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GSBN: Digest for 3/8/06



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


-> Re: GSBN:Loadbearing sb with moisture damage
     by "Bohdan Dorniak & Co Pty Ltd" bdco@...
-> Re: GSBN:Loadbearing sb with moisture damage
     by Chris Magwood cmagwood@...
-> Re: GSBN:Loadbearing sb with moisture damage
     by strawnet@...
-> RE: GSBN:Loadbearing sb with moisture damage
     by jswearingen@...
-> Re: GSBN:Loadbearing sb with moisture damage
     by "Chug." chug@...
-> RE: GSBN:Loadbearing sb with moisture damage
     by jswearingen@...
-> Re: GSBN:Loadbearing sb with moisture damage
     by strawnet@...
-> Re: GSBN:Loadbearing sb with moisture damage
     by Chris Magwood cmagwood@...
-> Re: GSBN:Loadbearing sb with moisture damage
     by Chris Magwood cmagwood@...
-> Re: GSBN:Loadbearing sb with moisture damage
     by strawnet@...
-> RE: GSBN:Loadbearing sb with moisture damage
     by jswearingen@...
-> Re: GSBN:Loadbearing sb with moisture damage
     by strawnet@...
-> Re: GSBN:Loadbearing sb with moisture damage
     by "Bohdan Dorniak & Co Pty Ltd" bdco@...


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

Date: 8 Mar 2006 00:13:58 -0600
From: "Bohdan Dorniak & Co Pty Ltd" bdco@...
Subject: Re: GSBN:Loadbearing sb with moisture damage

Hi
Thats OK provided there are no bales above???
Bohdan
- ----- Original Message -----
From: "John Swearingen" jswearingen@...
To: "'GSBN'" GSBN@...
Sent: Wednesday, March 08, 2006 9:22 AM
Subject: RE: GSBN:Loadbearing sb with moisture damage


Hi,

We commonly use a box beam on top of the wall, so lintals aren't needed.

John

John Swearingen
 SKILLFUL MEANS
design and construction
 www.skillful-means.com


- -----Original Message-----
From: GSBN [<a  target="_blank" href="mailto:GSBN@...";>mailto:GSBN@...] On Behalf Of Bohdan Dorniak
&amp; Co Pty Ltd
Sent: Tuesday, March 07, 2006 2:38 PM
To: GSBN
Subject: Re: GSBN:Loadbearing sb with moisture damage


Hi
Retrofitting a window sounds interesting.
What about lintels - how are they inserted?
I assume that for small openings that easy.
Bohdan
Architect
- ----- Original Message -----
From: billc_lists@...
To: "GSBN" GSBN@...
Sent: Wednesday, March 08, 2006 7:41 AM
Subject: RE: GSBN:Loadbearing sb with moisture damage


> At 10:41 AM -0800 3/7/06, John Swearingen wrote:
>>We've done a similar thing, to test an idea of just stacking the bales
>>w/o window openings, then cutting through later--we thought it would
>>give us a tighter opening.  It did.  It wasn't fun, though.  And like
>>Chris, we didn't have to run for cover while the wall exploded--very
>>little happened.
>>
>
> Hmmm. Interesting.  So how do you attach the window?
>
> Are you not doing this on a regular basis because it was harder in the
> long run?
>
> --
> Bill Christensen
> <<a  target="_blank" href="http://sustainablesources.com/contact/";>http://sustainablesources.com/contact/</a>>
>
> Green Building Professionals Directory:
> <<a  target="_blank" href="http://directory.sustainablesources.com";>http://directory.sustainablesources.com</a>>
> Sustainable Building Calendar: <<a  target="_blank" href="http://SustainableSources.com/calendar/";>http://SustainableSources.com/calendar/</a>>
> Green Real Estate: <<a  target="_blank" href="http://SustainableSources.com/realestate/";>http://SustainableSources.com/realestate/</a>>
> Straw Bale Registry: <<a  target="_blank" href="http://sbregistry.sustainablesources.com/";>http://sbregistry.sustainablesources.com/</a>>
> Books/videos/software: <<a  target="_blank" href="http://bookstore.sustainablesources.com/";>http://bookstore.sustainablesources.com/</a>>
> ----
> 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 ine.  ----
>

