Date: 24 Jan 1999 18:51:24 -0600
From: "Mark Piepkorn (f.k.a. M J Epko [R.I.P.])"
Subject: (fwd) British SB Ass'n meeting minutes
From: "Peter Butterfield" <straw@...>
Minutes of the First British Strawbale Building Association (BSBA) Conference
at Manchester Youth Hostel
21st November 1998
1. Present: Peter Butterfield, Kath Best, Gemma Nesbitt, Siobhan Doolan,
Simon Pratt, Tom Woolley, Fiona Garlick, Henry Amos, Chris Morgan, Bee
Rowan, Barbara Jones, Suzie Holt, Owen Grehan, Rachel Sara, Rosie White,
Steve Curwell, Mark Bigland Pritchard.
2. Apologies: Jenny Makepeace, Kevin Beale, John Hollely.
3. Introductions: Pete Butterfield introduced the meeting.
i) Tom Woolley (TW) discussed principles of green building and showed
slides of the Cedar Primary School in Crossgar. A new project is taking
place at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust in N Ireland. Issue 18 of the
Green Building Digest covers general info on straw bale building. TW showed
Jenny Makepeaceis slides of her home. She is currently constructing a new
building on stilts over a pond.
ii) Simon Pratt (SP) showed slides of some of his straw bale courses over
the last two years: a load- bearing, unplastered, building attached to
existing walls at Redfield Community; a load-bearing, autonomous sheep-shed
at Redfield; a hexagonal, part hemp straw, timber-framed, workshop space at
the Big Green Gathering site; and a hexagonal, timber-framed, childrenis
playhouse at Redfield.
iii) Barbara Jones (BJ) showed slides of several of her buildings:
load-bearing bunkhouse in the Pennines; Steiner School, Hollywood, N.
Ireland; the first UK straw bale house, in the Brecons; garage workshop in
Darlington; circular house with load-bearing concrete chimney in Clones,
County Monaghan. Found buildings are coping well with moisture and if
problems do occur, they are easier to solve than in conventional buildings.
iv) Pete Butterfield (PB) showed slides of the BSBA course at Brithdir
Mawr, Pembrokeshire, run by Kevin Beale and Ianto Doyle. Approximately one
third of the four-bedroomed timber-framed house was completed during the
week long course.
v) Mark Bigland Pritchard (MBP) discussed issues of thermal conductivity
and moisture in bales, with particular reference to interstitial
condensation and cold-bridging. He stressed the need for a nationwide
monitoring network using cheap equipment that householders could use. MBP
wishes to hear from people interested in taking part in a moisture working
5. BSBA Meeting. Chair: TW
i) History of the BSBA: PB briefly described how/why the BSBA had been set
up and outlined its aims: to increase communication and provide
information. The meeting was set up to decide collectively how best to meet
these aims, to find out if the BSBA should continue and if so, in what
form. PB stated that he had no preconceived ideas about the way forward. TW
welcomed PBis initiative.
ii) Proposal by BJ: BJ outlined a number of issues that she felt were
- - omission of Southern Ireland from the BSBAis name. TW stated that someone
had expressed interest in setting up an organisation in Ireland.
- - the desire to have a name (and organisation) which avoids being
nationalistic and encompasses the global view.
- - need to avoid duplicating work occurring in UK and abroad; overlap
between the work of Amazon Nails and the BSBA.
- - BJis preference for the term eForumi rather than eAssociationi which she
felt better reflected the desire for a cooperative, communicative,
non-hierarchical and sharing movement.
A general discussion took place over memberis ideas for the way forward and
differing views were expressed. BJ presented a paper detailing her proposal
for the future. BJ spoke about problems of E-mail and the need to bring all
strands of the movement together including the grass roots.
iii) Newsletters: PB agreed there was overlap in the newsletters but felt
they had different formats and agendas. PB suggested that eBaling Outi
continue with its more magazine type format, whilst ePigis Progressi could
become more of a news sheet. General discussion. BJ suggested merging the
newsletters with eThe Last Strawi and removing all irrelevant information
for our edition. Problem of different climate, planning laws, approach etc.
PB interested in producing a UK edition of eThe Last Strawi. Bee Rowan
stated that eBaling Outi is discussing this option for next year with Judy
Knox. Idea to set up working party to carry this discussion further put on
hold until next meeting.
iv) European Straw Bale Network: TW described current action following the
first European workshop in Brittany, June 1998. Following an agreement to
set up a Europe-wide network, coordinated by Lars Keller of Denmark, there
has been little further action. Lars has drafted a constitution which TW
feels is too bureaucratic and restrictive. Next meeting set for July 1999,
possibly in Denmark. Association set up in part to access European funding.
Hope to produce a European section of eThe Last Strawi.
v) Issues that can be addressed by a straw bale building association:
Lobbying e.g. to influence building codes
Coordinating research programmes
Support for project development
Sharing information on construction techniques
Location of projects database
Association of builders
Public Relations and publicity
Information for newcomers
1. Open working meeting to take place at Redfield Community in late
Jan/early Feb 1999. Date and venue details/costs to be drawn up by SP. Many
thanks to SP for offering his home for the no doubt lively discussions! SP
explained the value of splitting up into interest groups at the meeting to
facilitate decision making. Support for setting up several working parties
for the future, where all are able to nominate themselves. BJis written
proposals to be discussed in more detail, along with any other proposals.
Everyone to bring their ideas for the future. Car sharing, pooling costs??
2. ePigis Progressi and eBaling Outi to advertise details and everyone to
spread the word on the grape vine, phone, face-to-face contact, fax,
E-mail, video conferencing, TV appearances, banners on the roof of
Minutes: Suzie Holt, November 1998
Date: 24 Jan 1999 19:32:21 -0600
From: "Lerner, Helmuth, McCandless" <options@...>
Subject: Re: fire in Mongolia
I have been considering straw-clay, but didn't feel I had enough experience
to introduce it. I would very much like to get a copy of summary in
German. Thanks!! I will know soon (Feb) if I will be going to Mongolia
for an extended period of time to work out some of these straw-bale fire
issues and other energy effieciency technologies. Let me know about the
At 10:39 PM 1/21/99 -0600, you wrote:
>Sorry this response is so late.
>"Leichtlehmbau" or "straw-clay" may be a good solution. By mixing earth
>with the straw you create a good fire barrier. You've already got the
>materials on site and the techniques are not very difficult.
>If you've got someone with you there in Mongolia who speaks German, there
>is a great book on "Leichtlehmbau" or "straw-clay" as its often called in
>Leichtlehmbau Alter Baustoff - Neue Technik
>By: Franz Volhard
>Published by: Verlag C.F. Mueller, Karlsruhe Germany
>If you don't have a German speaker among you, I have a summary
>translation of the 3rd edition in English.
>The book goes into the technique of mixing a light slip of clay with the
>straw -Leichtlehmbau - in great detail. volhard also discusses ceilings an=
>roofs in some detail and describes how the technique can be used to accept
>plaster directly. The book is complete in terms of the building system and
>I think that using straw-clay in the ceilings may be a good solution to
>your problems. In any case, I highly recommend looking into the book as it
>may give you other ideas that may be useful to you.
>If I can be helpful in any other way contact me:
But what good is passion if it does not make you shudder at the
limitlessness of its possibilities? - Bharati Mukherjee
One World Design
International Design and Consulting
El Cerrito, California, USA
options@..., 510-528-3765 phone, 510-528-8763 fax
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Subject: Digest for 1/24/99
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Date: Sun, 24 Jan 1999 22:39:24 -0600