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GSBN: Digest for 12/13/04



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


-> RE: GSBN:Nouveau Myth in the making...?
     by "Tim Owen-Kennedy" timok@...
-> clay art in Marocco
     by "Martin Oehlmann" martin.oehlmann@...
-> Re: GSBN:Re: proposal
     by "Chug." chug@...
-> RE: GSBN:Nouveau Myth in the making...?
     by "Tim Owen-Kennedy" timok@...
-> Re: GSBN:Nouveau Myth in the making...?
     by Judyknox42@...
-> Re: GSBN:Re: proposal
     by Judyknox42@...
-> Re: GSBN:Re: proposal
     by "Martin Oehlmann" martin.oehlmann@...
-> re:  Interesting test results
     by Rob Tom rw_tom@...
-> Re: GSBN: proposal
     by Rob Tom rw_tom@...
-> Re: GSBN:2006 OSBBC ISBBC
     by Chris Magwood TLSEditor@...
-> Re: GSBN:Interesting test results
     by Chris Magwood TLSEditor@...
-> Re: GSBN:Interesting test results and some more.
     by John Glassford huffnpuff@...
-> Re: Proposal
     by "Strawbalefutures" info@...
-> RE: GSBN:Nouveau Myth in the making...?
     by "Strawbalefutures" info@...


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

Date: 13 Dec 2004 01:51:51 -0600
From: "Tim Owen-Kennedy" timok@...
Subject: RE: GSBN:Nouveau Myth in the making...?

Hi John,

I met you at the ISBBC '99 in California. I often quote your comment about
when we sneeze the rest of the world gets the flu - it really came in handy
when we were doing the straw bale testing program with EBNet. I've been
reading along on GSBN and a few other lists as I can. And I've often thought
to respond to your messages but never can make the time. I'm always greatful
to those who do take the time to try and keep the international dialogue
quality and progressing.

I run a natural building and design company, Vital Systems, with 20
employees in Northern California. And I have two kids under five, if that
can explain the lack of time.

We are presenting a proposal to do ecological development work and could
really use your thoughts cost efficiencies and if at all possible some raw
data on built projects. Everything we have done has been so custom to date
that we haven't been able to realize the efficiencies and savings that I
know we can on the development scale.

Again, thanks for your work and for any help you can be with our pursuit of
a better development model for the end of suburbia...

Tim

Tim Owen-Kennedy
Vital Systems, Natural Building & Design, Inc.
P O Box 751, Ukiah, CA  95482
888.859.6336 f:707.462.3765




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

Date: 13 Dec 2004 02:49:01 -0600
From: "Martin Oehlmann" martin.oehlmann@...
Subject: clay art in Marocco

Dear friends,

a very interesting opportunity to experience the art of clay construction and
plastering could be found on: 

 www.lehmexpress.de a project launched by Manfred Fahnert in 1997 restoring
Kasbah Asslim, a beautiful place in Marocco on the south side of the Atlas
mountains.

The project took shape with students, architects and lay-people from Germany
and this year Gernot Minke and Friedemann Mahlke took their students for a
breathtaking experience.

Take babelfish to read the German side, but the pictures talk their story... 

You might join Manfred on one of his next trips.

Best wishes, Martin Oehlmann

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Date: 13 Dec 2004 09:08:57 -0600
From: "Chug." chug@...
Subject: Re: GSBN:Re: proposal

Nice one Martin,

I agree, having worked with Kuba in Yorkshire, England
<a  target="_blank" href="http://www.strawbalebuildingassociation.org.uk/g8.html";>http://www.strawbalebuildingassociation.org.uk/g8.html</a>
and attended his presentation at the ISBBC in Denmark 2004.

bale on
Chug
chug@...
<a  target="_blank" href="http://www.strawbale-building.co.uk/";>http://www.strawbale-building.co.uk/</a>
.
- ----- Original Message -----
From: "Martin Oehlmann" martin.oehlmann@...
To: "GSBN" GSBN@...
Sent: Saturday, June 12, 2004 9:12 AM
Subject: GSBN:Re: proposal


Yes proposals: I'd like to suggest Kuba (Jakob Wihan) from the Czech
Republic, presently living in Paris. He joined the last gathering in Denmark
and the last one in Austria. He is a motivated architect, presently taking a
years course at the Center for Alternative Technology in Wales and one of
the advocates for straw-bale construction: <a  target="_blank" href="http://www.jakubwihan.com/";>http://www.jakubwihan.com/</a>

Andre and Coralie: congretulations with your book. Put me on the orderlist
(Moulin du Roz, 29690 Berrien). Actually Kuba tried to sell straw panels
made in the Czech Republic at the same Paris fair.

