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Re: GSBN:Fwd: letter from Tom Ososki



(This is my complete email -- don't know why the whole email didn't send...cw)

We at TLS got the very same letter from Tom O., and have been communicating 
with him.

We also sent a couple books from the BWB Educational Resource Fund -- BIWB 
and Buildings of Earth & Straw, & the Visual Primer of Steve MacDonald's, 
as well as several issues of TLS.   Also, directed him to the BWB website 
and to some folks who have knowledge of hand balers.

So a link has been made.....  he will be keeping us informed of his 
progress and future needs.
Of course, anyone else may contact him, too.............

regards,
Catherine


At 03:28 PM 8/9/01 -0500, you wrote:
>>Date: Wed, 08 Aug 2001 09:00:31 -0700
>>From: Joelee Joyce dawnaz@...
>>
>>Subject: letter from Tom Ososki
>>
>>The following letter was sent to Matts and Judy who handed it to me to
>>field the request. This was during the time of Mildred's passing, so it
>>has been sadly neglected. So anything you can do would be appreciated.
>>
>>--
>>Joelee Joyce
>>DAWN / Out On Bale By Mail
>>6570 W. Illinois St.
>>Tucson, AZ 85735
>>Tel: 520 624 1673
>>Email: dawnaz@...
>>Web site: http://SustainableSources.com/dawn
>>------------letter & proposal follow--------
>>
>>From:  Thomas Ososki
>>Amhara Beueau of Works & Urban Developmetn (BoWUD)
>>PO Box 725
>>Bahir Dar
>>Ethiopia  *
>>Tel: 08 20 54 38
>>email: tomososki@...
>>
>>Dear M & J:
>>I am an American architect working in Ethiopia for two years.  Some past
>>straw bale experience has led me to start a project of reasearch whether
>>straw bale construction is a viable option for construction in this
>>country.  It is an exciting project that has the possibility of helping
>>many people.  See attached proposal for more information.
>>
>>As BoWUD begins this project there are two larges issues that have
>>appeared to us.  One, the main physical obstacle to our project is the
>>lack of a baler in our region.  It looks like we are going to have to
>>design and build a manual straw baler.  If we knew of other designs
>>already built, preferably in a developing country, it would be of great
>>help to us.  This leads us to our second issue: Are there other straw
>>bale projects happening in Ethiopia  (or Africa) and how do we contact
>>them?  Although my email account works well, Internet research
>>capabilities are poor, so that is not an ideal option.
>>
>>If your organization has any information it can send to us it would be
>>greatly appreciated.  There could be a significant impact on Ethiopian
>>housing if this project suceeds.  Most importantly, my Ethiopian
>>co-workers are excited about this project.  That makes me believe that
>>straw bales could have a long-term affect in this country.
>>
>>Thank you for your time and we look forward to hearing from you in the
>>near future.  If e-mail communication is possible, it would help
>>expedite this process.
>>
>>Amhara Bureau of Works and Urban Development (BoWUD)
>>Bahir Dar, Ethiopia
>>
>>[Text of proposal]
>>
>>STRAW BALE MATERIAL RESEARCH PROJECT
>>
>>Introduction:
>>
>>One of the areas BoWUD focuses on is materials research. Not only do we
>>look at existing materials, but we also research new materials that are
>>beneficial to our communities. Straw is a material that has been in
>>existence a long time. Here in Amhara straw is commonly used in
>>combination with clay to make plaster for buildings. However, there is
>>another opportunity for using straw as a building material. Baled straw
>>is a building technology for load bearing and non-load bearing wall
>>construction (that is, it has the ability to support roof loads and it
>>can be used as a partition wall). This project will look at the
>>appropriateness of using straw bale wall construction in Amhara.
>>
>>The most commonly used building materials in and around Bahir Dar are:
>>  ? Sheet metal roofing
>>? Grass or hatch roofing in the countryside
>>? Eucalyptus roof trusses
>>? Chipboard ceilings
>>? Concrete structural skeletons
>>? Concrete block in-fill walls
>>? "Chika" walls: eucalyptus with mud in-fill
>>? Cement or earth plaster
>>? Concrete and tile flooring
>>? Stone foundation
>>
>>It is reasonable to assume that concrete block and "chika" walls take up
>>a significant amount of the materials and labor involved in the
>>construction of most buildings, in particular residential homes.
>>Substituting straw bales for concrete block and "chika" has the
>>possibility of reducing the amount of energy, materials, and labor
>>involved in a residential home.
>>
>>Although cement is a necessary material in Ethiopia, it is only produced
>>in a limited number of locations and its production process causes
>>significant pollution - 8% of all carbon dioxide emissions comes from
>>the production of cement (Serious Straw Bale, 200, page 100). Cement use
>>can be limited by using concrete only for its structural capabilities
>>and not for non-load bearing walls.
>>
>>In a similar fashion, eucalyptus wood is another material that is
>>necessary in Ethiopia. One concern is this wood is used for everything
>>from firewood to making ladders. There is no data available, but we can
>>assume Amhara is using up more wood than it is producing. Consequently,
>>it makes sense to limit as much as possible the amount of eucalyptus
>>used for in-fill walls ("chika" construction).
>>
>>Straw bales are environmentally friendly and locally produced. Two other
>>such alternatives to concrete block and "chika" construction are rammed
>>earth and cement stabilized soil block construction. These are mentioned
>>because as the straw bale project moves along other possibilities in
>>construction materials might appear. There are many good construction
>>materials that could be beneficial to Amhara.
>>
>>Without going into great detail about straw bales, here is a list of
>>some of the benefits of this material:
