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GSBN: Digest for 2/18/03



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-> Re: GSBN:Low Tech SB wall
     by "Andre_de_Bouter" m.ep@...
-> Re: GSBN:Low Tech SB wall
     by "Barbara Jones" strawbale@...
-> Re: GSBN:Low Tech SB wall
     by Chris Magwood TLSEditor@...
-> Re: GSBN:Low Tech SB wall
     by "Barbara Jones" strawbale@...
-> RE: GSBN:Low Tech SB wall
     by jeff@...
-> Re: GSBN:Low Tech SB wall
     by "Huff & Puff Construction" huffnpuff@...
-> Re: GSBN:Low Tech SB wall
     by "Rene Dalmeijer" rened@...
-> Sv: GSBN:Low Tech SB wall
     by "Lars Keller" larskeller@...


----------------------------------------------------------------------

Date: 18 Feb 2003 04:14:11 -0600
From: "Andre_de_Bouter" m.ep@...
Subject: Re: GSBN:Low Tech SB wall

Dear Tim,

> The question that I would like input on is the top plate and base
connection
> for the simplest earth plastered wall. In California we don't have much
> occasion to build with this commonly built wall. We really want to avoid
the
> folly of a silly solution that everyone will have to replicate. We will
> strap the wall with poly every two feet. This however does not seem to be
> enough.

Isn't that just wat testing is about, testing to find out what works and
what does not, to show that it is an OK or SILLY solution. If the straps
fail that would be interesting to know, because a lot of people believe in
them.

But maybe 'you' prefer to use the budget to show what works rather that what
doesn't.

Bye,
Andre


- ----- Original Message -----
From: "tim Owen-Kennedy" timok@...
To: "GSBN" GSBN@...
Cc: bill@...
Sent: Tuesday, February 18, 2003 12:26 AM
Subject: GSBN:Low Tech SB wall


> hello all,
>
> We are winding down the testing portion of the EBNet's straw bale
> construction testing program and we will be building the cyclical in-plane
> test walls in Illinois over the next three weeks. Without going in to the
> details, we are testing 3 earth plastered walls and 3 cement/lime stuccoed
> walls (quickrete exterior stucco).  Each of these sets range from
> simplest/most common to reasonably engineered to over engineered. ;-)
>
> The question that I would like input on is the top plate and base
connection
> for the simplest earth plastered wall. In California we don't have much
> occasion to build with this commonly built wall. We really want to avoid
the
> folly of a silly solution that everyone will have to replicate. We will
> strap the wall with poly every two feet. This however does not seem to be
> enough.
>
> So here is what we're considering:
>
> Mesh wraped under the sill and over the box beam that just covers the
first
> and top course of bales. ( most logical for us mesh happy balers though if
> you're gonna mesh top and bottom you might as well go all the way.
> unfortunately that is our mis range wall.
>
> 16d galvinized nails 4" on center imbedded only one inch into the plates
and
> box beam.
>
> Developing a decent way to hold onto the top and bottom plates with
exterior
> bamboo pins
>
> Imbalers, wood 2x2 top and rebar bottom (I really like to avoid this but
it
> has been done quite a bit)
>
> 16-18" Sip screws with wide washers installed after the first course and
on
> an angle up into the box beam (something I've tried with window bucks)
>
> OTHER?
>
> Also, if someone will be near the Urbana, Illinois testing site and could
> help plaster let me know.
>
> Tim
>
>
>
>
>

>




----------------------------------------------------------------------

Date: 18 Feb 2003 08:48:20 -0600
From: "Barbara Jones" strawbale@...
Subject: Re: GSBN:Low Tech SB wall

