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Re: GSBN:Re: Earthquake Pakistan and SB

On Jan 22, 2006, at 11:06 PM, Huff'n'Puff wrote:

G 'day GSBN Balers

We have been approached by an Architect in Lahore to look at going to
Pakistan to conduct a workshop or two in straw bale building.  This is
in aid of the recent earthquake and the rebuilding process.

Before we make any plans to go I wanted to see if any of you would have
any advice on structures suitable to withstand earthquakes and if you
have any comments on load bearing versus frame infill?

- Load-bearing is better than post & beam for resisting seismic loads --
   but only if you protect the bales from water at all stages of their

- fasten down all the outer edges if you can with something fairly
  and durable (mesh, fishing nets).  If you can't, at least tie down
the corners
  with something very strong, a good hemp rope or two is fine if -- IF
-- it
  will be protected from weather and rotting within the plaster.  (Big
  recur about every hundred years;  cellulose reinforcing (hemp,
bamboo, etc.)
  only lasts a few decades if not weather/moisture protected.)

- earth plaster is fine, use lots of straw

- minimize openings, keep them away from corners and wall intersections.

- have some sort of top bond beam, at the very least a high-grade cob
20 or 30 cm
   thick with a few ropes embedded in it running all around the
building top.
   Lap rope joints a meter, minimum, and set them in the wall straight,
not wobbly.

-  a good roof overhang (as if you didn't know).  This will be
resisted, probably,
   because roofs are the most expensive part of the building.  Tie the
roof down
  to the bond beam (to the ropes in the bond beam).

-  imagine a giant hand shaking the building, then trust your intuition
as to what
   to do about it.

Go get 'em, Wolfman!

Bruce King, PE
Director, Ecological Building Network  ( www.ecobuildnetwork.org )
Publisher, Green Building Press  ( www.greenbuildingpress.com )
209 Caledonia St.
Sausalito, CA 94965  USA
(415) 331-7630
bruce@ ecobuildnetwork.org

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