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GSBN: Digest for 2/8/05



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


-> FW: GSBN:Exterior cladding question
     by "Strawbalefutures" info@...
-> RE: GSBN:Exterior cladding question
     by "John Straube" jfstraube@...
-> RE: GSBN:Exterior cladding question
     by "John Straube" jfstraube@...
-> Seeking some advice - metal framing
     by Joyce Coppinger jc10508@...
-> FW: [organic_architecture] Digest Number 1289
     by Joyce Coppinger jc10508@...
-> RE: GSBN:Exterior cladding question
     by "Tim Owen-Kennedy" timok@...
-> Re: GSBN:Exterior cladding question
     by Chris Magwood cmagwood@...
-> Re: GSBN:Exterior cladding question
     by Chris Magwood cmagwood@...


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

Date: 8 Feb 2005 02:50:57 -0600
From: "Strawbalefutures" info@...
Subject: FW: GSBN:Exterior cladding question


- -----Original Message-----
From: Strawbalefutures [<a  target="_blank" href="mailto:info@strawbalefutures.org.uk";>mailto:info@...]
Sent: 07 February 2005 07:43
To: GSBN
Subject: RE: GSBN:Exterior cladding question

Hi Chris
I can't give any scientific proof though I know there are others who will,
but my instinct is that air gaps behind bale walls are not a good idea. They
are most often designed to provide a ventilated space when the cladding is
not regarded as breathable enough to keep the straw healthy. In practice
they are really difficult to achieve unless you put in an awful lot of
meticulous time that is not cost-effective unless you are a self-builder.
It's very much like the 20th century cavity wall idea that sounds like it
might work in theory but which has proved to be a very bad idea in
practice - it's hard to actually build it so it works!
If it was my design, I'd do what you propose and push the bales up tight to
the clay block wall. We're used to using straw embedded in clay without it
suffering, and we have many fine examples of wattle and daub walls stuffed
in the middle with straw from many centuries ago. And there is breathability
in the clay. It's just not the sort of material to allow moisture to
condense on its surface as it passes from inside to outside, I can't imagine
that happening.
As long as the compressed blocks don't contain any additives that would make
them behave unnaturally, I'd do it. It will be an interesting one for us all
to look at and assess next year. And it might encourage others to use more
compressed blocks too!
Let us know what you decide.
Best wishes
Barbara

If you are using strawbale@...contact us please change it to the
email address below as we are changing our server. Thankyou!

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@...]On";>mailto:GSBN@...]On</a> Behalf Of Chris Magwood
Sent: 07 February 2005 03:38
To: GSBN
Subject: GSBN:Exterior cladding question

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

- ----
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: 8 Feb 2005 07:52:19 -0600
From: "John Straube" jfstraube@...
Subject: RE: GSBN:Exterior cladding question

As long as you use a thick wet coat between the SB and the back of earthen
bricks you should be OK.  I would worry a lot if you left any of the straw
uncovered.  Hence, laying the SB against the back of the bricks, and then
fill the gap with straw clay at every course might be a way to go.

The earth brick should be OK.  If you get them really wet they will dissolve
and tell you to fix the problem:)  It is really important to let water vapor
flow inward in this scenario however.


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
Strawbalefutures
Sent: Tuesday, February 08, 2005 3:19 AM
To: GSBN@...
Subject: FW: GSBN:Exterior cladding question


- -----Original Message-----
From: Strawbalefutures [<a  target="_blank" href="mailto:info@strawbalefutures.org.uk";>mailto:info@...]
Sent: 07 February 2005 07:43
To: GSBN
Subject: RE: GSBN:Exterior cladding question

Hi Chris
I can't give any scientific proof though I know there are others who will,
but my instinct is that air gaps behind bale walls are not a good idea. They
are most often designed to provide a ventilated space when the cladding is
not regarded as breathable enough to keep the straw healthy. In practice
they are really difficult to achieve unless you put in an awful lot of
meticulous time that is not cost-effective unless you are a self-builder.
It's very much like the 20th century cavity wall idea that sounds like it
might work in theory but which has proved to be a very bad idea in practice
- - it's hard to actually build it so it works!
If it was my design, I'd do what you propose and push the bales up tight to
the clay block wall. We're used to using straw embedded in clay without it
suffering, and we have many fine examples of wattle and daub walls stuffed
in the middle with straw from many centuries ago. And there is breathability
in the clay. It's just not the sort of material to allow moisture to
condense on its surface as it passes from inside to outside, I can't imagine
that happening.
As long as the compressed blocks don't contain any additives that would make
them behave unnaturally, I'd do it. It will be an interesting one for us all
to look at and assess next year. And it might encourage others to use more
compressed blocks too!
Let us know what you decide.
Best wishes
Barbara

If you are using strawbale@...contact us please change it to the
email address below as we are changing our server. Thankyou!

