@...>
>Subject: Re: Smoke Index SB
>John Glassford here again
>I have had a phone call form a Chris Piper from Surfers Paradise near
>Brisbane. Chris is with The Rudolph Steiner Schools and wants to build
>a straw bale school near Surfers. Chris is having trouble with the Gold
>Coast City Council for approval. The Council wants to know how straw
>bale performs from the point of view of spread of smoke, spread of flame
>and ignitability.
>I have a copy of both the video and the paper on the fire tests done in
>New Mexico, but I could not see any results for spread of flame and
>spread of smoke. Ignitabilty I presume would be the time it takes to
>burn through as straw when in the bale form does not ignite but
>smolders. Can anyone help Chris with any information, I do not have
>email for Chris so I will pass any messages on to him.
>Also if anyone on the list knows of any Rudolph Steiner buildings built
>from straw bale Chris would appreciate contacts.
>Thank you in advance.
>Kind regards John Glassford

But what good is passion if it does not make you shudder at the
limitlessness of its possibilities? - Bharati Mukherjee
Kelly Lerner
One World Design
International Design and Consulting
El Cerrito, California, USA
options@..., 510-528-3765 phone, 510-528-8763 fax


Date: 9 Dec 1998 11:02:30 -0600
From: Strawnet@...
Subject: Re: Re: Smoke Index SB

Hello all,

Cassandra Adams had contacted me sometime back regarding doing another
fire test and I recommended that she do flame spread, smoke development
and smoke density tests if she was going to have more testing done. The
original fire testing that Cassandra had done at the Richmond Field
Station at the University of California Berkeley was a One Hour ASTM
E-119 Full Scale Fire Test with Hose Stream Test, the results of which
have never been published. It was a successful test and I have urged
(somewhat of an understatement) Cassandra to write it up and offered
assistance to accomplish that many times over the past few years with no
success to date. I have seen and communicated with Cassandra several
times since we talked about this testing and she's never mentioned it to
me again, so if it was done, I've not heard about it. I would encourage
others to contact her and inquire about the status of sets of test
results (cassandra_adams@...).

Regarding the Waldorf School in Carbondale, Colorado, the most useful
contact there is likely to be Stephen Kanipe, the City of Aspen/Pitkin
County, Colorado Building Official, who was involved in the design and
construction of that school and whose child attends the school
(stephenk@...). The school is not in his jurisdiction, so he
had to contend with gaining approval from a neighboring building
department and this set a good precedent.

There is at least one other precedent for a school building that is being
constructed right now in Ashland Oregon. I know that Nancy Richardson
succeeded in getting approval for a straw bale classroom for Ashland High
School by using gypsum plaster as the interior finish, because this is a
known fire-rated finishing system, which should actually be the main
concern when dealing with smoke-related issues such as flame spread,
smoke development and smoke density. Her project was the recipient of a
U.S. EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) Challenge Grant so she had a
few other hurdles to overcome as well. I don't have Nancy's contact info
handy but she could be reached through Keith and Jo Cob
(earthtel@...) in Ashland who have helped with her project and have
a lovely octagonal two-story sb house there.

These tests are important to get done, however I believe they will need
to be done for bale walls with the various finishes that people want to
use. Hope that is helpful.


David Eisenberg
Development Center for Appropriate Technology
P.O. Box 27513
Tucson, AZ 85726-7513
(520) 624-6628
(520) 798-3701 fax
(email address removed)(direct personal e-mail)

Check out the feature articles on Alternative Materials and Methods of
Construction in ICBO's Sept/Oct 98 Building Standards Magazine. It's all
online at
Look for the "Features and Articles section and scroll down to find


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