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GSBN: Digest for 1/20/05



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-> Re: GSBN:Leaving bales bare
     by johns@...
-> Re: sourcing UK Wheat Board
     by billc_lists@...
-> Re: GSBN:Leaving bales bare
     by jeff@...
-> Re: GSBN:Leaving bales bare
     by Rene Dalmeijer rene.dalmeijer@...
-> Re: Leaving bales bare
     by ArchiLogic@...
-> Re: Leaving bales bare
     by ArchiLogic@...


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

Date: 19 Jan 2005 23:46:26 -0600
From: johns@...
Subject: Re: GSBN:Leaving bales bare

This is an interesting topic right at present, since we're trying to
stack 1000 bales in exposed gable ends in the middle of torrential wind
and rain in California (we've only lost 20 bales to the rain).  While
certainly I agree that it's best to use dry bales and get them plastered
quickly, I question whether this principle should be raised to a level
of almost absolute priority.  Habib's experiences, and our own, suggest
that the walls are pretty resilient when it comes to moisture.

It seems from what John is saying, that mold growth is jump-started in
bales that have previously experienced conditions of spore growth, but I
would ask whether, or how, this influences the future suseptability of
the wall to mold.  It would seem that the humidity level required for
mold would not change, simply that mold would appear more quickly, say
after two winter's wetting rather than ten?  If the walls are not likely
to experience serious wetting in the future, is this really a problem?

John Swearingen
www.skillful-means.com


John Straube wrote:

>Rene's observations are similar to mine and I agree with them
>However, spores exist is all bales unless they have been irradiated or
>equivalent for some time
>The difference in why under some conditions things take off and others they
>don't is likely (not for sure) due to the level of growth that already
>occurred in the bales before the event.
>Spores take some time to start growing and when they go dormant, due to
>drying or whatever, it takes much less for them to start again.
>Hence, I think the reason is that bales that have some growth, not
>macroscopically visible, will go moldy really quickly, while those with only
>spores take a lot longer to start.
>
>
>Dr John Straube
>Assistant Professor
>Dept of Civil Engineering & School of Architecture
>University of Waterloo
>Waterloo, Ont. Canada
><a  target="_blank" href="http://www.civil.uwaterloo.ca/beg";>http://www.civil.uwaterloo.ca/beg</a>
>
>
>-----Original Message-----
>From: GSBN [<a  target="_blank" href="mailto:GSBN@...";>mailto:GSBN@...] On Behalf Of Rene Dalmeijer
>Sent: Monday, January 17, 2005 9:13 AM
>To: GSBN
>Subject: GSBN:Leaving bales bare
>
>Fellow SBers,
>
>A topic I have been pondering recently concerns the logic of rapidly
>applying plaster to bale walls. I plead for doing so.   Based on the
>following logic:
>
>Fresh dry bales are basically relatively spore free. If these bales are
>rapidly encased in plaster there is very little chance that the straw will
>be infected with new fungus spores. Therefore seriously improving the
>chances of a long life span of the SB wall even in the event of a one time
>wetting.
>
>In the past I have heard about and seen SB houses that have experienced such
>a seemingly disastrous wetting without serious consequences. I expect that
>the bales were able to dry without fungus growth setting in because of very
>low spore levels due to using fresh and dry straw during the build. In other
>cases though I have seen bales rapidly growing mushrooms after a seemingly
>light wetting. I think the main thing separating these cases is the presence
>or lack of- spores in the bales.
>
>I wonder what others feel on this topic. I strongly believe that one of the
>main tricks to longevity to SB walls is getting the bales dry in the walls
>and then getting the building rapidly out of the after building moisture
>phase.
>
>Rene
>
>----
>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.
>----
>
>----
>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: 20 Jan 2005 00:44:30 -0600
From: billc_lists@...
Subject: Re: sourcing UK Wheat Board

Hi all,

We received the request below recently, and being fairly unfamiliar
with suppliers in the UK, thought that the folks on the list from
that side of the pond may be able to help out or point Mr. Frank in
the right direction.