>>? locally and readily available
>>? provides extra income for the bale producer
>>? provides excellent thermal insulation
>>? provides excellent sound proofing
>>? provides an easy construction process
>>? stacking the bales themselves, owners can save anywhere from 5%-15% on
>>the construction costs
>>? when plastered, meets fire-resistant standards
>>? capable of having a life span over 100 years
>>
>>The one major drawback to straw bales is that the straw itself cannot
>>get wet. If they do get wet, the straw bales will begin to decompose.
>>This concern is easily put aside with some good design principles,
>>including elevated footings, wide roof overhangs, and a good plaster
>>application. Straw bale construction does extremely well in dry hot
>>climates and not as well in consistently damp climates.
>>
>>Straw bale construction has great potential in Ethiopia. What is lacking
>>is knowledge about this material and actual built straw bale structures.
>>
>>Objective:
>>Create interest in straw bale construction through research, design, and
>>presentation. Promote straw bales as an economical and sustainable
>>option for residential house construction in Amhara.
>>
>>Scope of Work:
>>This project can be divided into six phases. Each phase is listed in
>>rough chronological order. The time needed for each phase is estimated
>>and any additional costs are listed.
>>
>>1) Research costs, types, and availability of different straws in and
>>around Bahir Dar. This will involve driving to local farms and talking
>>to farmers. A car, a driver, and an Ethiopian counterpart who can
>>translate well will be needed to gain all necessary information.
>>Estimated time: 60 hours.
>>
>>2) Research local plasters. Prepare a questionnaire, written in Amharic,
>>for distributors (storekeepers), contractors, and skilled laborers.
>>Earth and lime plasters are considered the best for straw bale
>>application. If water somehow gets into the bales, it needs to be able
>>to evaporate out through the plaster. So, good vapor diffusion in the
>>plaster is important. Earth and lime plasters have good vapor
>>permeability, whereas cement plaster has poor vapor permeability. Earth
>>plaster is nice because it easy to use, cheap, and it is familiar to
>>local laborers. One problem with earth plaster is it erodes easily. One
>>method involves using earth plaster as the exterior base coat and also
>>for the interior walls. The exterior finish coat is a lime plaster...
>>The project will include research on how the plasters can be colored.
>>What techniques are currently used and what makes the most sense for
>>straw bales. Estimated time: 60 hours.
>>
>>3) A mechanical straw baler needs to be located. On very large farms,
>>straw is typically baled mechanically by large machines. In Addis, there
>>are bales of straw, but where or they were produced is unknown. The most
>>likely scenario is that there is no mechanical straw baler around Bahir
>>Dar. This will mean researching the best solution for producing straw
>>bales manually. The research team will need to produce a design of a
>>manual straw baler that can be constructed by a local craftsperson. Also
>>included in this phase will be research into the types, costs, and
>>availability of strings, wires, and/or straps needed to tie bales.
>>Estimated time: 300 hours. Additional costs: 1000 birr for constructing
>>a manual baler.
>>
>>4) Prepare a report of construction methods that are most compatible
>>with straw bales. Included in this study will be different options of
>>installing electrical wires, plumbing lines, doors, and windows. The
>>research team will take a closer look at the benefits/limitations of
>>straw bale in-fill construction and of load-bearing straw bale
>>systems... Included in this phase should be some cost estimating for
>>various construction methods. Estimated time: 200 hours.
>>
>>5) Contact various organizations that could be of help to our project.
>>We would look at organizations that could provide information regarding
>>straw bale construction in developing countries. Contact organizations
>>involved with funding overseas projects similar to this one. Communicate
>>with VSO regarding grants that might be available for this project.
>>Estimated time: 40 hours plus intermittent communication throughout the
>>project.
>>
>>6) Prepare and present workshops on straw bale construction.
>>Presentations will include an English/Amharic booklet with various
>>information and pertinent drawings. Workshops will provide a hands-on
>>experience of straw bale construction. The possibility of building part
>>of a small straw bale structure should be seriously considered. Each
>>workshop would last two or three full days. Estimated preparation time:
>>240 hours.
>>
>>Total Estimated time: (not including time of counterpart or driver)
>>1) Research of straw       60 hours
>>2) Research of plaster        60 hours
>>3) Producing a straw baler    300 hours
>>4) Study of construction methods   200 hours
>>5) Contact organizations      40 hours
>>6) Prepare presentations    240 hours
>>Total     900 hours
>>
>>Output of the Project:
>>
>>At the end of this project, the following goals should be met:
>>? At least one Ethiopian BoWUD staff member will be very knowledgeable
>>of straw bale construction.
>>? Presentation materials will be created and accessible for future
>>workshops.
>>? The knowledge of straw bale construction will be passed along to many
>>colleagues and community members.
>>? One manual straw baler will be designed and constructed.
>>? At least one small straw bale structure will be built.
>
>--
>Bill Christensen
>billc@...
>
>Green Homes For Sale/Lease:  http://SustainableSources.com/realestate/
>Green Building Pro Directory:  http://directory.sustainablesources.com/
>Sustainable Bldg Calendar:  http://SustainableSources.com/calendar/
>Sustainable Bldg Bookstore: http://SustainableSources.com/bookstore
>


