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Re: GSBN:Exterior cladding question



Thanks, all, for your input. Good to see that opinions cover the entire
spectrum!

In talking with the client, we seem to have perhaps settled on using
the earth bricks only on the bottom 1/3 of the wall. Since there is
going to be parking directly in front of the building and there's
always the chance of faulty eavestroughs over the pavement, the bricks
here will act as a rain screen and bumper for bad drivers. It will
allow me try out the earth bricks in this arrangement without them
being the load-bearing wall, and if it turns out to be a bad idea, it's
not such a major effort to remove the three courses. The bricks will be
installed after the base coat plastering, so there should be lots of
clay coverage on the straw behind.

I'll let you know in a year how it went!

Chris

On 8-Feb-05, at 8:26 AM, John Straube wrote:

In terms of risk relative to prominence I humbly agree with Rene's
humble
opinion.  Are you sure you cant convince the owners?


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, February 07, 2005 5:44 PM
To: GSBN
Subject: Re: GSBN:Exterior cladding question

Chris,

This is my humble opinion.

I am almost certain the mud bricks will have too little permeability
to be
completely safe. It might work because these bricks can buffer quite a
bit
moisture and let it out during the drier season but I would not count
on it
at least not for such a prominent building. I don't think an
experiment is
right in such a location. Stick to what you already have quite
extensive
experience with, plaster carefully and maybe even score the surface to
replicate the effect of stone buildings. I am sure you will be able to
create a pleasing effect without the risk of an experiment.


On Feb 7, 2005, at 04:38, Chris Magwood wrote:

Hello all,

I'm in the midst of designing a building for the Town of Haliburton,
Ontario, which will provide a new space for a charitable group in
which they will run their food bank and thrift store operations. It's
a great project, as the building has an honourable end use and will be
located right in the centre of the town, next to the art gallery and a
park.
They are also keen to make it as sustainable as possible.

One of the requests of the town council is that the building be
designed to "fit in" with the existing local architecture. The art
gallery used to be a train station, so it's a nice building to echo.
But part of fitting in in this part of Ontario is a having a brick
finish. I've done some brick and stone facades in front of bale walls
before, but I'd rather not do them again.

One option I'm looking at is the use of compressed earth bricks. I had
a chance to see them being produced and even to lay some up during the
ISBBC in Denmark this summer. A local builder has recently purchased
one of these machines, and I've already decided to use them in the
floor.

I don't have any doubt that the earth bricks can be used as an
exterior cladding. What I'm wondering is this: If I lay up the bricks
as an exterior load-bearing wall, can I stack the bales directly
against this wall? I'm a convert of the Tom Rijven school of dipping
bales in clay slip, so I would dip the back side of the bale and press
it against the earth bricks, then give the interior the usual coat of
earth plaster.

The issue is permeability. Obviously, the compressed earth bricks are
going to be less permeable than the plaster, based on the thickness
(10
inches) and the density. But do you think this will be problematic?
Will the earth bricks be capable of taking up migrating moisture and
letting it go to the outside at a reasonable rate? I'm pretty good at
detailing a bale building by now, so there won't be any gross air
leakage, just what makes it through the plaster. I would treat the
earth bricks with silicate paint, which shouldn't hamper the
transpiring of moisture much.

I don't really want to do a typical brick veneer with an air space
between the bales and the bricks. Having done it before, I know that
it's nigh on impossible to maintain an even air space with a bale wall
unless you get into using wooden spacers or other material and time
intensive fixes. It seems to me that a patchwork of air gaps
surrounded by bales contacting the bricks would be worse than no air
space
at all.
So my option is use the bricks, or don't use any cladding and just
make the exterior plaster nice and square.

Let me know what you think...

Chris

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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.
----