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GSBN: Digest for 4/10/02

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-> re: Re: GSBN:List of SB testing reports
     by Andre de Bouter m.ep@...


Date: 9 Apr 2002 05:11:26 -0500
From: Andre de Bouter m.ep@...
Subject: re: Re: GSBN:List of SB testing reports

Hi everyone,

Here is the list of testing reports that Mark Piepkorn put together plus what
I received from other people. I did not add the info from TLS 31, figuring
that Chris and Joyce will have access to that in digital form.

Anyway, I'm of to Belgium in a few days to help Harald Wedig build a SB
demonstration project, ordered and payed for by the European Union. It will be
buildt during GreenWeek in the heart of Brussels, the beautiful city where the
beer is good, the fries soft and greasy and where that little guy (Maneke Pis)
is taking a leak to amuse the tourists. 

Greetings to you all,

A Straw Bales/Mortar House Demonstration Project 
1986, by Louis Gagne 
Available from CMHC http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/
There are French translations of these summaries as well. You can browse for
them under, using the same reference numbers: 
Contains, among other things, results of a thermal-flow test that most 
rational people seem to feel is flawed or jimmied. I'm not necessarily 
rational, but I am skeptical of the report. 

Developing and Proof-Testing the "Prestressed Nebraska" Method for Improved 
Production of Bale Fibre Housing 
1995, by Fibrehouse Limited with Scanada Consultants Limited 
Available from CMHC http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/ 
Some data from tests performed on the specific technique given in the title. 

Setting the Standards for Straw Bale Construction 
1998, by ? 
Contact somebody from CASBA. 
A summary of R-Value testing, including the most recent guarded hot box 
tests on which the California Energy Commission based its nominal R-value 
for SB. 

Straw Bale Construction Research Project at Portland Community College 
Ongoing, by PCC Engineering Technology Students and Volunteers 
Contact Joanna Karl, jkarl@...
Datalogging moisture levels in the walls. 

Evaluation of a Straw Bale Composite Wall 
1998, Bale Built Inc 
Contact Joe Allen, 208-799-1285 
Lots of info on a specific technique that uses a lot of steel, the likes of 
which I don't think has a lot to recommend it. 

Transverse Load Test and Small Scale E-119 Fire Test on Uncoated Straw Bale 
Wall Panels and Stucco Coated Straw Bale Wall Panels 
1993, by SHB Agra, Inc 
Contact Catherine Wanek to purchase copies 

Straw Bale Exterior Pinning Report 
Undated, by Sustainability International 
Contact Bob Bolles to purchase copies - bbolles@...
Engineering results on a rebar-exterior-pinning system which gained 
approval from the Tucson/Pima County building department. 

Fire Comparison Test of Straw-use Wall Systems 
1997, by Birkani Architects 
Contact Erem Birkan to purchase copies - www.baleblock.com 
Not-particularly-scientific results of a planned fire involving a number of 
different wall systems. 

Summary of Results of a Structural Straw Bale Testing Program Based on a 
Master's Thesis by Ghailene Bou-Ali 
1993, by David Eisenberg with Matts Myrhman and Judy Knox 
I think Catherine Wanek might sell these, or David Eisenberg 
The info on which was based the first SB code in the USA. 

The Thermal Insulating Value of Straw Bales for Construction 
1993, by Joseph McCabe 
Contact Joe to purchase copies - energyi@...
His master's thesis. 

Pilot Study of Moisture Control in Stuccoed Straw Bale Walls 
1997, by Fibrehouse Limited 
Available from CMHC http://www.cmhc-schl 
A field examination of a number of aging Canadian strawbale structures. 

Strawbale Moisture Monitoring Report 
1998, by Rob Jolly 
Available from CMHC http://www.cmhc-schl 
or http://www.baubiologie.at/asbn/literatur.html
Good stuff that needs critical consideration by the reader. 

Moisture in Straw Bale Housing, Nova Scotia 
1998, by S.H.E. Consultants 
Possibly available from CMHC http://www.cmhc-schl 
Moisture monitoring of Kim Thompson's pioneering SB house. 

Straw Bale Moisture Sensor Study 
undated, by unknown (perhaps Don Fugler himself, or Habib John Gonzalez) 
Possibly available from CMHC http://www.cmhc-schl 
Describes simple, low-cost moisture sensors for SB walls. 