Please direct replies to Mr. Frank at ryan@...

Thanks.

>
>>Hello
>>We are a product design studio working alongside a large architect
>>studio in south London.
>>We are currently involved in a eco-awarness project, which demands
>>a eco-friendly building board.
>>We are hoping to locate boards made from: Wheat, cereal, straw,
>>grass, wood flakes, rye....... or anything along this type of
>>composition.
>>I have managed to discover this type of sheeting material abroad,
>>but have not been able to locate any local manufacturers or
>>distributers in the UK.
>>It would be extremely helpful if you could provide any suggestions
>>in acquiring these boards locally, or if this is not the case,
>>perhaps guidance in import options.
>>Thanking you in advance
>>
>>Ryan Frank
>>Design Director
>>Random Tweak Studio
>>130a Downham Road
>>London N1 3HJ
>>ryan@...
>>0798 4146383
>>02077048433
>>
>>In Patnership with;
>>Alsop Architects
>>Parkgate studio
>>41 Parkgate Road
>>London SW11 4NP


- --
Bill Christensen
<<a  target="_blank" href="http://sustainablesources.com/contact/";>http://sustainablesources.com/contact/</a>>

Green Building Professionals Directory: <<a  target="_blank" href="http://directory.sustainablesources.com";>http://directory.sustainablesources.com</a>>
Sustainable Building Calendar: <<a  target="_blank" href="http://SustainableSources.com/calendar/";>http://SustainableSources.com/calendar/</a>>
Green Real Estate: <<a  target="_blank" href="http://SustainableSources.com/realestate/";>http://SustainableSources.com/realestate/</a>>
Straw Bale Registry: <<a  target="_blank" href="http://sbregistry.sustainablesources.com/";>http://sbregistry.sustainablesources.com/</a>>
Books/videos/software: <<a  target="_blank" href="http://bookstore.sustainablesources.com/";>http://bookstore.sustainablesources.com/</a>>


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

Date: 20 Jan 2005 01:42:56 -0600
From: jeff@...
Subject: Re: GSBN:Leaving bales bare

Our experience has been in agreement with everything that has been said.
  Bales that have been exposed either for long periods of time, or to
harsh conditions, are more susceptible to future damage.  With that
said, even using the worst bales (and there have been a few; read
Crestone), if the details are executed correctly, the probability is
greatly reduced for future problems.

IMHO, it is all about details!  Personally, I am on a crusade, however
chaotic and exciting it may be, to rid the world of bad details.  This
is an education issue, not a technical one.  By employing sound
detailing and construction oversight is the only way, so far, to insure
our structures are built with the best knowledge to date.  There is no
substitute!

And in the spirit of sharing, our work over the past two years has been
spent mostly on-site stacking and plastering, making sure our systems
are implemented the correct way, the first time, to minimize future
moisture issues.  My engineering work has been shortened by overseeing
construction things that will hopefully become more well documented in
the future.  However, my point with all of this is, this particular
issue of mold in bales is one in the context of *many* parts we consider
in the overall context of creating the best structure possible.
Important and fundamental, but not critical.  Bales are bales!

To all of you who do this, I applaud you, and appreciate the dialogue
over such things!

Cheers,

Jeff Ruppert, P.E.
Principal

Odisea LLC
Ecological Building, Engineering and Consulting

Front Range Office 		West Slope Office
5444 Marshall Road		1022 Main St.
Boulder, CO  81623		Carbondale, CO 81623
303.443.4335			970.948.5744
303.443.4355 f			1.866.795.6699 f
jeff@...
www.odiseanet.com