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Content-Type: text/html; charset="us-ascii"

<html>
<font size=3>Hi all, 
 
(This is my complete email -- don't know why the whole email didn't
send...cw) 
 
We at TLS got the very same letter from Tom O., and have been
communicating with him. 
 
We also sent a couple books from the BWB Educational Resource Fund --
BIWB and Buildings of Earth &amp; Straw, &amp; the Visual Primer of Steve
MacDonald's, as well as several issues of TLS.   Also, directed
him to the BWB website and to some folks who have knowledge of hand
balers. 
 
So a link has been made.....  he will be keeping us informed of his
progress and future needs.   
Of course, anyone else may contact him, too............. 
 
regards, 
Catherine 
 
 
At 03:28 PM 8/9/01 -0500, you wrote: 
<blockquote type=cite class=cite cite><blockquote type=cite class=cite cite>Date:
Wed, 08 Aug 2001 09:00:31 -0700 
From: Joelee Joyce dawnaz@... 
 
Subject: letter from Tom Ososki 
 
The following letter was sent to Matts and Judy who handed it to me
to 
field the request. This was during the time of Mildred's passing, so
it 
has been sadly neglected. So anything you can do would be
appreciated. 
 
-- 
Joelee Joyce 
DAWN / Out On Bale By Mail 
6570 W. Illinois St. 
Tucson, AZ 85735 
Tel: 520 624 1673 
Email: dawnaz@...
Web site:
<a href="http://SustainableSources.com/dawn"; eudora="autourl">http://SustainableSources.com/dawn</a> 
------------letter &amp; proposal follow-------- 
 
From:  Thomas Ososki 
Amhara Beueau of Works &amp; Urban Developmetn (BoWUD) 
PO Box 725 
Bahir Dar 
Ethiopia  * 
Tel: 08 20 54 38 
email: tomososki@...
 
Dear M &amp; J: 
I am an American architect working in Ethiopia for two years.  Some
past 
straw bale experience has led me to start a project of reasearch
whether 
straw bale construction is a viable option for construction in this 
country.  It is an exciting project that has the possibility of
helping 
many people.  See attached proposal for more information. 
 