- ----
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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Checked by AVG Free Edition.
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- ----
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 Mar 2006 08:59:31 -0600
From: Chris Magwood cmagwood@...
Subject: Re: GSBN:Loadbearing sb with moisture damage

Laura,

We made lightweight bucks out of 1x4 material which fit tightly
against the cut plaster of the opening. These were caulked into
place, and the bottom sill was made of 2x6 material and had a bevel
cut into the top and a drip kerf cut underneath. The three sides of
the buck that were 1x4 were flush to the plaster and the bottom sill
was 2 inches proud of the plaster. Wooden trim was attached to the
1x4s to cover the joint.

It seemed as good as window detail with the bucks pre-framed into the
wall. The biggest bonus of all was that we didn't develop any of the
shrinkage cracks that can typically form from the corners of the
windows to the top or bottom of the wall.

Chris


On 7-Mar-06, at 10:50 PM, Laura Bartels wrote:

> Regarding cutting out windows after basecoat (or all coats) of
> plaster,
> I have always scratched my head over doing good moisture detailing
> after
> the window does go in. Any comments?
> Laura
>
> Chris Magwood wrote:
>
>
>> From our point of view, it took about the same amount of time to
>> frame everything up first and then stack and plaster compared to
>> stacking and plastering and cutting out later. The reason we didn't
>> keep doing it this way? Well, what do you do with a bunch of 3x5
>> foot, 21-inch thick hunks of bale wall that weigh hundreds of pounds
>> each?
>>
>> Chris
>>
>>
>>
>>
> ----

>
>

Chris Magwood
cmagwood@...
613-473-1718




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

Date: 8 Mar 2006 10:02:47 -0600
From: strawnet@...
Subject: Re: GSBN:Loadbearing sb with moisture damage

Laura, Chris and all,

The issue of good moisture detailing for windows is, in my view, one of
the most important and most often neglected aspects of sb design and
construction. When you talk with the people who look at moisture
failures in buildings for a living, this is often cited as the most
common or one of the most common areas of moisture damage and failure.

  It is a more important issue to get right in bale walls because they
are susceptible to moisture damage. That it is so often a problem in
conventional construction should not make us less vigilant or diligent.
And this is important - good design and detailing should never rely on
caulking as the only method of preventing moisture from getting into
the walls around windows.

Here is my ideal scenario - what I would like people thinking about as
they design their detailing for openings in bale structures. There
should be flashing all around the opening that is, in essence
"shingled" - overlapped starting from the bottom, so that any leaks are
directed onto (not behind) the next piece of flashing, and eventually,
out of the wall. There are a number of products available with which to
do this and this is one place where I think the judicious use of
synthetic materials makes a great deal of sense. This flashing should
not just be applied over the surface of the plaster, but should start,
ideally, behind it so that the plaster is actually part of the
shingling system.

I'm a big proponent of having a sill pan (which can be made of hard or
soft waterproof material - could be the same material as the rest of
the flashing), which extends underneath the window and a bit beyond
each side of it, is turned up at the back and sides (so that water
can't run off the back or ends into the wall), preferably slopes to the
outside, extends beyond the exterior finish surface, and has a drip
edge.

The less weather exposed the window, the less critical this detailing
is. But if the wall above the window is going to see rain, ideally we
would have a piece of flashing that extends above the top of the buck
and up behind the plaster. I know this is a challenge, especially if
you are cutting an opening into the wall after plastering. But if the
top of the buck had even a small strip of wood nailed to the top and
set back so that it was behind the inside surface of the exterior
plaster, the flashing could be attached to the top of this strip and
extend out and down the face of the top of the buck. It should be long
enough to be able to  overlap over the top of the window as well as the
top of the side flashing. Then, moisture that got to the inside face of
the stucco above the window, and moisture that leaked behind the trim
at the top of the window would not be able to end up inside the wall or
sitting on top of the window buck or the top of the window.

