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GSBN:Moisture research




 

Hello everybody,

 

I'm always following the moisture discussions on GSBN with great interest. I wasn't part of discussion yet, but this questionnaire could be a contribution. Im trying to analyze the story and field experience.

 

In a recent discussion, I read that by working with straw, we all are becoming moisture experts. This is something I totally agree with. Let's share what we have found so far. Bringing experiences together and analysing them is something that I feel is very valuable.  

Please fill out Questionnaire below to gather further insights. It is part of the research for a thesis about moisture behavior in straw bale walls. It will look at how different types of protection influence the longevity of straw within a straw bale wall.

 

This questionnaire is addressed to experienced straw bale builders. 

 

Its goal is to find out:

-  the most common reason for rot and mold growing in existing straw bale walls

-  the best proven prevention against moisture failure of a straw bale construction

 

By answering these questions you will be adding practical experience, into the theoretical work. The more people that submit this form, the more meaningful findings this thesis will embrace.

 

Your contribution will be highly appreciated. 

 

The research results, together with the thesis will be available as a free download on the Internet. The address will be available for everybody at The Last Straw annual resource guide.

 

Your reply will be treated as anonymous, if you wish.

 

Thank you very much for your cooperation. 

 

 

 

MSc Architecture

Environment and Energy Studies at University of East London and Center for Alternative Technology

 

Q U E S T I O N N A I R E

  

 

1. What kind of finish do you prefer to use for the interior of a straw bale wall?

a) Earth plaster, b) Earth plaster stabilized with lime, c) Lime plaster (lime putty), d) Lime plaster (hydrated lime), e) Lime plaster (hydraulic lime), f) Lime-cement plaster mix, g) Cement stucco, h) Earth plaster stabilized with cement, i) Gypsum plaster, j) Bricks, k) Panelling (Cladding), l) Other:

 

1.1 Please name all components and their ratios including all special additives. Please briefly explain the methodology of preparation and application:

 

 

2. What kind of finish do you prefer to use for the exterior of a straw bale wall?

a) Earth plaster, b) Earth plaster stabilized with lime, c) Lime plaster (lime putty), d) Lime plaster (hydrated lime), e) Lime plaster (hydraulic lime), f) Lime-cement plaster mix, g) Cement stucco, h) Earth plaster stabilized with cement, i) Gypsum plaster, j) Bricks, k) Panelling (Cladding), l) Other:

 

2.1 Please name all components and their ratios including all special additives. Please briefly explain the methodology of preparation and application:

 

 

3. What makes your plaster weather resistant?

 

 

4. With your choice of materials, do you think that condensation occurs in the straw just under the coat on the colder side of a straw bale wall?  

Yes, No

 

5. Do you think that the condensation is a serious risk?

Yes, No

 

By moisture problem is meant any problem related to straw and moisture (either directly or indirectly) that caused damage needing reparation. If one moisture problem involves more than one answer, please be sure to include the problem in every answer it applies to.

 

6. How many straw bale buildings with a moisture problem that you think is related to condensation have you seen?

Please write a number:

 

7. How many straw bale buildings with a moisture problem, that you think is related to driving rain have you seen?

Please write a number:

 

8. How many straw bale buildings with a moisture problem that you think is related to back splash have you seen?

Please write a number:

 

9. How many straw bale buildings with a moisture problem that you think is related to rising damp have you seen?

Please write a number:

 

10. How many straw bale buildings with a moisture problem, that you think is related to bad roof detailing, have you seen?

Please write a number:

 

11. How many straw bale buildings with a moisture problem related to humidity imposed during the construction have you seen?

Please write a number:

 

12. If you have seen a straw bale building with a moisture problem that you think is related to a cause not listed above, please describe briefly the case here:

 

 

13. A bale that has been previously rained on becomes discolored when it dries. Depending on the amount of rain exposure, the layer of discolored straw penetrates the straw bale. What depth of penetration do you consider acceptable for use in straw bale construction?

a) I wouldn't ever use discolored straw bale, b) Discolored slightly on the surface is acceptable, c) Discolored layer 0 - 10mm deep is acceptable, d) Discolored layer 10 - 30mm deep is acceptable, e) Discolored layer more than 30mm is acceptable.

 

13.1 Do you have any comments on question 13?

 

 

14. What is the acceptable percentage of weeds mixed with straw in straw bale for use in straw bale construction?

a) 0%, b) 0-10%, c) 10-30%, d) 30-50%, e) 50%+

 

14.1 Do you have any comments on question 14?

 

 

15. Do you use moisture meters?

Yes, No

 

16. What do you think is the acceptable moisture content of straw in inhabited straw bale building?

a) 0-10%, b) 10-15%, c) 15-20%, d) 20-25%, e) 25-30%, f) 30%+

 

17. Have you monitored moisture inside a straw bale wall?

Yes, No

 

(If yes, would you share the monitored data and your results by attaching them to this questionnaire?)

 

18. Would you build for a client a straw bale construction in a hot, humid climate?

 

 

If you have any straw bale moisture stories that are funny, scary, instructive, or if you have any further recommendations, please feel free to write here:

 

 

19. Do you wish to be treated as anonymous?

Yes, No

 

 

Please email back completed document to: kuba@...

 

 

Thank you very much for your contribution to this research

Kuba

 

3 Blvd. de la Villette

750 10  Paris

France

 

Tel. +33 (0)1 42 41 04 94


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