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Re: GSBN:German strawbale work and +++ Codes Discussion on GSBN Listserve



Hi All --
I understand and agree with Dirk that it's appropriate for their current needs to work on the German code issues without necessarily involving the whole GSBN. Having just returned from travelling in Europe, I'm very sensitized to the issues and challenges of translation....

Perhaps Rene Dalmeijer -- who speaks several languages -- can periodically give us a English update on the German discussions. And the GSBN could be considered as a resource to this discussion, if there are specific needs.

Here in the U.S., CASBA member architect Martin Hammer is currently "hammering out" some new potential California strawbale code language that starts from scratch...... utilizing the results of the recent tests undertaken by Bruce King's Ecological Building Network. When he and the group working on this code are ready, I suggest that they present it to the GSBN, too, for a sort of peer review.

I'm positive we will all benefit by viewing the approaches taken from different perspectives, and vice versa. And yet we don't all need to read and translate every exchange.

best regards,
Catherine Wanek

At 08:19 PM 8/11/04 +0200, you wrote:
Dear Rene Dalmeijer and the rest of the sb-world,
Now several weeks after the ISBBC, I'm realising that I will not be able
to do powerful work with our decided system to have exchange about
(european) technical approval (ETA- Hi CIA;-)) on GSBN. I'm sorry,
perhaps it's a question of language (writing this email took more than
one hour) , perhaps I've to much to do with my building-projects, may be
it's my feeling, that I only want to discuss subjects with a small
intentional group of people, for me GSBN is to big and unfortunately
still very anonymous. (Rene, you remember our small disagreement
according to this during the ISBBC-ETA-Forum?). In addition to that, I
feel that some of my words below should be handled a little bit secret,
as you will agree.

So, what I do in this moment, is working on our national (german)
approval of strawbales as a building material. Therefore we need to do
additional tests of mould-behaviour and to describe a quality-safe
process of producing good building strawbales. To proof the absence of
fungus/mould in every kind of our choosen type of construction we will
do calculated simulations with WUFI-Bio, a special Version of this
wellknown software. Also we'll install two temperature and humidity
measurement-systems in existing sb-buildings. (Please do not
misunderstand: I know, that straw is a good stuff but the authorities
are calling for verifications)

My intention to initiate the ISBBC-ETA-Forum was not to discuss with the
hole world but solve our special european problem with the rigid rules
testing the flammibility of straw(bales). Straw in this moment
definitely fails the european flammability/ ignatability test!!!! (the
test, which is valid more or less in the future of every european
country). In this case there will be no! chance of a broad coming up of
strawbale construction in EU-future. In contrast to that straw tightly
passes the german flammability test but unfortunately fails the german
fungus-test. The european fungus-test again is not so rigorous, so our
chance in germany is, that german goverment allows us to combine the
european fungus-test with the german approval. In this moment it looks
like they will agree.

In addition to this we are working on a much bigger project: A
loadbaring strawbale system for german conditions. Therefore we probably
need to modify the existing american style. I will present a draft of it
here soon. We are calculating with costs between 100 and 300 thousands
EUR (a 200 sqm building prototype incl.). But fortunately there is a
number sources for money to finance sustainable work in germany.

Besides all that stuff, I would be very glad to have some exchange/
support from experts arround the world.

Thats it:-)

Dirk Scharmer

PS.: And for the most of you, who doesn't know our work, please have a
look on our website www.fasba.de, via google you will have a much more
funny version of english, as you read above +++ we are planning to have
a english version of the site) PPS:Does anybody of you has experience
with patents? In germany there is an architect who has a patent about a
special SB-detail, so may be one day we'll have to fight against his
interdiction to us building with straw.


'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''
' german strawbale association FSB             '
' Dirk Scharmer                               '
' Auf der R?bekuhle 10                        '
' D-21335 L?neburg                            '
' Tel. 0049 4131- 727804                      '
' Fax. 0049 4131- 727805                      '
'                                             '
' Internet: www.fasba.de                      '
' Email: ds@...                        '
'                                             '
'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''




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