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@...]On";>mailto:GSBN@...]On</a> Behalf Of Chris Magwood
Sent: 07 February 2005 03:38
To: GSBN
Subject: GSBN:Exterior cladding question

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

- ----
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: 8 Feb 2005 07:52:29 -0600
From: "John Straube" jfstraube@...
Subject: RE: GSBN:Exterior cladding question

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 &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, 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
>
> ----

>
>
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.
- ----



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

Date: 8 Feb 2005 13:49:39 -0600
From: Joyce Coppinger jc10508@...
Subject: Seeking some advice - metal framing

Hello All,

We're having a very interesting exchange of messages lately. Keep it up -
it's good for us all.

So, I'll jump in here with a question, too. Over the weekend I was talking
to a family that's planning to build and I need some good advice from anyone
who's been asked these same questions. The owner wants to use metal framing
(existing metal building, perhaps) for a straw-bale home. But has recently
been warned against it because of lightning striking the metal framing and
setting the bales afire. What is your reply to people about this?

And, what do you say about metal conducting heat and cold...and metal
attracting moisture which may cause the bales to rot or there to be mold or
mildew?

What do you recommend about setting the bales in a metal frame - inside the
framing, outside the framing, set around and the metal cut into the bales?

Thanks,

Joyce


- --
Joyce Coppinger
Managing Editor/The Last Straw,
the international quarterly journal of strawbale and natural building
The Green Prairie Foundation for Sustainability/GPFS (publisher)
PO Box 22706, Lincoln NE 68542-2706 USA
402.483.5135, fax 402.483.5161
thelaststraw@...
www.thelaststraw.org



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

Date: 8 Feb 2005 16:49:53 -0600
From: Joyce Coppinger jc10508@...
Subject: FW: [organic_architecture] Digest Number 1289

We at TLS have been trying to assemble a list of commercial/industrial sb
buildings so that we can include information about them in issues of TLS, in
the resource guide, on the International SB Registry. Chris Green's effort
would go beyond this as he notes below. Please reply to Chris directly and
keep TLS in the loop as well.

Thanks,

Joyce


- ----------
> From: organic_architecture@...
> Reply-To: organic_architecture@...
> Date: 8 Feb 2005 21:58:53 -0000
> To: organic_architecture@...
> Subject: [organic_architecture] Digest Number 1289
>
> 1. Re: Strawbale Commercial/Industrial Buildings
> From: chris green hraefn_2@...
> ________________________________________________________________________
> ________________________________________________________________________
>
> Message: 1
> Date: Mon, 7 Feb 2005 22:44:46 -0800 (PST)
> From: chris green hraefn_2@...
> Subject: Re: Strawbale Commercial/Industrial Buildings
>
>
> --- Joyce Coppinger jc10508@... wrote:
>
>> There is a growing number of bale buildings used for
>> commercial/industrial
>> purposes...what specifically are you looking for in
>> terms of information? Do
>> you want to know how they were built? Costs? Uses of
>> the space?
>>
>> Joyce
>
> Chris's reply:
> I simply want to know if, or that, there are examples
> of such construction extant. When and if the time
> comes to propose this type of building to investors
> who are more familiar with tilt-up concrete
> construction, or metal buildings, I will need some
> hard data to show them to be able to convince them the
> (likely) extra costs will be worth the investment.
>
> I can get some of that from the National Research
> Council of Canada, especially the data from their
> testing of living roof systems, and from other similar
> sources.
> But I would like to have information about real
> buildings used by real businesses, to take out some of
> the theoretical projections about long term costs
> relating to energy usage.
> It certainly won't hurt to be able to show that an
> investor will be putting his or her money into a
> structure which, while perhaps initially costing more,
> will cost less to maintain in the medium term. And, if
> the structure is aesthetically pleasing, it will
> perhaps attract a certain amount of positive publicity
> (ie., free advertising) and, hopefully, additional
> customers or other business opportunities will arise
> from this.
>
> Since I am learning from contacts on this and other
> sites that there are now a number of
> commercial/warehouse/industrial buildings around,
> perhaps it is time to begin to think about and discuss
> the prospect of setting up an independent, voluntary
> body to collect and collate data pertaining to
> structural maintenance, energy usage, and so-on, so as
> to be able to quantify scientifically these measurable
> aspects of green building.
>
> And, while I am thinking about this, other things
> occur to me which I should mention:
>
> Once there is a large enough database to work with
> (i.e., enough participants) some seemingly
> non-quantifiable aspects may in fact be measured and
> compared: these could include measuring the staff
> turnover rates among the workforce, worker comfort,
> health-claim and work-satisfaction statistics, and
> so-on.
> I'm thinking on my feet, so perhaps some group
> members can comment on this last set of ideas, or has
> experience in these things.
> All of these variables affect a business's bottom line
> and can affect decision making.
>
> I could go on, but this is enough to show that there
> are hidden things to be researched and learned about
> this field which may be uncovered if the right
> questions are asked at the right time.
>
> For some time I have been mulling over the idea of
> setting up a regional (the Southern Interior of
> British Columbia) society to promote Green Building
> technologies. There are foreword looking people, both
> in the construction field and in government agencies,
> as well as among the general population, who are
> interested in this subject. It is approaching the time
> to get everyone together to share insights and
> experiences, as well as fears and dreams.
> I envision that this could lead to establishing
> something like a regional Center of Excellence to
> demonstrate green building techniques to prospective
> buyers, and to perhaps train a certified workforce to
> build such buildings.
>
> I welcome any comments and suggestions about these
> ideas anyone would like to offer.
>
> Chris Green.