Dear Tim
I haven't seen your design for these tests, but are the walls loadbearing or
the straw infill only?
Assuming they're loadbearing, we've been using designs for top plate and
base plate connections very effectively for the last few years. By this I
mean that we have no doubts that the methods work, and neither do our
Building Control officers, who have never refused to pass our buildings.
We usually use a timber baseplate that also incorporates the floor joists to
save on timber (and not use concrete). Into this we fix coppiced hazel stubs
that stand above the plate by 12" (300mm). We drill a 2" (50mm)deep hole of
1" (25mm)diameter into the baseplate timbers, and whittle the end of each
hazel stub to get a really tight fit into the hole. This is easy to do
because hazel, being a natural material, has a wonderfully irregular
diameter.
With the top plate, we again construct it of timber, and incorporate the
floor joists into it if it is to be a 2-storey building. Our top plates
always have a top skin of plywood for rigidity, and before fixing this ply,
we drill through specially placed cross pieces of timber and pin the plate
directly into the bales using hazel of length 39" (1m) and diameter 1 1/2 or
1 1/4" (38-30mm). Again, because of the natural bend and irregularity of the
hazel, it holds very tightly into the straw, much better than metal rebar
ever did. The ply top skin acts to prevent any possibility of water running
down the pins into the bales. Finally, we do tie our walls down, usually
with stranded galvinised metal rather than plastic, but only because we
can't find a plastic fastener that can be fastened and re-fastened easily.
These ties are not to stabilise the walls, as we consider that the weight of
the roof does that all on its own, they are simply to hold the roof on in
the event of a high wind.
We try never to use metal within our walls, we never wrap metal around them,
and we try to keep everything as simple and straightforward as possible.
If we are constructing an infill design of strawbale wall, we always make
sure we have compression on the infill panels, and have developed different
methods of doing this, but the top and base plate fixings would be the same
as described above. We would not use external pins any more in our designs
as they are very labour intensive and there are better ways of acheiving the
same result. We generally think that the use of pins is really an aide for
self-building, and that once the building is completed it probably makes no
difference at all to its stability whether it has pins in it or not.
I hope this is useful.
Best wishes
Barbara Jones

Amazon Nails: Strawbale building, training, consultancy, empowerment.
                   www.strawbalefutures.org.uk
Warning! Strawbale building can seriously transform your life!




- ----- Original Message -----
From: tim Owen-Kennedy timok@...
To: GSBN GSBN@...
Cc: bill@...
Sent: Monday, February 17, 2003 11:26 PM
Subject: GSBN:Low Tech SB wall


> hello all,
>
> We are winding down the testing portion of the EBNet's straw bale
> construction testing program and we will be building the cyclical in-plane
> test walls in Illinois over the next three weeks. Without going in to the
> details, we are testing 3 earth plastered walls and 3 cement/lime stuccoed
> walls (quickrete exterior stucco).  Each of these sets range from
> simplest/most common to reasonably engineered to over engineered. ;-)
>
> The question that I would like input on is the top plate and base
connection
> for the simplest earth plastered wall. In California we don't have much
> occasion to build with this commonly built wall. We really want to avoid
the
> folly of a silly solution that everyone will have to replicate. We will
> strap the wall with poly every two feet. This however does not seem to be
> enough.
>
> So here is what we're considering:
>
> Mesh wraped under the sill and over the box beam that just covers the
first
> and top course of bales. ( most logical for us mesh happy balers though if
> you're gonna mesh top and bottom you might as well go all the way.
> unfortunately that is our mis range wall.
>
> 16d galvinized nails 4" on center imbedded only one inch into the plates
and
> box beam.
>
> Developing a decent way to hold onto the top and bottom plates with
exterior
> bamboo pins
>
> Imbalers, wood 2x2 top and rebar bottom (I really like to avoid this but
it
> has been done quite a bit)
>
> 16-18" Sip screws with wide washers installed after the first course and
on
> an angle up into the box beam (something I've tried with window bucks)
>
> OTHER?
>
> Also, if someone will be near the Urbana, Illinois testing site and could
> help plaster let me know.
>
> Tim
>
>
>
>
>

>
>



----------------------------------------------------------------------

Date: 18 Feb 2003 10:50:23 -0600
From: Chris Magwood TLSEditor@...
Subject: Re: GSBN:Low Tech SB wall

>Mesh wraped under the sill and over the box beam that just covers the first
>and top course of bales. ( most logical for us mesh happy balers though if
>you're gonna mesh top and bottom you might as well go all the way.
>unfortunately that is our mis range wall.