It is important to note that caulking, even the best caulking, is only
going to reliably last a few years. If it is all that you are depending
on to keep moisture out, and it is hidden by trim or in places you
rarely or ever inspect and maintain, you have designed in a problem
rather than designing it out. It's much easier to think these things
through before you build and if it's too hard to visualize this, build
a mock-up, a model, of what you're thinking about building and work out
the details at full scale where you can try different things and even
test them...

When I was building, I used to try to think like water - how could I
get in and how could I get out. Use great care in your efforts to keep
water out, and, knowing that you will not be able to achieve this
completely, take as great an amount of care making sure that the water
that does get in can get out. Of course I also used to think that you
"only had to be smarter than water" to do this and it turns out that
like many others, I had woefully underestimated the IQ of water...and
similarly overestimated my own...

What  I love about this forum is that we are, as a group, so interested
in learning from our own and others mistakes and discoveries and
sharing that learning openly.

David Eisenberg

 -----Original Message-----
 From: Laura Bartels laura@...
 To: GSBN GSBN@...
 Sent: Tue, 07 Mar 2006 20:50:30 -0700
 Subject: Re: GSBN:Loadbearing sb with moisture damage

  Regarding cutting out windows after basecoat (or all coats) of
plaster,
  I have always scratched my head over doing good moisture detailing
after
 the window does go in. Any comments?
 Laura

 Chris Magwood wrote:

 > From our point of view, it took about the same amount of time to
 > frame everything up first and then stack and plaster compared to
 > stacking and plastering and cutting out later. The reason we didn't
 > keep doing it this way? Well, what do you do with a bunch of 3x5
 > foot, 21-inch thick hunks of bale wall that weigh hundreds of pounds
 > each?
 >
 > 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 Mar 2006 10:55:47 -0600
From: jswearingen@...
Subject: RE: GSBN:Loadbearing sb with moisture damage

If there are just one or two course above, we just lash them to the box
beam.  It always is interesting to watch the building inspector when he
notices that.... ;-)

John

John Swearingen
 SKILLFUL MEANS
design and construction
 www.skillful-means.com


- -----Original Message-----
From: GSBN [<a  target="_blank" href="mailto:GSBN@...";>mailto:GSBN@...] On Behalf Of Bohdan Dorniak
&amp; Co Pty Ltd
Sent: Tuesday, March 07, 2006 10:04 PM
To: GSBN
Subject: Re: GSBN:Loadbearing sb with moisture damage


Hi
Thats OK provided there are no bales above???
Bohdan
- ----- Original Message -----
From: "John Swearingen" jswearingen@...
To: "'GSBN'" GSBN@...
Sent: Wednesday, March 08, 2006 9:22 AM
Subject: RE: GSBN:Loadbearing sb with moisture damage


Hi,

We commonly use a box beam on top of the wall, so lintals aren't needed.

John

John Swearingen
 SKILLFUL MEANS
design and construction
 www.skillful-means.com


- -----Original Message-----
From: GSBN [<a  target="_blank" href="mailto:GSBN@...";>mailto:GSBN@...] On Behalf Of Bohdan Dorniak
&amp; Co Pty Ltd
Sent: Tuesday, March 07, 2006 2:38 PM
To: GSBN
Subject: Re: GSBN:Loadbearing sb with moisture damage


Hi
Retrofitting a window sounds interesting.
What about lintels - how are they inserted?
I assume that for small openings that easy.
Bohdan
Architect
- ----- Original Message -----
From: billc_lists@...
To: "GSBN" GSBN@...
Sent: Wednesday, March 08, 2006 7:41 AM
Subject: RE: GSBN:Loadbearing sb with moisture damage