Very best wishes, Martin





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

Date: 13 Dec 2004 11:49:35 -0600
From: "Tim Owen-Kennedy" timok@...
Subject: RE: GSBN:Nouveau Myth in the making...?

Hi All,

Sorry for the cross post. But since I replied to this topic thread I might
as well add that I've been looking into a tradition of stacked wall wood
construction. They use dimensional lumber laid flat and lapped at corners
and finger jointed where interior walls meet the exterior to make a solid
wood wall. The first building I saw had a few boards that had been eaten but
just to within 3 inches of the interior and the boards immediately connected
to the eaten board were un touched. At first I was interested in this
because of the rumor that termites prefer deseased or downed wood. Then I
started hereing the rumor about straw and grain preserving the wood and I
remembered that none of the boards that were eaten had gone all the way
through to the interior. I haven't seen enough of this to elevate the rumors
status. I personally thought, and am still thinking that there should be
another explanation. Always fun to try and figure out what is really going
on in these things we warranty...:-)

Tim

- -----Original Message-----
From: GSBN [<a  target="_blank" href="mailto:GSBN@...";>mailto:GSBN@...] On Behalf Of Tim
Owen-Kennedy
Sent: Sunday, December 12, 2004 11:29 PM
To: 'GSBN'
Subject: RE: GSBN:Nouveau Myth in the making...?

Hi John,

I met you at the ISBBC '99 in California. I often quote your comment about
when we sneeze the rest of the world gets the flu - it really came in handy
when we were doing the straw bale testing program with EBNet. I've been
reading along on GSBN and a few other lists as I can. And I've often thought
to respond to your messages but never can make the time. I'm always greatful
to those who do take the time to try and keep the international dialogue
quality and progressing.

I run a natural building and design company, Vital Systems, with 20
employees in Northern California. And I have two kids under five, if that
can explain the lack of time.

We are presenting a proposal to do ecological development work and could
really use your thoughts cost efficiencies and if at all possible some raw
data on built projects. Everything we have done has been so custom to date
that we haven't been able to realize the efficiencies and savings that I
know we can on the development scale.

Again, thanks for your work and for any help you can be with our pursuit of
a better development model for the end of suburbia...

Tim

Tim Owen-Kennedy
Vital Systems, Natural Building &amp; Design, Inc.
P O Box 751, Ukiah, CA  95482
888.859.6336 f:707.462.3765


- ----
GSBN is an invitation-only forum of key individuals and representatives of
regional straw construction organizations. The costs of operating this list
are underwritten by The Last Straw Journal in exchange for use of the GSBN
as an advisory board and technical editing arm.

For instructions on joining, leaving, or otherwise using the GSBN list, send
email to GSBN@...HELP in the SUBJECT line.
- ----






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

Date: 13 Dec 2004 13:32:38 -0600
From: Judyknox42@...
Subject: Re: GSBN:Nouveau Myth in the making...?

Judy Knox here...I use barley balls barley straw collected in a plastic round
cage with holes) to keep my pond from collecting algae...they are actually
sold for that purpose.

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: 13 Dec 2004 13:34:41 -0600
From: Judyknox42@...
Subject: Re: GSBN:Re: proposal

Judy Knox here....regarding Kuba...Yes, Yes, Yes

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: 13 Dec 2004 14:04:31 -0600
From: "Martin Oehlmann" martin.oehlmann@...
Subject: Re: GSBN:Re: proposal

Voila, here the e-mail address of Kuba: kuba@...

And already Merry Christmas and an inspired, healthy and fantastic 2005.

Martin

Moulin du Roz
29690 Berrien
France
0033-298990378


- ----- Original Message -----
From: Judyknox42@...
To: GSBN@...
Sent: Monday, December 13, 2004 8:11 PM
Subject: Re: GSBN:Re: proposal


> Judy Knox here....regarding Kuba...Yes, Yes, Yes
>
> 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
>
>
> --- This list does not allow attachments or HTML mail.  ---
> ---The notes below outline what was removed. ---
> multipart/alternative
>   text/plain (text body -- kept)
>   text/html
> ---
> ----
> GSBN is an invitation-only forum of key individuals and representatives of
regional straw construction organizations. The costs of operating this list
are underwritten by The Last Straw Journal in exchange for use of the GSBN
as an advisory board and technical editing arm.
>
> For instructions on joining, leaving, or otherwise using the GSBN list,
send email to GSBN@...HELP in the SUBJECT line.
> ----
>



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

Date: 13 Dec 2004 14:18:05 -0600
From: Rob Tom rw_tom@...
Subject: re:  Interesting test results

On Thu, 09 Dec 2004 13:07:52 -0500Chris Magwood
TLSEditor@...:

>I was just giving a talk for the Engineering Department at Queen's
>University in Kingston, Ontario last week. There is a prof/student
>team there doing some testing work on bale walls, and I was able to
>check out the results of what they've been doing. Very interesting...