Tim,

Does this mean that the box beam is only as wide as the bales? If you're
trying to direct the loads into the plaster skins, the box beam would need
to overhang the bales a bit (approx. the depth of the plaster). In order to
achieve both a meshing surface and some overhang with the box beam, we've
started making a lighter (2x4, sometimes on the flat) box beam that's just
a tad narrower than the bales, compressing, attaching the mesh to this box,
then adding either on-edge 2x4 or 2x6 (depending on specific loads) to both
faces of the box beam. This brings the plate out over the plaster, but the
mesh is in line with the bales.

As an on-site bonus, these "side-rails" we add to the box beam can be used
to achieve a level surface for the roof, even if the box beam itself has
deflected unevenly... we just set the side rails to a level string line.
Means we spend a lot less time trying to fiddle the compression so the box
beam itself ends up level.

The side rails, while seeming to add a bit of lumber to the total, also
allow us to make a much lighter box beam, so the wood totals are very
similar.

Still trying to bear the load in Ontario!

Chris

PS, Would love to help plaster in Illinois, but can't step out the door
without flash-freezing myself!


***************************

Chris Magwood / Camel's Back Straw Bale Construction
http://www.strawhomes.ca

Interested in bale building? Have you subscribed to
The Last Straw Journal?
You should!
 http://www.strawhomes.com


----------------------------------------------------------------------

Date: 18 Feb 2003 12:31:40 -0600
From: "Barbara Jones" strawbale@...
Subject: Re: GSBN:Low Tech SB wall


> Does this mean that the box beam is only as wide as the bales? If you're
> trying to direct the loads into the plaster skins, the box beam would need
> to overhang the bales a bit (approx. the depth of the plaster). In order
to
> achieve both a meshing surface and some overhang with the box beam, we've
> started making a lighter (2x4, sometimes on the flat) box beam that's just
> a tad narrower than the bales, compressing, attaching the mesh to this
box,
> then adding either on-edge 2x4 or 2x6 (depending on specific loads) to
both
> faces of the box beam. This brings the plate out over the plaster, but the
> mesh is in line with the bales.

We don't use the plaster to take any of the loads. Doesn't seem necessary to
us and saves a lot of work.
>
> PS, Would love to help plaster in Illinois, but can't step out the door
> without flash-freezing myself!
>
Ditto, but I guess it's not quite so freezing here in the Pennines of
Yorkshire as it is up there in Canada. Lovely and sunny though even if below
zero!
Barbara
>
>



----------------------------------------------------------------------

Date: 18 Feb 2003 14:42:39 -0600
From: jeff@...
Subject: RE: GSBN:Low Tech SB wall

Tim,

One of the best things to come out of our testing of walls in compression
was that we did not use pins or mesh on some of the walls, and they turned
out to be the strongest.  It has been this type of data that has let us use
only the materials we feel are needed to acheive any particular solution.
By incorporating the pins at the top and bottom, I think the results will
only reflect how some people build bale walls.  This certainly is not how we
build them, and therefore the results will be rather useless to us.  If your
walls did not have pins, pins could be incorporated, if necessary, to help
persuade a reluctant building official, but certainly not the other way
around.  I am also not clear as to the use of SIP screws, but again, my
comment is keep it simple!  The results will have the widest benefit.

Jeff Ruppert, P.E.
Odisea Engineering, Planning and Consulting
2241 17th St.
Boulder, CO  80304
303.443.4335
303.443.4355 fax
jeff@...
www.odiseanet.com

> -----Original Message-----
> From: GSBN [mailto:GSBN@...]On Behalf Of tim
> Owen-Kennedy
> Sent: Monday, February 17, 2003 4:26 PM
> To: GSBN
> Cc: bill@...
> Subject: GSBN:Low Tech SB wall
>
>
> hello all,
>
> We are winding down the testing portion of the EBNet's straw bale
> construction testing program and we will be building the cyclical in-plane
> test walls in Illinois over the next three weeks. Without going in to the
> details, we are testing 3 earth plastered walls and 3 cement/lime stuccoed
> walls (quickrete exterior stucco).  Each of these sets range from
> simplest/most common to reasonably engineered to over engineered. ;-)
>
> The question that I would like input on is the top plate and base
> connection
> for the simplest earth plastered wall. In California we don't have much
> occasion to build with this commonly built wall. We really want
> to avoid the
> folly of a silly solution that everyone will have to replicate. We will
> strap the wall with poly every two feet. This however does not seem to be
> enough.
>
> So here is what we're considering:
>
> Mesh wraped under the sill and over the box beam that just covers
> the first
> and top course of bales. ( most logical for us mesh happy balers though if
> you're gonna mesh top and bottom you might as well go all the way.
> unfortunately that is our mis range wall.
>
> 16d galvinized nails 4" on center imbedded only one inch into the
> plates and
> box beam.
>
> Developing a decent way to hold onto the top and bottom plates
> with exterior
> bamboo pins
>
> Imbalers, wood 2x2 top and rebar bottom (I really like to avoid
> this but it
> has been done quite a bit)
>
> 16-18" Sip screws with wide washers installed after the first
> course and on
> an angle up into the box beam (something I've tried with window bucks)
>
> OTHER?
>
> Also, if someone will be near the Urbana, Illinois testing site and could
> help plaster let me know.
>
> Tim
>
>
>
>
>

