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Re: GSBN:Ask the Experts
- To: "GSBN" GSBN@...
- Subject: Re: GSBN:Ask the Experts
- From: Rene Dalmeijer rened@...
- Date: Tue, 24 Jun 2003 22:47:23 +0200
- Reply-to: "GSBN" GSBN@...
- Sender: "GSBN" GSBN@...
The answer has many angles ie the build ability of SB versus high mass
building methods like adobe, the building physics angle, the sustainability
angle, aesthetics and finally the SB community. The last aspect is to me a
matter which is not appreciated very much if you look at it as just
choosing a building technology like Dave is doing. Having the resources of
the international SB network at hand is quite something. Although Dave
gives the impression that he is quite confident he should do a little less
reading and go to a workshop to get first hand experience with the SB
To me SB is more then just another building technology it is an attitude
fueled by "straw power". Tapping into this resource is an empowering
experience if you judge by the amount of successfully completed SB self
build projects. Ok there are some failures but compare that to other self
build techniques. In other fields like kit cars/aircraft nearly everyone
will tell you that the community around a certain kit/manufacturer
determines success or failure rate.
I could also just answer Daves question directly and say SB is most
probably, given sufficient supply of building quality bales in Baja, the
most efficient and sustainable building technique to create an energy
efficient house. (I presume the use of earth/clay stucco)
At 07:45 PM 6/24/03, you wrote:
Here's a question that arrived in the TLS mailbox. It's a common question
to field at TLS, but this time it's been put quite succinctly and I was
wondering if anybody out there (expecially any of you SW'murricans want to
take a stab at answering publicly in TLS.
Let me know!
In February of 2001, after thinking about building a natural building for
several years, I ordered 20 past subscriptions to the Last Straw as well
as a new membership which I continue to receive. I read them all and was
totally sold on building a load bearing straw bale home. Then I decided
to read about other types of natural construction and have since read 20
plus, (every) book on the subject, including stone houses, adobe, rammed
earth,cob, earthship, etc.etc.
PS. The best book I've read most recently, "The Natural Plaster Book" by
Cedar Rose Guelberth & Dan Chiras is a detailed description on how to
finish any and all of the above natural homes which brings me to this
e-mail today. Because of my extensive reading, I feel that I could build
any of these style homes or even a combination thereof (in my sleep). The
problem is, which one or combination there of would be best for me? I
live in Southern Arizona but am looking to build in Mexico's Baja Norte
which is of similar climate. Do I use straw bale because of the
insulation abilities, or adobe earth for thermal mass, or a combination
thereof? The more I read the more I get confused and the longer it takes
for me to begin the actual project.
Does Last Straw have any writers that can help answer this question with
my region in mind, with explanations of why?
Chris Magwood / Camel's Back Straw Bale Construction
Interested in bale building? Have you subscribed to
The Last Straw Journal?