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

Date: 8 Feb 2005 17:23:08 -0600
From: "Tim Owen-Kennedy" timok@...
Subject: RE: GSBN:Exterior cladding question

Hi Chris,

We have had to restack some bales against masonry surfaces, lime and earth,
and our solution was to blow plaster against the wall and then smooosh the
bales into it as we stacked them. This came from our concern about the air
gaps and condensation and we figure the more or less contiguous material
negates that sufficiently. Another aspect that has come up more in walls
that have a wood wall in front of them, is that there is no good means to
see if things are deteriorating behind the frame wall. So, we always plaster
bales that are visually buried and we do that with lime or a lime earth mix
to mitigate mold issues that would not be visible if they got started. So I
would recommend that if you use a thick slip, plaster, or straw clay between
the straw and the blocks that you consider some type of "fungal block" in
the mix. In my opinion it's cheap insurance for an area you can't easily
inspect over time.

Best of luck,

Tim


Tim Owen-Kennedy
Vital Systems, Natural Building &amp; Design, Inc.
888.859.6336 PO Box 751 , Ukiah, CA 95482
www.vitalsystem.net

- -----Original Message-----
From: GSBN [<a  target="_blank" href="mailto:GSBN@...";>mailto:GSBN@...] On Behalf Of Chris Magwood
Sent: Sunday, February 06, 2005 7:38 PM
To: GSBN
Subject: GSBN:Exterior cladding question

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

- ----
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: 8 Feb 2005 20:13:51 -0600
From: Chris Magwood cmagwood@...
Subject: 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 &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, 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
>>
>> ----
>> 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.  ----
>>
>>
> 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: 8 Feb 2005 20:17:07 -0600
From: Chris Magwood cmagwood@...
Subject: Re: GSBN:Exterior cladding question

Tim,

Good point about including some lime. Wouldn't have done that, but it
seems wise.

This building is intended to act as a bit of test bed, so perhaps I'll
be able to remove a brick or two and see what's going on back there
after some time.

Chris

On 8-Feb-05, at 5:57 PM, Tim Owen-Kennedy wrote:

> Hi Chris,
>
> We have had to restack some bales against masonry surfaces, lime and
> earth,
> and our solution was to blow plaster against the wall and then smooosh
> the
> bales into it as we stacked them. This came from our concern about the
> air
> gaps and condensation and we figure the more or less contiguous
> material
> negates that sufficiently. Another aspect that has come up more in
> walls
> that have a wood wall in front of them, is that there is no good means
> to
> see if things are deteriorating behind the frame wall. So, we always
> plaster
> bales that are visually buried and we do that with lime or a lime
> earth mix
> to mitigate mold issues that would not be visible if they got started.
> So I
> would recommend that if you use a thick slip, plaster, or straw clay
> between
> the straw and the blocks that you consider some type of "fungal block"
> in
> the mix. In my opinion it's cheap insurance for an area you can't
> easily
> inspect over time.
>
> Best of luck,
>
> Tim
>
>
> Tim Owen-Kennedy
> Vital Systems, Natural Building &amp; Design, Inc.
> 888.859.6336 PO Box 751 , Ukiah, CA 95482
> www.vitalsystem.net
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: GSBN [<a  target="_blank" href="mailto:GSBN@...";>mailto:GSBN@...] On Behalf Of Chris
> Magwood
> Sent: Sunday, February 06, 2005 7:38 PM
> To: GSBN
> Subject: GSBN:Exterior cladding question
>
> 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
>
> ----
> 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.
> ----
>



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

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