As BoWUD begins this project there are two larges issues that have 
appeared to us.  One, the main physical obstacle to our project is
the 
lack of a baler in our region.  It looks like we are going to have
to 
design and build a manual straw baler.  If we knew of other
designs 
already built, preferably in a developing country, it would be of
great 
help to us.  This leads us to our second issue: Are there other
straw 
bale projects happening in Ethiopia  (or Africa) and how do we
contact 
them?  Although my email account works well, Internet research 
capabilities are poor, so that is not an ideal option. 
 
If your organization has any information it can send to us it would
be 
greatly appreciated.  There could be a significant impact on
Ethiopian 
housing if this project suceeds.  Most importantly, my
Ethiopian 
co-workers are excited about this project.  That makes me believe
that 
straw bales could have a long-term affect in this country. 
 
Thank you for your time and we look forward to hearing from you in
the 
near future.  If e-mail communication is possible, it would
help 
expedite this process. 
 
Amhara Bureau of Works and Urban Development (BoWUD) 
Bahir Dar, Ethiopia 
 
[Text of proposal] 
 
STRAW BALE MATERIAL RESEARCH PROJECT 
 
Introduction: 
 
One of the areas BoWUD focuses on is materials research. Not only do
we 
look at existing materials, but we also research new materials that
are 
beneficial to our communities. Straw is a material that has been in 
existence a long time. Here in Amhara straw is commonly used in 
combination with clay to make plaster for buildings. However, there
is 
another opportunity for using straw as a building material. Baled
straw 
is a building technology for load bearing and non-load bearing wall 
construction (that is, it has the ability to support roof loads and
it 
can be used as a partition wall). This project will look at the 
appropriateness of using straw bale wall construction in Amhara. 
 
The most commonly used building materials in and around Bahir Dar
are: 
 ? Sheet metal roofing 
? Grass or hatch roofing in the countryside 
? Eucalyptus roof trusses 
? Chipboard ceilings 
? Concrete structural skeletons 
? Concrete block in-fill walls 
? "Chika" walls: eucalyptus with mud in-fill 
? Cement or earth plaster 
? Concrete and tile flooring 
? Stone foundation 
 
It is reasonable to assume that concrete block and "chika"
walls take up 
a significant amount of the materials and labor involved in the 
construction of most buildings, in particular residential homes. 
Substituting straw bales for concrete block and "chika" has
the 
possibility of reducing the amount of energy, materials, and labor 
involved in a residential home. 
 
Although cement is a necessary material in Ethiopia, it is only
produced 
in a limited number of locations and its production process causes 
significant pollution - 8% of all carbon dioxide emissions comes
from 
the production of cement (Serious Straw Bale, 200, page 100). Cement
use 
can be limited by using concrete only for its structural
capabilities 
and not for non-load bearing walls. 
 
In a similar fashion, eucalyptus wood is another material that is 
necessary in Ethiopia. One concern is this wood is used for
everything 
from firewood to making ladders. There is no data available, but we
can 
assume Amhara is using up more wood than it is producing.
Consequently, 
it makes sense to limit as much as possible the amount of 
eucalyptus 
used for in-fill walls ("chika" construction). 
 
Straw bales are environmentally friendly and locally produced. Two
other 
such alternatives to concrete block and "chika" construction
are rammed 
earth and cement stabilized soil block construction. These are
mentioned 
because as the straw bale project moves along other possibilities 
in 
construction materials might appear. There are many good
construction 
materials that could be beneficial to Amhara. 
 
Without going into great detail about straw bales, here is a list 
of 
some of the benefits of this material: 
? locally and readily available 
? provides extra income for the bale producer 
? provides excellent thermal insulation 
? provides excellent sound proofing 
? provides an easy construction process 
? stacking the bales themselves, owners can save anywhere from 5%-15%
on 
the construction costs 
? when plastered, meets fire-resistant standards 
? capable of having a life span over 100 years 
 
The one major drawback to straw bales is that the straw itself
cannot 
get wet. If they do get wet, the straw bales will begin to
decompose. 
This concern is easily put aside with some good design principles, 
including elevated footings, wide roof overhangs, and a good 
plaster 
application. Straw bale construction does extremely well in dry hot 
climates and not as well in consistently damp climates. 
 
Straw bale construction has great potential in Ethiopia. What is
lacking 
is knowledge about this material and actual built straw bale
structures. 
 
Objective: 
Create interest in straw bale construction through research, design,
and 
presentation. Promote straw bales as an economical and sustainable 
option for residential house construction in Amhara. 
 
Scope of Work: 
This project can be divided into six phases. Each phase is listed 
in 
rough chronological order. The time needed for each phase is
estimated 
and any additional costs are listed. 
 
