[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

GSBN:Re: Cold storage

"Andre de Bouter" forum@... wrote:

A question that I receive more and more is:
Can SB be used for cold storage?
And if so, can we go well below freezing (-20#176#C)?

Typically these refrigerators/freezers are (more or less?) airtight on
inside. Sometimes people want to put them in very hot climates.


Making a cold storage building is tricky business and I would say, not
recommended for SB builders who have no experience in detailing airtight

An illustration as to why not:

Years ago kitchen refrigerators were made using fibreglass insulation.
I had one with an ice/water dispenser in the freezer door. During one
humid summer,
I found a puddle around the fridge.

Eventually I discovered that the source of the water was not a plumbing
leak (ie from the plumbing for the water/ice dispenser) but rather, from
the water-logged fibreglass insulation inside of the door cavity.

Humidity from the house interior was finding its way into the door cavity
through air leaks and condensing when it hit the cold interior side of the
door to the freezer.

This was occuring inside of the house, where the temperature difference
between the house interior (typically 20-25 degC (70-75 degF) and the
freezer interior (-5.5 degC (22 degF)) would be a mere 25-30 degC  (48 -53
degF), with interior relative humidity in the 60-70% range, with a unit
made in a factory out of industrial sheet goods.

A cold storage building with interior temperature at or just above the
freezing point of water in Ottawa could easily be subjected to outdoor
summer temps of 30 degC or more, with outdoor relative humidity above 90%
much of the time.

With anything less than near-perfect air-sealing, such
temperature/humidity conditions would guaranty fetid goo brew in the walls
within (a wild-@$$ guesstimate) 12 years.

Not a problem if the building owner is prepared to rebuild the walls in
10-15 years and deal with the potential hazardous waste (ie stachybotrys
atra, requiring respirators, Tyvek overalls etc.) during deconstruction.

I'm sure there will be some who would argue that with a "breathable
plaster" moisture would not have an opportunity to accumulate in the straw
but to them I would ask:
"What would be the driving force to faciliate that drying (in a cold
storage building) ?"

=== * ===
Rob Tom
Kanata, Ontario, Canada
<ArchiLogic at chaffyahoo dot ca>
(winnow the chaff  from my edress in your reply)