[snip]

To be honest, as a Canadian and someone with Queenis Univ alumni in
the family, I was embarrassed for both when I saw this note.

Queenis is a very good, globally-respected  university and I find it
hard to believe that they would put out anything like this.

I donit think that itid be a stretch to say that any first year
engineering student by the end of first term, should know that as the
compression resistance of a material is lowered, its cross sectional
area (ie thickness) must be increased in order to carry the same load.

As such, it would make no sense for anyone  involved with a
university-level engineering faculty to make a statement such as :

    i that the actual strength of the plaster had  much less effect on
the working strength of the plastered bale than did the thickness of
the plaster. So making a really strong  plaster is not as important
as putting it on the wall thickly i

Second, anyone with a working knowledge of  mortars would know that a
mortar made with 75% lime (presumably bagged hydrated lime added
directly to the mortar mix instead of being slaked for a month or
more) and 25% Portland  would end up with a plaster that has the
strength and consistency of stale baking soda.

And anyone with a basic knowledge of lime plasters would know that
carbonation  (and hence, hardening) occurs over a period of years and
decades, not a mere 28 days.

So, to say that such a elime-richi plaster (at 28 day strength of 1.7
MPa (247 psi)  is weaker than an earthen plaster sample ( whose
compression resistance was tested as being  in the range of 2.1 -2.4
MPa (305 e 348 psi)  is pretty much meaningless to anyone who has a
basic understanding of  the mechanical properties of plasters.

(ie Type S  is the masonry cement typically used for Portland cement stucco.
Its compression resistance  is typically  in the range of 12.4 MPa (
1800 psi). )

So I have to wonder if maybe the etestingi was being done by first
year students as one of their first exercises intended to familiarize
them with the structures lab and the results of which were not
intended as a scholarly contribution to the body of SB engineering
knowledge ?


     ~~~ * ~~~
     Robert W. Tom
  Kanata, Ontario, Canada
ArchiLogic@...
(winnow the chaff from my edress in your reply)Robert W. Tom



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

Date: 13 Dec 2004 14:23:25 -0600
From: Rob Tom rw_tom@...
Subject: Re: GSBN: proposal


>Date: 12 Dec 2004 04:21:36 -0600
>From: John Glassford huffnpuff@...
>Subject: Re: GSBN: proposal
>
>Chug. wrote:
>
>>Hi Bill and GSBNers,
>>
>>I don't think he is a member of GSBN already so I would like to propose that
>Hank Carr from the
>>Ontario Straw bale building Coalition is invited to join the group, any one
>care to second or poo
>>poo this proposal?
>>
>
>G 'day Chug
>
>Anyone who is brave enough to build a two story load bearing on edge
>straw bale building has my vote to join GSBN so I second your nomination
>mate.
>
>Kind regards John Glassford.


For the reasons that el Lupo cited (and more than a few others) , I
would "poo poo" the proposal.

That being said,  I would be happy to relinquish my membership in
this august group in order to provide a place for Hank so as to not
overload the group with Ontario-based members.

No, I take that back.
I'd rather give up my spot for someone like Bob Platts or Don Fugler
... or Kim Thompson or Shawna
Henderson (if Ontario residency isn't important).

While we're on the subject of [insert descriptor of your choice]
proposals, I propose that the proposed ISBBC 2006 conference be held
the during first and second week of January so that world-wide
attendees get a clear picture of the challenges that are involved in
making good, Green buildings for Cold Climate regions.



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

Date: 13 Dec 2004 14:58:21 -0600
From: Chris Magwood TLSEditor@...
Subject: Re: GSBN:2006 OSBBC ISBBC

Wow!

I just wanted to thank all of you who responded so positively to the
announcement for the 2006 ISBBC here in Ontario. It's a huge boost in
confidence to all of us who have been starting work on the project.
We are just about set to formally announce the dates and details to
our OSBBC members and the various straw bale lists. I know it's
almost 2 years off still, but the momentum is strong already!