>



----------------------------------------------------------------------

Date: 18 Feb 2003 15:05:33 -0600
From: "Huff & Puff Construction" huffnpuff@...
Subject: Re: GSBN:Low Tech SB wall

G 'day All

> > We are winding down the testing portion of the EBNet's straw bale
> > The question that I would like input on is the top plate and base
> > connection
> > for the simplest earth plastered wall. In California we don't have much
> > occasion to build with this commonly built wall. We really want
> > to avoid the
> > folly of a silly solution that everyone will have to replicate. We will
> > strap the wall with poly every two feet. This however does not seem to
be
> > enough.

Just a quick note.

The tests that we conducted at the University of New South Wales did not
call for any pins or rebar apart from a starter bar in the footings

We now eliminate starter bars as well as they do nothing, in fact could wick
up moisture from the footings.

The recent tests conducted by Mike Faine and his crew from the University of
Western Sydney have repeated our original tests at UNSW but went to two
storey with cement renders instead.

Both tests were connducted on walls that were in their simplest forms:

Bottom plates 100mm x 50mm ladder plate system.  450 mm wide.
Top plates mirror of the bottom plates except 100 mm narrower
Tie downs every 450 mm.
Tie downs 2.5 g high tensile fencing wires
Connectors medium gripples.  Connected on opposite sides along the length of
the wall.

The pre-compression was carried out in each case (many walls tested)
Compression achieved over 50mm as a minimum.  100 mm as a maximum at UNSW.

KISS is our mantra.  The walls in each case performed well over Australian
Building Codes BCA for cyclonic and load bearing requirements for single
story class 1A buildings at UNSW and at UWS they went to two storey BCA
requirements.

Mike Faine has now completed load bearing and cyclonic tests on earthen
rendered walls and the paper wil be published very soon.  They achieved
stunning results.  Mike went one step further in that with the earthen
renders he did not use any netting for render keys.  This is a major step
forward.  Less is best.

Please keep the technology simple and available to everyone especially those
with limited finance.

Kind regards
The Straw Wolf
http://strawbale.archinet.com.au
61 2 6927 6027





----------------------------------------------------------------------

Date: 18 Feb 2003 16:54:58 -0600
From: "Rene Dalmeijer" rened@...
Subject: Re: GSBN:Low Tech SB wall

Tim,

I suggest you contact Mike Pain and or John Zhang
j.zhang@...regarding their expriences with SB wall compression
testing as they did in NSW Australia. They expressly did not support the
stucco and allowed it to slide past the support and pressure beams the
reasoning being that otherwise you are effectively testing the mechanical
stability and capability of the stucco and not the bales. This is due to the
much higher E-modulus of the stucco. Ie the stucco will have to fail first
before the bales start taking any appreciable loading.

In most practical applications the stucco will be taking the load due to the
detailing especially at the foot. Therfore the test as executed down under
could be seen as a worst case scenario. I personally would like to see the
effect of different top and bottom plate stucco bonding details. Besides the
numbers I would also like to see the failure modes. Ie when the bales start
to take the load. I would suggest that the detail as used in the testing
should be a as simple as possible therefore I suggest you don't use any mesh
for the earthplasterd samples as the general practice is not to use mesh. Is
an experienced earth stucco practitioner involved in creating the samples?
If not I would at least consult one with the same amount of experience like
Barbara Jones, John Glassford or Bill Steen regarding recipes and
application details (and not to forget drying times).