> At 10:41 AM -0800 3/7/06, John Swearingen wrote:
>>We've done a similar thing, to test an idea of just stacking the bales 
>>w/o window openings, then cutting through later--we thought it would 
>>give us a tighter opening.  It did.  It wasn't fun, though.  And like 
>>Chris, we didn't have to run for cover while the wall exploded--very 
>>little happened.
>>
>
> Hmmm. Interesting.  So how do you attach the window?
>
> Are you not doing this on a regular basis because it was harder in the 
> long run?
>
> --
> Bill Christensen
> <<a  target="_blank" href="http://sustainablesources.com/contact/";>http://sustainablesources.com/contact/</a>>
>
> Green Building Professionals Directory: 
> <<a  target="_blank" href="http://directory.sustainablesources.com";>http://directory.sustainablesources.com</a>>
> Sustainable Building Calendar: <<a  target="_blank" href="http://SustainableSources.com/calendar/";>http://SustainableSources.com/calendar/</a>>
> Green Real Estate: <<a  target="_blank" href="http://SustainableSources.com/realestate/";>http://SustainableSources.com/realestate/</a>>
> Straw Bale Registry: <<a  target="_blank" href="http://sbregistry.sustainablesources.com/";>http://sbregistry.sustainablesources.com/</a>>
> Books/videos/software: <<a  target="_blank" href="http://bookstore.sustainablesources.com/";>http://bookstore.sustainablesources.com/</a>>
> ----
> 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 ine.  ----
>

- ----
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.
- ----


- --
No virus found in this incoming message.
Checked by AVG Free Edition.
Version: 7.1.375 / Virus Database: 268.2.0/276 - Release Date: 3/7/2006


- --
No virus found in this outgoing message.
Checked by AVG Free Edition.
Version: 7.1.375 / Virus Database: 268.2.0/276 - Release Date: 3/7/2006


- ----
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.  
- ----


- -- 
No virus found in this incoming message.
Checked by AVG Free Edition.
Version: 7.1.375 / Virus Database: 268.2.0/276 - Release Date: 3/7/2006
 

- -- 
No virus found in this outgoing message.
Checked by AVG Free Edition.
Version: 7.1.375 / Virus Database: 268.2.0/276 - Release Date: 3/7/2006
 



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

Date: 8 Mar 2006 10:56:06 -0600
From: "Chug." chug@...
Subject: Re: GSBN:Loadbearing sb with moisture damage

Hi David

Thanks for this, I was just going to ask what are peoples latest 'best
practice' methods for the waterproofing detail of SB window
and door openings, as this is one area where I feel there is not much info out
there and even less in pictures,
anyone else got anything on the subject?

bale on
Chug
chug@...
<a  target="_blank" href="http://www.strawbale-building.co.uk/";>http://www.strawbale-building.co.uk/</a>
.
- ----- Original Message -----
From: strawnet@...
To: GSBN@...
Sent: Wednesday, March 08, 2006 3:52 PM
Subject: Re: GSBN:Loadbearing sb with moisture damage


Laura, Chris and all,

The issue of good moisture detailing for windows is, in my view, one of
the most important and most often neglected aspects of sb design and
construction. When you talk with the people who look at moisture
failures in buildings for a living, this is often cited as the most
common or one of the most common areas of moisture damage and failure.

  It is a more important issue to get right in bale walls because they
are susceptible to moisture damage. That it is so often a problem in
conventional construction should not make us less vigilant or diligent.
And this is important - good design and detailing should never rely on
caulking as the only method of preventing moisture from getting into
the walls around windows.

Here is my ideal scenario - what I would like people thinking about as
they design their detailing for openings in bale structures. There
should be flashing all around the opening that is, in essence
"shingled" - overlapped starting from the bottom, so that any leaks are
directed onto (not behind) the next piece of flashing, and eventually,
out of the wall. There are a number of products available with which to
do this and this is one place where I think the judicious use of
synthetic materials makes a great deal of sense. This flashing should
not just be applied over the surface of the plaster, but should start,
ideally, behind it so that the plaster is actually part of the
shingling system.

I'm a big proponent of having a sill pan (which can be made of hard or
soft waterproof material - could be the same material as the rest of
the flashing), which extends underneath the window and a bit beyond
each side of it, is turned up at the back and sides (so that water
can't run off the back or ends into the wall), preferably slopes to the
outside, extends beyond the exterior finish surface, and has a drip
edge.