John Swearingen wrote:
> This is an interesting topic right at present, since we're trying to
> stack 1000 bales in exposed gable ends in the middle of torrential wind
> and rain in California (we've only lost 20 bales to the rain).  While
> certainly I agree that it's best to use dry bales and get them plastered
> quickly, I question whether this principle should be raised to a level
> of almost absolute priority.  Habib's experiences, and our own, suggest
> that the walls are pretty resilient when it comes to moisture.
>
> It seems from what John is saying, that mold growth is jump-started in
> bales that have previously experienced conditions of spore growth, but I
> would ask whether, or how, this influences the future suseptability of
> the wall to mold.  It would seem that the humidity level required for
> mold would not change, simply that mold would appear more quickly, say
> after two winter's wetting rather than ten?  If the walls are not likely
> to experience serious wetting in the future, is this really a problem?
>
> John Swearingen
> www.skillful-means.com
>
>
> John Straube wrote:
>
>> Rene's observations are similar to mine and I agree with them
>> However, spores exist is all bales unless they have been irradiated or
>> equivalent for some time
>> The difference in why under some conditions things take off and others
>> they
>> don't is likely (not for sure) due to the level of growth that already
>> occurred in the bales before the event.
>> Spores take some time to start growing and when they go dormant, due to
>> drying or whatever, it takes much less for them to start again.
>> Hence, I think the reason is that bales that have some growth, not
>> macroscopically visible, will go moldy really quickly, while those
>> with only
>> spores take a lot longer to start.
>>
>>
>> Dr John Straube
>> Assistant Professor
>> Dept of Civil Engineering &amp; School of Architecture
>> University of Waterloo
>> Waterloo, Ont. Canada
>> <a  target="_blank" href="http://www.civil.uwaterloo.ca/beg";>http://www.civil.uwaterloo.ca/beg</a>
>>
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: GSBN [<a  target="_blank" href="mailto:GSBN@...";>mailto:GSBN@...] On Behalf Of Rene
>> Dalmeijer
>> Sent: Monday, January 17, 2005 9:13 AM
>> To: GSBN
>> Subject: GSBN:Leaving bales bare
>>
>> Fellow SBers,
>>
>> A topic I have been pondering recently concerns the logic of rapidly
>> applying plaster to bale walls. I plead for doing so.   Based on the
>> following logic:
>>
>> Fresh dry bales are basically relatively spore free. If these bales are
>> rapidly encased in plaster there is very little chance that the straw
>> will
>> be infected with new fungus spores. Therefore seriously improving the
>> chances of a long life span of the SB wall even in the event of a one
>> time
>> wetting.
>>
>> In the past I have heard about and seen SB houses that have
>> experienced such
>> a seemingly disastrous wetting without serious consequences. I expect
>> that
>> the bales were able to dry without fungus growth setting in because of
>> very
>> low spore levels due to using fresh and dry straw during the build. In
>> other
>> cases though I have seen bales rapidly growing mushrooms after a
>> seemingly
>> light wetting. I think the main thing separating these cases is the
>> presence
>> or lack of- spores in the bales.
>>
>> I wonder what others feel on this topic. I strongly believe that one
>> of the
>> main tricks to longevity to SB walls is getting the bales dry in the
>> walls
>> and then getting the building rapidly out of the after building moisture
>> phase.
>>
>> Rene
>>
>> ----
>> 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.
>> ----
>>
>> ----
>> 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.
>> ----
>>
>>
>>
>>
>
>
> ----
> 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: 20 Jan 2005 04:39:01 -0600
From: Rene Dalmeijer rene.dalmeijer@...
Subject: Re: GSBN:Leaving bales bare

John and all others,

My initial intention was not to say that plastering bales ASAP should
be regarded as absolute priority under all circumstances. The main
thing is to keep the bales in the wall below 20% rel moisture levels.