1) Research costs, types, and availability of different straws in
and 
around Bahir Dar. This will involve driving to local farms and
talking 
to farmers. A car, a driver, and an Ethiopian counterpart who can 
translate well will be needed to gain all necessary information. 
Estimated time: 60 hours. 
 
2) Research local plasters. Prepare a questionnaire, written in
Amharic, 
for distributors (storekeepers), contractors, and skilled laborers. 
Earth and lime plasters are considered the best for straw bale 
application. If water somehow gets into the bales, it needs to be
able 
to evaporate out through the plaster. So, good vapor diffusion in
the 
plaster is important. Earth and lime plasters have good vapor 
permeability, whereas cement plaster has poor vapor permeability.
Earth 
plaster is nice because it easy to use, cheap, and it is familiar 
to 
local laborers. One problem with earth plaster is it erodes easily.
One 
method involves using earth plaster as the exterior base coat and
also 
for the interior walls. The exterior finish coat is a lime
plaster... 
The project will include research on how the plasters can be
colored. 
What techniques are currently used and what makes the most sense 
for 
straw bales. Estimated time: 60 hours. 
 
3) A mechanical straw baler needs to be located. On very large
farms, 
straw is typically baled mechanically by large machines. In Addis,
there 
are bales of straw, but where or they were produced is unknown. The
most 
likely scenario is that there is no mechanical straw baler around
Bahir 
Dar. This will mean researching the best solution for producing
straw 
bales manually. The research team will need to produce a design of 
a 
manual straw baler that can be constructed by a local craftsperson.
Also 
included in this phase will be research into the types, costs, and 
availability of strings, wires, and/or straps needed to tie bales. 
Estimated time: 300 hours. Additional costs: 1000 birr for
constructing 
a manual baler. 
 
4) Prepare a report of construction methods that are most 
compatible 
with straw bales. Included in this study will be different options
of 
installing electrical wires, plumbing lines, doors, and windows. 
The 
research team will take a closer look at the benefits/limitations 
of 
straw bale in-fill construction and of load-bearing straw bale 
systems... Included in this phase should be some cost estimating 
for 
various construction methods. Estimated time: 200 hours. 
 
5) Contact various organizations that could be of help to our
project. 
We would look at organizations that could provide information
regarding 
straw bale construction in developing countries. Contact
organizations 
involved with funding overseas projects similar to this one.
Communicate 
with VSO regarding grants that might be available for this project. 
Estimated time: 40 hours plus intermittent communication throughout
the 
project. 
 
6) Prepare and present workshops on straw bale construction. 
Presentations will include an English/Amharic booklet with various 
information and pertinent drawings. Workshops will provide a
hands-on 
experience of straw bale construction. The possibility of building
part 
of a small straw bale structure should be seriously considered. 
Each 
workshop would last two or three full days. Estimated preparation
time: 
240 hours. 
 
Total Estimated time: (not including time of counterpart or driver) 
1) Research of straw       60 hours 
2) Research of plaster        60
hours 
3) Producing a straw baler    300 hours 
4) Study of construction methods   200 hours 
5) Contact organizations      40 hours 
6) Prepare presentations    240 hours 
Total     900 hours 
 
Output of the Project: 
 
At the end of this project, the following goals should be met: 
? At least one Ethiopian BoWUD staff member will be very
knowledgeable 
of straw bale construction. 
? Presentation materials will be created and accessible for future 
workshops. 
? The knowledge of straw bale construction will be passed along to
many 
colleagues and community members. 
? One manual straw baler will be designed and constructed. 
? At least one small straw bale structure will be
built.</blockquote> 
--  
Bill Christensen 
billc@...
 
Green Homes For Sale/Lease: 
<a href="http://SustainableSources.com/realestate/"; eudora="autourl">http://SustainableSources.com/realestate/</a> 
Green Building Pro Directory: 
<a href="http://directory.sustainablesources.com/"; eudora="autourl">http://directory.sustainablesources.com/</a> 
Sustainable Bldg Calendar: 
<a href="http://SustainableSources.com/calendar/"; eudora="autourl">http://SustainableSources.com/calendar/</a> 
Sustainable Bldg Bookstore:
<a href="http://SustainableSources.com/bookstore"; eudora="autourl">http://SustainableSources.com/bookstore</a> 
 
</font></blockquote></html>

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