The less weather exposed the window, the less critical this detailing
is. But if the wall above the window is going to see rain, ideally we
would have a piece of flashing that extends above the top of the buck
and up behind the plaster. I know this is a challenge, especially if
you are cutting an opening into the wall after plastering. But if the
top of the buck had even a small strip of wood nailed to the top and
set back so that it was behind the inside surface of the exterior
plaster, the flashing could be attached to the top of this strip and
extend out and down the face of the top of the buck. It should be long
enough to be able to  overlap over the top of the window as well as the
top of the side flashing. Then, moisture that got to the inside face of
the stucco above the window, and moisture that leaked behind the trim
at the top of the window would not be able to end up inside the wall or
sitting on top of the window buck or the top of the window.

It is important to note that caulking, even the best caulking, is only
going to reliably last a few years. If it is all that you are depending
on to keep moisture out, and it is hidden by trim or in places you
rarely or ever inspect and maintain, you have designed in a problem
rather than designing it out. It's much easier to think these things
through before you build and if it's too hard to visualize this, build
a mock-up, a model, of what you're thinking about building and work out
the details at full scale where you can try different things and even
test them...

When I was building, I used to try to think like water - how could I
get in and how could I get out. Use great care in your efforts to keep
water out, and, knowing that you will not be able to achieve this
completely, take as great an amount of care making sure that the water
that does get in can get out. Of course I also used to think that you
"only had to be smarter than water" to do this and it turns out that
like many others, I had woefully underestimated the IQ of water...and
similarly overestimated my own...

What  I love about this forum is that we are, as a group, so interested
in learning from our own and others mistakes and discoveries and
sharing that learning openly.

David Eisenberg

 -----Original Message-----
 From: Laura Bartels laura@...
 To: GSBN GSBN@...
 Sent: Tue, 07 Mar 2006 20:50:30 -0700
 Subject: Re: GSBN:Loadbearing sb with moisture damage

  Regarding cutting out windows after basecoat (or all coats) of
plaster,
  I have always scratched my head over doing good moisture detailing
after
 the window does go in. Any comments?
 Laura

 Chris Magwood wrote:

 > From our point of view, it took about the same amount of time to
 > frame everything up first and then stack and plaster compared to
 > stacking and plastering and cutting out later. The reason we didn't
 > keep doing it this way? Well, what do you do with a bunch of 3x5
 > foot, 21-inch thick hunks of bale wall that weigh hundreds of pounds
 > each?
 >
 > 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 Mar 2006 11:17:45 -0600
From: jswearingen@...
Subject: RE: GSBN:Loadbearing sb with moisture damage

I've just been reviewing some details from CASBA members--we're putting
together a CD of details that will be available, perhaps in six months.  In
a way, waterproofing is just the same as any good practice in conventional
construction, but...the big question is, if you have a pan under a window,
do you (or how do you) shunt any water collected there to OUTSIDE the
plaster wall.  Even here, there are conventional details from brick and even
stick construction.

John

John Swearingen
 SKILLFUL MEANS
design and construction
 www.skillful-means.com


- -----Original Message-----
From: GSBN [<a  target="_blank" href="mailto:GSBN@...";>mailto:GSBN@...] On Behalf Of Chug.
Sent: Wednesday, March 08, 2006 8:45 AM
To: GSBN
Subject: Re: GSBN:Loadbearing sb with moisture damage


Hi David

Thanks for this, I was just going to ask what are peoples latest 'best
practice' methods for the waterproofing detail of SB window and door
openings, as this is one area where I feel there is not much info out there
and even less in pictures, anyone else got anything on the subject?

bale on
Chug
chug@...<a  target="_blank" href="http://www.strawbale-building.co.uk/";>http://www.strawbale-building.co.uk/</a>
.
- ----- Original Message -----
From: strawnet@...
To: GSBN@...
Sent: Wednesday, March 08, 2006 3:52 PM
Subject: Re: GSBN:Loadbearing sb with moisture damage


Laura, Chris and all,

The issue of good moisture detailing for windows is, in my view, one of the
most important and most often neglected aspects of sb design and
construction. When you talk with the people who look at moisture failures in
buildings for a living, this is often cited as the most common or one of the
most common areas of moisture damage and failure.

