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Some of the comments and requests received from prospective subscribers to
The Last Straw journal and from people calling TLS for assistance in
locating construction details for their projects lead me to believe we
should be providing more technical articles in TLS. We seem to sometimes
focus too much on the benefits of strawbale, and overviews of methods and
design elements without including the details about the actual construction.
At least that's what I'm hearing these days.
Seems we need to revisit some of the basic details by including drawings and
illustrations of how people now do their foundations, roofs, windows and
doors, stacked and staked bales, and other basic design details.
Also it seems very basic but there probably also needs to be some discussion
and illustration of staking, pinning and stitching and why each does or
doesn't work in various situations. The methods of voids between bales or in
cavities around doors, windows and support members probably should be
described with pros and cons - loose straw, light straw/clay, trimming the
bales and so on.
More descriptive articles and illustrations of the various ways to deal with
moisture at the base of the wall and to protect the top of the walls from
moisture. Details about how to stack and provide sufficient structural
support for bales in gable end walls. Details and drawings of toe-ups in
various situations, protecting foundation walls with rigid insulation and
protecting the rigid insulation as well. Flashing and how to properly
install it in various situations for various conditions. Advantages and
disadvantages of setting windows within the wall, to the outside edge of the
wall; window sill design and detailing. How to attach interior wall framing
to exterior wall framing. Notching bales to fit around posts and columns.
Some of this is available in the CASBA Straw Bale Construction Sourcebook
and in Chris Magwood's Straw Bale Detail Manual and I'm writing to them to
ask permission to reprint drawings to accompany articles. We could probably
revisit and update some of the articles in past issues of TLS.
I realize this all sounds very basic to those who work with this every day,
but to the owner/builder or the new strawbale contractor and to the
prospective homeowner it's essential and should be updated in TLS
periodically, as I'm suggesting now.
Would appreciate your comments, contributions of articles, tech tips, and
project pages. (I've included a note in TLS#50 due out in June about the
type of information we ask to have for Project Pages to encourage people to
share this with our readers.)
Would you please share request with your straw bale association and others
in the strawbale community. Thanks!
Joyce Coppinger, Managing Editor
GPFS/TLS, PO Box 22706, Lincoln NE 68542-2706 USA
402.483.5135, fax 402.483.5161