With kind regards,
Rene Dalmeijer

- ----- Original Message -----
From: "tim Owen-Kennedy" timok@...

> We are winding down the testing portion of the EBNet's straw bale
> construction testing program and we will be building the cyclical in-plane
> test walls in Illinois over the next three weeks. Without going in to the
> details, we are testing 3 earth plastered walls and 3 cement/lime stuccoed
> walls (quickrete exterior stucco).  Each of these sets range from
> simplest/most common to reasonably engineered to over engineered. ;-)
>
> The question that I would like input on is the top plate and base
connection
> for the simplest earth plastered wall. In California we don't have much
> occasion to build with this commonly built wall. We really want to avoid
the
> folly of a silly solution that everyone will have to replicate. We will
> strap the wall with poly every two feet. This however does not seem to be
> enough.
>
> So here is what we're considering:
>
> Mesh wraped under the sill and over the box beam that just covers the
first
> and top course of bales. ( most logical for us mesh happy balers though if
> you're gonna mesh top and bottom you might as well go all the way.
> unfortunately that is our mis range wall.
>
> 16d galvinized nails 4" on center imbedded only one inch into the plates
and
> box beam.
>
> Developing a decent way to hold onto the top and bottom plates with
exterior
> bamboo pins
>
> Imbalers, wood 2x2 top and rebar bottom (I really like to avoid this but
it
> has been done quite a bit)
>
> 16-18" Sip screws with wide washers installed after the first course and
on
> an angle up into the box beam (something I've tried with window bucks)
>
> OTHER?
>
> Also, if someone will be near the Urbana, Illinois testing site and could
> help plaster let me know.
>
> Tim
>
>
>
>
>

>
>



----------------------------------------------------------------------

Date: 18 Feb 2003 21:00:36 -0600
From: "Lars Keller" larskeller@...
Subject: Sv: GSBN:Low Tech SB wall

Dear Tim,

>From Denmark we'd like to support the general consensus about Keeping It
Simple (Sweetheart).
As to not incorporate obstacles in regard to the building authorities.

Lars Keller


- ----- Original Message ----- 
From: tim Owen-Kennedy timok@...
To: GSBN GSBN@...
Cc: bill@...
Sent: Tuesday, February 18, 2003 12:26 AM
Subject: GSBN:Low Tech SB wall


> hello all,
> 
> We are winding down the testing portion of the EBNet's straw bale
> construction testing program and we will be building the cyclical in-plane
> test walls in Illinois over the next three weeks. Without going in to the
> details, we are testing 3 earth plastered walls and 3 cement/lime stuccoed
> walls (quickrete exterior stucco).  Each of these sets range from
> simplest/most common to reasonably engineered to over engineered. ;-)
> 
> The question that I would like input on is the top plate and base connection
> for the simplest earth plastered wall. In California we don't have much
> occasion to build with this commonly built wall. We really want to avoid the
> folly of a silly solution that everyone will have to replicate. We will
> strap the wall with poly every two feet. This however does not seem to be
> enough.
> 
> So here is what we're considering:
> 
> Mesh wraped under the sill and over the box beam that just covers the first
> and top course of bales. ( most logical for us mesh happy balers though if
> you're gonna mesh top and bottom you might as well go all the way.
> unfortunately that is our mis range wall.
> 
> 16d galvinized nails 4" on center imbedded only one inch into the plates and
> box beam.
> 
> Developing a decent way to hold onto the top and bottom plates with exterior
> bamboo pins
> 
> Imbalers, wood 2x2 top and rebar bottom (I really like to avoid this but it
> has been done quite a bit)
> 
> 16-18" Sip screws with wide washers installed after the first course and on
> an angle up into the box beam (something I've tried with window bucks)
> 
> OTHER?
> 
> Also, if someone will be near the Urbana, Illinois testing site and could
> help plaster let me know.
> 
> Tim
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> ----
> For instructions on joining, leaving, or otherwise using the GSBN list, send
email to GSBN@...HELP in the SUBJECT line.  
> ----
> 



----------------------------------------------------------------------

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