Straw Bale Wall Hot Box Tests Results and Analysis 
undated, by Oak Ridge National Laboratory 
Contact ORNL http://www.ornl.gov 
Astonishingly bad R-value results revealing, among other things, that 
having air gaps between the plaster and bales can be mighty bad. 

Bale Wall Compression Testing Program 
Jeff Ruppert was in on this; I think it's the one he referenced 

Thermal and Mechanical Properties of Straw Bales as the Relate to a Straw
1995, by TUNS 
I think this is one that Catherine Wanek sells 

Also see the TLS#31, the 2000 Resources issue, page 31 for additional 
listings. (Don't even bother with looking in TLS#35, 'cause it ain't there. 
"Updated and expanded" my ass.) 
- -------------------------------------------------------------------------
Herbert Gruber (Austria): 

Our project, financed by the Austrian Ministry for Traffic, Technology and 
Innovation and in cooperation with GrAT (Group for Appropriate Technology at 
the University of Technology in Vienna) is finished: 
So the tests we made are available soon in original (I will tell you as far 
as you can get the original tests). 

Concerning a full scale fire test for a straw bale building it was interesting
for me to visit the report and video-presentation of Dr. Vahik Enjily from the
Centre for Timber Technology and Construction, Building Research
Establishment, UK (BRE: www.bre.co.uk) in Vienna.
BRE built a six story timber and frame building in a hangar and made a lot of
(full-scale-)fire tests under regular circumstances. The results are gathered
in a study and are very interesting, I think.
Now I believe (even when you build loadbearing) fire performance of strawbale
houses is similar to timber & frame constructions because of the similar
material (cellulose). Even our strawbale-wall-firetest (90 min. fire
resistance for a plastered strawbale wall) showed results that are similar to
other (insulated) timber and frame construction-fire tests, we know of. If you
are interested, I could send you a copy of the study of BRE, or you wait
#180#til it is published online.
- -------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hannes Hohensinner (Austria)
As offical tests and certificates are very important to convince officals and
reduce prejudices we are planning to collect all available tests and
certificates and put 
them on our homepage (www.grat.tuwien.ac.at) to make them available for all
straw bale builders. Although at the moment the website is restructured and
will be in the 
net by end of this year, this e-mail is an invitation to all straw balers, who
have already done offical (and also inofficial) testing, to support our
intentions and 
send us informations about the tests and/or offical certificates. 
- -------------------------------------------------------------------------
John Glasford (Australia)
Authors:	John Carrick BE. M Eng Sci.
		Laboratory Manager
		Building Research Centre
		University of New South Wales
		22-32 King Street

		John Glassford S.D.A. Edin. (Hons)
		Managing Director
		Huff'n'Puff Constructions
		'The Laurels'
		Moss Vale Road

- -------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mike Faine:
strawbale load test
These results were presented at the First International Ecological Building 
Structures Conference held in San Francisco last July (2001) 
Hope this may be of some interest to you, I will be doing some futher 
research using an earth based render instead of a cement based render 
Mike Faine" mikefaine@...
- -------------------------------------------------------------------------
John Straube(Canada) :
The vapor permeance and water absorption of a range of cement and lime 
stuccos for SB are summarized in a Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corp report 
you can get from them or download from my nascent website at 

under on-line publications 
John Straube 
Dept of Civil Engineering and School of Architecture 
University of Waterloo 
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1 CANADA 
- -------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jolien van der Made(Holland):
Canadian Society of  Agricultural Engineering: 
Thermal and Mechanical Porperties of Straw Bales as they Relate 
to a Strw House; biological deterioration, insulating properties en strenght 
Jolien jostro@...
- -------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bruce King:
The Ecomaterials paper, though in English, summarizes testting to date (Bruce
sent me this about a year ago)
- -------------------------------------------------------------------------
Catherine Wanek:
I wonder if you have the New Mexico fire test results, of a successful 2-hour
SB test to ASTM standards... I could fax you the 5 or 7 pages if you need them
right away.

Also, a relatively new SB "Flame spread and Smoked developed fire test" was
done last year and the results are very good. These have just been posted to
the DCAT (Development Center for Appropriate Technology) website at:
www.dcat.net so you can download them if needed.
- -------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lars Keller (Denmark)