  It is a more important issue to get right in bale walls because they are
susceptible to moisture damage. That it is so often a problem in
conventional construction should not make us less vigilant or diligent. And
this is important - good design and detailing should never rely on caulking
as the only method of preventing moisture from getting into the walls around
windows.

Here is my ideal scenario - what I would like people thinking about as they
design their detailing for openings in bale structures. There should be
flashing all around the opening that is, in essence "shingled" - overlapped
starting from the bottom, so that any leaks are directed onto (not behind)
the next piece of flashing, and eventually, out of the wall. There are a
number of products available with which to do this and this is one place
where I think the judicious use of synthetic materials makes a great deal of
sense. This flashing should not just be applied over the surface of the
plaster, but should start, ideally, behind it so that the plaster is
actually part of the shingling system.

I'm a big proponent of having a sill pan (which can be made of hard or soft
waterproof material - could be the same material as the rest of the
flashing), which extends underneath the window and a bit beyond each side of
it, is turned up at the back and sides (so that water can't run off the back
or ends into the wall), preferably slopes to the outside, extends beyond the
exterior finish surface, and has a drip edge.

The less weather exposed the window, the less critical this detailing is.
But if the wall above the window is going to see rain, ideally we would have
a piece of flashing that extends above the top of the buck and up behind the
plaster. I know this is a challenge, especially if you are cutting an
opening into the wall after plastering. But if the top of the buck had even
a small strip of wood nailed to the top and set back so that it was behind
the inside surface of the exterior plaster, the flashing could be attached
to the top of this strip and extend out and down the face of the top of the
buck. It should be long enough to be able to  overlap over the top of the
window as well as the top of the side flashing. Then, moisture that got to
the inside face of the stucco above the window, and moisture that leaked
behind the trim at the top of the window would not be able to end up inside
the wall or sitting on top of the window buck or the top of the window.

It is important to note that caulking, even the best caulking, is only going
to reliably last a few years. If it is all that you are depending on to keep
moisture out, and it is hidden by trim or in places you rarely or ever
inspect and maintain, you have designed in a problem rather than designing
it out. It's much easier to think these things through before you build and
if it's too hard to visualize this, build a mock-up, a model, of what you're
thinking about building and work out the details at full scale where you can
try different things and even test them...

When I was building, I used to try to think like water - how could I get in
and how could I get out. Use great care in your efforts to keep water out,
and, knowing that you will not be able to achieve this completely, take as
great an amount of care making sure that the water that does get in can get
out. Of course I also used to think that you "only had to be smarter than
water" to do this and it turns out that like many others, I had woefully
underestimated the IQ of water...and similarly overestimated my own...

What  I love about this forum is that we are, as a group, so interested in
learning from our own and others mistakes and discoveries and sharing that
learning openly.

David Eisenberg

 -----Original Message-----
 From: Laura Bartels laura@...
 To: GSBN GSBN@...
 Sent: Tue, 07 Mar 2006 20:50:30 -0700
 Subject: Re: GSBN:Loadbearing sb with moisture damage

  Regarding cutting out windows after basecoat (or all coats) of plaster,
  I have always scratched my head over doing good moisture detailing after
the window does go in. Any comments?  Laura

 Chris Magwood wrote:

 > From our point of view, it took about the same amount of time to  > frame
everything up first and then stack and plaster compared to  > stacking and
plastering and cutting out later. The reason we didn't  > keep doing it this
way? Well, what do you do with a bunch of 3x5  > foot, 21-inch thick hunks
of bale wall that weigh hundreds of pounds  > each?  >  > 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.
- ----



- ----
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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Checked by AVG Free Edition.
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----------------------------------------------------------------------

Date: 8 Mar 2006 11:33:12 -0600
From: strawnet@...
Subject: Re: GSBN:Loadbearing sb with moisture damage

John,

The old practice that is in a lot of the older approaches in books and
elsewhere, of just putting some sort of waterproofing material over the
top of the bale, under the rough buck and lapping it down a ways on the
outside doesn't get the water out of the wall, just moves it down the
wall under the window but it's still inside the plaster. The key for
the pan idea is that it has to come out beyond the exterior surface of
the plaster. You can do this pan below the material you use for your
finished sill, if for example you use wood or tile or stone. The
finished sill material would cover this pan flashing, though if you
used copper for instance, (I know that some people are concerned with
various issues of using copper) you could just let it show and have it
extend beyond the plaster and have a drip edge.

