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GSBN:Magic Bales (was re: "Mold was the last straw for this 'innovative' house") 'innovative' house")



(Crossposted to SB-r-us and CREST.)

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You people are no fun at all. Where's the panic? the gnashing of teeth, the pulling of hair? the sackcloth, the ashes? What's the point in my laying bait if there's no suckers to take it? ... *laughing*

The place was, of course, designed and built wrong - for just about any climate, let alone Minnesota's freakish weather.

Some of you may remember years ago when one of the CEN's cofounders was on the CREST list and (when he wasn't asking people to give him things) talked about some of their "innovative" ideas, which seemed as often as not to fly in the face of building science, accepted good strawbale practice of the day (which hasn't at its core changed, but has been refined), not to mention common sense. People like crotchety RT and seldom-seen DE and others calmly, thoroughly, repeatedly 'splained just why, to the benefit of everybody but, evidently, the CEN folks.

It astonishes me still that those people had access to such a wealth of experience and knowledge... and instead of learning from it, fought against it. True enough, innovations often come from rethinking established ways of doing things; but to ignore the basic underlying principles of a thing (such as, in this case, strawbale with regard to moisture, which was nicely summed up here by DE in a too-rare appearance), that's asking for trouble.


Rob Tom ArchiLogic@... wrote:
>I'm also pretty sure that it was Don who coined the phrase which
>Duck Foo'd is confused about. It appeared in the 1997 Fibrehouse
>Report by Bob Platts "Pilot Study of Moisture Control in Stuccoed
>Straw Bale Walls"


I got that excellent report when it came out, but thought that the phrase had been bandied about (on the CREST list) prior to that. Can't search those archives anymore, alas.


>The Minnesota CEN debacle really shouldn't serve as a disincentive
>to SBC. It should merely be a disincentive to ignore basic,
>established good building practise.


Yeah, totally. (I guess the suckerbait did work, after all, heh-heh... on the formidably crotchety RT, no less.) Edited pertinent bits excised from an offlist conversation:

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...arrogant... which probably would be acceptable if [they] had any regard for building science, or even common sense. When I first met with [them] in '96 or so, as a mostly-abject newbie to SB I was horrified to realize that even I knew more than [they] did... Their ideas were in large measure fraught with the seeds of tragedy, which evidently blossomed fully in the South Minneapolis project.

...DOCUMENTATION. When these places fail - and some of these places will - there needs to be DOCUMENTATION that can be waved around showing that [people] violated common, accepted, recognized practices. (And not just SB practices...)

Yeah, I think that there's going to be a backlash against SB. And I thought it would have come by now. I also think it's going to ultimately *benefit* SB when it finally hits...

	Glassford's response on the CREST list largely sums up my take on things.

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