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GSBN: Digest for 8/26/04



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-> Re: GSBN:Re: strawbale buildings in tropic climate
     by Chris Stafford Stafford@...
-> Re: GSBN:Re: strawbale buildings in tropic climate
     by Judyknox42@...
-> Re: GSBN:Re: strawbale buildings in tropic climate
     by Rene Dalmeijer rene.dalmeijer@...
-> Re: GSBN:Re: strawbale buildings in tropic climate
     by Derek Roff derek@...


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Date: 26 Aug 2004 12:32:52 -0600
From: Chris Stafford Stafford@...
Subject: Re: GSBN:Re: strawbale buildings in tropic climate

Chris,
I've been following your discussion with interest and finally found 
something I might contribute to your council project.  On my Saudi 
Arabian natural building projects we use cooling towers that the 
Saudi's developed with the University of Arizona, USA, (that's my 
clients story line anyway). The towers are vertical swamp coolers 
approximately 11m tall. Water is pumped up and dripped over filter 
fabric covering openings at the tower's top. Evaporation cools the air 
which rushes down the shaft and through openings into the space needing 
cooling. I've also seen one built with canvas over scaffolding and used 
out of doors for garden parties. I've not seen them working, but hear 
the two 10.4 sm (horizontal area for each) cooling towers on my first 
library project sufficiently cool 526 sm of interior space.

On Aug 24, 2004, at 6:59 PM, chris newton wrote:

> Thanks Derek
>
> The roll of Passive Cooling is very important for Sylvia in Panama. I 
> remain
> reluctant to recommend air conditioning to most groups of people due 
> to the
> blind dependence that some people have to using it regardless of the 
> weather
> outside. Passive cooling should not be compromised by using high 
> insulation
> SB walls.
>
> You now have to consider the SB envelope as a Esky (is that an 
> Australian
> word? ... cooler box that you keep beer in) which traps the cool air 
> within
> rather then behaving like a Thermos trapping the warm air.
>
> Ideally the house should be low thermal mass
> Keep house one room wide to facilitate air moving through
> Orientated to annual breezes
> All rooms must be shaded from direct sun throughout the year - that's 
> your
> wrap around veranda and trees
> Light coloured building materials
> Reflective insulation and ventilation of the roof
> High ceilings, elevated building,
>
> I know our SB wine cellar peaked at 28C on a day that the temperature 
> was
> 27C - 40C. For a local 28 is like walking into air conditioning on a 
> day
> that is 40. Your right about the occupants comfort level. 28 is 
> perfect ...
> I was wearing my thermals in Friland whilst the rest of you were 
> calling it
> a cool summer.
>
> A council project we are working on wanted to know if they could go 
> without
> aircon in there public SB building ... a very hot dry climate 
> building. Not
> willing to let go of the air con ... what has been proposed that they 
> ran it
> for a few hours in the morning before the sun came up when there is a
> minimal work for the unit, and lower power rate for the owners. Once 
> chilled
> they can then let the SB esky do its job through the day. It will be
> interesting to see how it goes.
>
> Regards Chris
>
>
>
>
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Derek Roff" derek@...
> To: "GSBN" GSBN@...
> Sent: Wednesday, August 25, 2004 4:24 AM
> Subject: GSBN:Re: strawbale buildings in tropic climate
>
>
> --On Sunday, August 22, 2004 5:46 PM +0200 "m.ep" m.ep@... 
> wrote:
>
>> But other than the beauty of SB/plaster I see no reason to prefer SB 
>> in a
>> climate that is basicly warm/hot year round with little temperature
>> difference between day and night. (+ humid during long periods). And I
>> certainly would stay away from high mass techniques.
>
> I'm not entirely in agreement with Andre on this.  It depends on the
> details.  In places where the temperature is above the occupant's 
> comfort
> level, day and night, for a good part of the year, it is likely that
> affluent people will choose to have some kind of cooling and
> dehumidification system.  In that case, strawbale, or other 
> high-insulation
> materials will make the house more comfortable and cheaper/more energy
> conserving to cool.
>
> If cooling is not used, insulation will still help protect the 
> occupants
> from the warmest part of the day.  In some situations, having walls of 
> any
> kind or material, which block the breeze, might be seen as a liability.
> If I have walls, I would want them to be excellent insulators.  
> Certainly,
> moisture issues must be addressed.
>
> Derek
>
> Derek Roff
> Language Learning Center
> Ortega Hall 129, MSC03-2100
> University of New Mexico
> Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001
> 505/277-7368, fax 505/277-3885
> Internet: derek@...
>
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>
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>