What I do suggest is that getting fresh dry bales bales rapidly
plastered will most probably seriously reduce the risks of an
inadvertent wetting incident.
On Jan 20, 2005, at 06:21, John Swearingen wrote:

> This is an interesting topic right at present, since we're trying to
> stack 1000 bales in exposed gable ends in the middle of torrential wind
> and rain in California (we've only lost 20 bales to the rain).  While
> certainly I agree that it's best to use dry bales and get them
> plastered
> quickly, I question whether this principle should be raised to a level
> of almost absolute priority.  Habib's experiences, and our own, suggest
> that the walls are pretty resilient when it comes to moisture.
>
> It seems from what John is saying, that mold growth is jump-started in
> bales that have previously experienced conditions of spore growth, but
> I
> would ask whether, or how, this influences the future suseptability of
> the wall to mold.  It would seem that the humidity level required for
> mold would not change, simply that mold would appear more quickly, say
> after two winter's wetting rather than ten?  If the walls are not
> likely
> to experience serious wetting in the future, is this really a problem?
>
Rene



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

Date: 20 Jan 2005 16:24:27 -0600
From: ArchiLogic@...
Subject: Re: Leaving bales bare

EuroRay wrote:

>> we need to understand the "cause of the cause."

and Habib wrote:

> When ordering bales our clients are encouraged to ask how the bales are
> stored and the weather conditions at the time of harvest.

I think that Habib's deceptively-simple one-liner is probably a major
factor in determining the ultimate susceptibility of dried bales to the
deleterious effects of the dreaded Dormant Spore Gang; that is that the
health and vigor of bales likely begins in the field .

ie Straw that is cut at the right time (ie not too green, not too dead),
properly dried in windrows and not rained upon before baling and then
stored properly until stacked in the wall, the key ingredient being
moisture, or more precisely, the lack thereof during each stage of its
life.

To state the obvious, I would venture that the preceding (harvest/storage
conditions) determines the extent to which straw's natural defense
mechanism (ie its waxy coating) remains intact.

That is to say, moisture content readings will tell us the current state
of the straw
(dry or not dry) but it tells us nothing of its history and health and by
corollary its "mouldability".  ie Straw that has begun to decay due to
poor harvesting/storage and was subsequently dried may still read "Dry" as
a result of a moisture check but its natural defense mechanism could be
shot to hell.

So in addition to a moisture meter when checking the suitability of bales
for building, perhaps what is also needed is a wax-o-meter ?  In lieu of a
gizmological wax-o-meter, fortunately, most of us have been provided with
biological ones (eyeballs and hands).

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



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

Date: 20 Jan 2005 16:48:34 -0600
From: ArchiLogic@...
Subject: Re: Leaving bales bare

EuroRay wrote:

>>we need to understand the "cause of the cause."

and Habib wrote:

>When ordering bales our clients are encouraged to ask how the bales are
>stored and the weather conditions at the time of harvest.

I think that Habib's deceptively-simple one-liner is probably a major
factor in determining the ultimate susceptibility of dried bales to
the  deleterious effects of the dreaded Dormant Spore Gang; that is
that the  health and vigor of bales likely begins in the field .

ie Straw that is cut at the right time (ie not too green, not too
dead),  properly dried in windrows and not rained upon before baling
and then  stored properly until stacked in the wall, the key
ingredient being  moisture, or more precisely, the lack thereof
during each stage of its  life.

To state the obvious, I would venture that the preceding
(harvest/storage  conditions) determines the extent to which straw's
natural defense  mechanism (ie its waxy coating) remains intact.

That is to say, moisture content readings will tell us the current
state  of the straw
(dry or not dry) but it tells us nothing of its history and health
and by  corollary its "mouldability".  ie Straw that has begun to
decay due to  poor harvesting/storage and was subsequently dried may
still read "Dry" as  a result of a moisture check but its natural
defense mechanism could be  shot to hell.

So in addition to a moisture meter when checking the suitability of
bales  for building, perhaps what is also needed is a wax-o-meter ?
In lieu of a  gizmological wax-o-meter, fortunately, most of us have
been provided with  biological ones (eyeballs and hands).

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


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

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