Cheers,

Chris
- --


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

Chris Magwood / Camel's Back Straw Bale Construction
<a  target="_blank" href="http://www.strawhomes.ca";>http://www.strawhomes.ca</a>

Interested in bale building? Have you subscribed to
The Last Straw Journal?
You should!
  <a  target="_blank" href="http://www.thelaststraw.org";>http://www.thelaststraw.org</a>


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

Date: 13 Dec 2004 14:58:27 -0600
From: Chris Magwood TLSEditor@...
Subject: Re: GSBN:Interesting test results

Martin,

I was always under the impression that lime was built up in thinner
layers because of the need for the lime plaster to recombine with
atmospheric CO2. If it goes on too thickly, not only will it crack
because of it's own weight sliding down the wall before it sets, but
it won't cure fully because the stuff that's buried deep won't
carbonize properly. But somebody with more lime knowledge might be
able to shed more light on this subject!

I think what the testing at Queen's suggests is that regardless of
the kind of plaster or its final compressive strength, the thicker it
goes on, the stronger the final wall assembly. This is not surprising
in itself, but what surprised me was that the thickness made so much
more difference than the plaster strength. Better to have 30mm of
quite weak plaster than 10mm of super strong stuff. I think it helps
make the case for earthen plasters, which like to be thick and don't
cost a lot to make thick, and who cares if they're not quite as
strong as a cement-based plaster.

Chris

>Hi,
>
>for lime one layer should not exceed more than 10 mm due to moisture
>protection, so building up thickness traditionally is done in layers
>(normally 3). Does this team is confirming this tradition?
>
>Martin
- --


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

Chris Magwood / Camel's Back Straw Bale Construction
<a  target="_blank" href="http://www.strawhomes.ca";>http://www.strawhomes.ca</a>

Interested in bale building? Have you subscribed to
The Last Straw Journal?
You should!
  <a  target="_blank" href="http://www.thelaststraw.org";>http://www.thelaststraw.org</a>


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

Date: 13 Dec 2004 16:45:41 -0600
From: John Glassford huffnpuff@...
Subject: Re: GSBN:Interesting test results and some more.

G 'day Chris

Some very interesting work is being done by Mike Faine and Dr John Zhang
at the Uni of Western Sydney. You should write to Mike and get a copy of
his latest paper. I copy here their summary but it makes more sense if
you read the whole paper.

Mike and Dr John are doing some great work on straw bale and especially
witth earthen renders.

I still prefer a combination of earthen renders/sand/chaff for the first
two coats to 40mm and then finish with a mix of earth and lime and chaff
for the finish coat to 50mm. I find Maudies Magical Mix to be extremely
strong, highly water repellent and can be coloured with oxides just like
a pure lime plaster. Also and just as important there is no need to make
the hydrated lime into a putty, I just use the powder lime straight out
of the bag. The first time I did this was three years ago and it is
working a treat, no cracking no moisture problems on an exposed wall..

In our last job we used hydrated plaster lime and sand for all three
coats straight out of the bag in a powder form and we pumped this mix
on. So far no cracking has occurred in over 450 sqaure metres of straw
bale wall. The final coat was a premix with lime/sand/oxide made up for
us in a factory in Melbourne which we applied by hand. The hydrated lime
we used was from Melbourne and it was of a very high quality. If we are
fair dinkum about getting straw bale into main stream we have to use
methods such as we used in Ballarat. It was very cost effective and very
fast which pleased the professional builder no end.

Kind regards The Straw Wolf.
<a  target="_blank" href="http://www.maps.coolamonrotary.com/";>http://www.maps.coolamonrotary.com/</a>

Here is Michael and Dr John's Conclusions to their latest testing:

5. Recommendation and conclusions

 From these tests there are a number of aspects worth considering. The
first relates to the construction detail of a straw bale walls. It goes
without saying that achieving the best pre-compression of the bales (by
whatever method) is very important. Pinning of the bales by using
reinforcing rod is#024#overkill#025# but some pinning is required as the wall
progresses for practical reasons (stability) #019# particularly for the
two-storey height.
The location of the top plate in relation to the render finish is
another important practical aspect. The two early tests allowed for
loading of the straw bales in compression, as the top plates did not
directly bear on the render finish. At the safe working load of 40kN the
deformation (average) for the two-storey wall (cement render) is about
5mm and for the earth rendered wall about 8mm. This is quite tolerable
but suggests careful detailing of the finish of the render against
adjacent surfaces (floor or slab) to avoid cracking of the finish.
The second aspect worth considering is that of the structural behaviour
of the test walls. The safe working load limit of 40 kN is approximately
10 kN above the limits set by the Pima and California Codes. These codes
may be very conservative and further testing of straw bale walls is
warranted to determine #024#type#025# characteristics suitable for inclusion
into building codes. At the ultimate failure load of 73 kN (for the
two-storey wall) some interesting comments can be made about straw bale
walls. Once this load limit has been reached straw bale walls compress
unimpressively, in fact the failure mode was unspectacular.
It is also clear that a cement render based wall will carry slightly
more load than an earth render wall (not having any cement component).
However the earth based render was easier to apply direct to the straw
wall and does not require a layer of wire mesh to be applied over the
wall. This saves both time and cost.
It can be said, from the last test that it is beneficial to load the
strawbale and the render material directly by supporting the render at
the bottom plate with a slightly wider top plate ladder frame at the top.
All the tests record a differential settling of the wall(s) (when
comparing #024#left#025# and #024#right#025# sides) with the average figure
for
settlement being used for calculations. Constructing the walls as
straight and perpendicular as possible and in plane is definitely an
issue of construction quality and #024#constructability#025#. Care needs to be
taken to avoid using bales that may induce some #024#rotation#025# to the wall
top plate.
The addition of the slaked lime to the mix design for the final coat
(for the earth rendered wall test 2) may or may not be warranted. Some
authors argue that this helps workability and has #024#self healing#025#
characteristics to guard against any micro-cracking and possible ingress
of water.
Further work needs to be done on both the composition of the render mix
design and the interaction of the straw to render bond to determine
exactly how this behaves as a construction material. The bond between
the straw and the render was observed to be very strong, particularly at
the time of demolition. These tests have shown that this material is
suitable for constructing walls for residential purposes from a
structural point of view.

M.FAINE@...

Mike Faine - Lecturer UWS
School of Construction Property &amp; Planning
Locked Bag 1797
Penrith South DC NSW 1797
Uni Office phone (02) 98524318 Uni fax (02) 9852 4300
Mobile 0427406521








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

Date: 13 Dec 2004 17:43:57 -0600
From: "Strawbalefutures" info@...
Subject: Re: Proposal

Yes we both fully endorse Kuba. We've worked with him a lot and appreciate
his dedication, wit, thoughtfulness and bright ideas, amongst other things!
Barbara &amp; Bee

WARNING: Strawbale building can seriously transform your life!

Amazon Nails
Strawbale Building, Training and Consultancy
Hollinroyd Farm
Todmorden
OL14 8RJ

Tel/fax: 00 44 (0)1706 814696
email: info@...
web: www.strawbalefutures.org.uk




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

Date: 13 Dec 2004 17:53:57 -0600
From: "Strawbalefutures" info@...
Subject: RE: GSBN:Nouveau Myth in the making...?

Hi Judy and all
Yes we use barley for the same reason in ponds, but I thought, since we're
on the subject, to mention rye straw which is a powerful anti-fungicide. Our
farmers know it well for that reason and reckon it's the most durable of
straws. It certainly makes very dense bales, with an inbuilt protection most
suitable for straw houses.
Wishing you all a great Solstice. There's something enjoyable about our long
winter evenings, but not more so than the anticipation of light again.
Best wishes
Barbara

WARNING: Strawbale building can seriously transform your life!

Amazon Nails
Strawbale Building, Training and Consultancy
Hollinroyd Farm
Todmorden
OL14 8RJ

Tel/fax: 00 44 (0)1706 814696
email: info@...
web: www.strawbalefutures.org.uk


 -----Original Message-----
From: 	GSBN [<a  target="_blank" href="mailto:GSBN@...";>mailto:GSBN@...]  On Behalf Of
Judyknox42@...
Sent:	13 December 2004 19:10
To:	GSBN@...
Subject:	Re: GSBN:Nouveau Myth in the making...?

Judy Knox here...I use barley balls barley straw collected in a plastic
round
cage with holes) to keep my pond from collecting algae...they are actually
sold for that purpose.

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


- --- This list does not allow attachments or HTML mail.  ---
- ---The notes below outline what was removed. ---
multipart/alternative
  text/plain (text body -- kept)
  text/html
- ---
- ----
GSBN is an invitation-only forum of key individuals and representatives of
regional straw construction organizations. The costs of operating this list
are underwritten by The Last Straw Journal in exchange for use of the GSBN
as an advisory board and technical editing arm.

For instructions on joining, leaving, or otherwise using the GSBN list, send
email to GSBN@...HELP in the SUBJECT line.
- ----



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

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