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Date: 26 Aug 2004 14:58:13 -0600
From: Judyknox42@...
Subject: Re: GSBN:Re: strawbale buildings in tropic climate

Chris and Chris...
Judy Knox here just letting you know that the engineer who was primarily
involved in developing those cooling towers here in Tucson is still around, a
good
friend and colleague, who is still developing simple, wonderful
environmentally sound solutions for cooling and heating...Bill Cunningham of
Southwest
Solar.  Our property here in Tucson has his inventions installed in a number
of
places.  We don't have a cooling tower, but there is a straw-bale building
near
Sierra Vista that has had one installed...successfully, for about 14 years.
Judy

Judy Knox and Matts Myhrman
Out On Bale
1037 E. Linden St.
Tucson, Az  85719
520-622-6896
judyknox42@...
mattsmyhrman@...

Each of us can and must champion the evolutionary breakthroughs necessary to
sustain all life.  The journey of a champion is difficult, AND our access to a
joyful life.
Judy Knox


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Date: 26 Aug 2004 17:40:08 -0600
From: Rene Dalmeijer rene.dalmeijer@...
Subject: Re: GSBN:Re: strawbale buildings in tropic climate

Regarding the above discussion I would like to comment on the following
remark.

At 08:16 PM 8/26/04, you wrote:
>>Passive cooling should not be compromised by using high insulation
>>SB walls.

I think it is a misconception to only think that insulation works for
heating I am sure the writer of the remark which I have lost track of does
not mean it the way it now comes over.

Insulation is just as important for cooling maybe even more so when cooling
is required. If you want to go passive which I think you should strive to
do so in as many cases as possible it is still a good idea to use a
combination of mass and insulation. I do agree that the Panamese climate
zone is most probably one of the most difficult due to the almost constant
hot ambient night and day air temperatures. Although that said night
temperatures will always be lower the daytime. Besides there is a marked
difference between surfaces in direct sunlight and those in the shade,
insulation will help preventing this heat making its way in.

I am not sure what the specific local climate circumstances are. A low mass
little insulation well ventilated strategy will be the most appropriate if
regular wind is available specifically in the evening. The low mass little
insulation approach uses the least amount of resources and is the simplest
to implement. If there is little wind and relatively larger night daytime
ambient air temperature swings then the insulated mass approach works best.
To enable extra cooling wind towers and swamp coolers will increase
comfort. Specifically in the case of these relatively feeble 'cooling'
mechanisms the insulated mass approach will maximize their effect.

The above 2 approaches off course are born out by long existing traditional
practice all over the world. Again it all depends on local circumstances
including site location, available building materials and climate. The best
test case is to find out what is local best practice this will in most
cases be the best indicator.



Rene



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Date: 26 Aug 2004 18:29:21 -0600
From: Derek Roff derek@...
Subject: Re: GSBN:Re: strawbale buildings in tropic climate

I think we are in general agreement on this topic.  Rene's comments
stimulated a few further thoughts for me.

- --On Thursday, August 26, 2004 10:04 AM +0200 Rene Dalmeijer
rene.dalmeijer@... wrote:

> Regarding the above discussion I would like to comment on the following
> remark.
>
> At 08:16 PM 8/26/04, you wrote:
>>> Passive cooling should not be compromised by using high insulation
>>> SB walls.
>
> I think it is a misconception to only think that insulation works for
> heating I am sure the writer of the remark which I have lost track of does
> not mean it the way it now comes over.

I interpreted "should not," in the comment which Rene quoted above, to mean
"is not likely to..."  In other words,  SB insulation is not likely to
diminish the effectiveness of a given passive cooling strategy.  Even if
this was not the intent of the original posting, it is a statement of my
view.  In fact, I assert that good insulation will significantly enhance
most passive cooling strategies.

> The above 2 approaches off course are born out by long existing
> traditional
> practice all over the world. Again it all depends on local circumstances
> including site location, available building materials and climate. The
> best
> test case is to find out what is local best practice this will in most
> cases be the best indicator.

However, super-insulation has not been part of traditional building
practices, because effective, affordable insulation materials have not been
available.  I think it is safe to assume that vernacular building would
have been different in most places, if other materials had been available.
Conversely, I believe that we miss some opportunities if we don't explore
the design options that new materials, like SB, provide.  I know I am
restating the obvious.

Best wishes,
Derek

Derek Roff
Language Learning Center
Ortega Hall 129, MSC03-2100
University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001
505/277-7368, fax 505/277-3885
Internet: derek@...



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