What is critical is exactly your point though, to get the water
collected OUT of the wall completely. And there are conventional
details that work or can be accomodated for the differences in bale
walls.

David

- -----Original Message-----
From: John Swearingen jswearingen@...
To: 'GSBN' GSBN@...
Sent: Wed, 8 Mar 2006 09:06:26 -0800
Subject: RE: GSBN:Loadbearing sb with moisture damage

   I've just been reviewing some details from CASBA members--we're
putting
together a CD of details that will be available, perhaps in six months.
 In
a way, waterproofing is just the same as any good practice in
conventional
construction, but...the big question is, if you have a pan under a
window,
do you (or how do you) shunt any water collected there to OUTSIDE the
plaster wall.  Even here, there are conventional details from brick and
even
stick construction.

John

John Swearingen
 SKILLFUL MEANS
design and construction
 www.skillful-means.com


- -----Original Message-----
From: GSBN [<a  target="_blank" href="mailto:GSBN@...";>mailto:GSBN@...] On Behalf Of Chug.
Sent: Wednesday, March 08, 2006 8:45 AM
To: GSBN
Subject: Re: GSBN:Loadbearing sb with moisture damage


Hi David

Thanks for this, I was just going to ask what are peoples latest 'best
practice' methods for the waterproofing detail of SB window and door
openings, as this is one area where I feel there is not much info out
there
and even less in pictures, anyone else got anything on the subject?

bale on
Chug
chug@...<a  target="_blank" href="http://www.strawbale-building.co.uk/";>http://www.strawbale-building.co.uk/</a>
.
- ----- Original Message -----
From: strawnet@...
To: GSBN@...
Sent: Wednesday, March 08, 2006 3:52 PM
Subject: Re: GSBN:Loadbearing sb with moisture damage


Laura, Chris and all,

The issue of good moisture detailing for windows is, in my view, one of
the
most important and most often neglected aspects of sb design and
construction. When you talk with the people who look at moisture
failures in
buildings for a living, this is often cited as the most common or one
of the
most common areas of moisture damage and failure.

   It is a more important issue to get right in bale walls because they
are
susceptible to moisture damage. That it is so often a problem in
conventional construction should not make us less vigilant or diligent.
And
this is important - good design and detailing should never rely on
caulking
as the only method of preventing moisture from getting into the walls
around
windows.

Here is my ideal scenario - what I would like people thinking about as
they
design their detailing for openings in bale structures. There should be
flashing all around the opening that is, in essence "shingled" -
overlapped
starting from the bottom, so that any leaks are directed onto (not
behind)
the next piece of flashing, and eventually, out of the wall. There are a
number of products available with which to do this and this is one place
where I think the judicious use of synthetic materials makes a great
deal of
sense. This flashing should not just be applied over the surface of the
plaster, but should start, ideally, behind it so that the plaster is
actually part of the shingling system.

I'm a big proponent of having a sill pan (which can be made of hard or
soft
waterproof material - could be the same material as the rest of the
flashing), which extends underneath the window and a bit beyond each
side of
it, is turned up at the back and sides (so that water can't run off the
back
or ends into the wall), preferably slopes to the outside, extends
beyond the
exterior finish surface, and has a drip edge.

The less weather exposed the window, the less critical this detailing
is.
But if the wall above the window is going to see rain, ideally we would
have
a piece of flashing that extends above the top of the buck and up
behind the
plaster. I know this is a challenge, especially if you are cutting an
opening into the wall after plastering. But if the top of the buck had
even
a small strip of wood nailed to the top and set back so that it was
behind
the inside surface of the exterior plaster, the flashing could be
attached
to the top of this strip and extend out and down the face of the top of
the
buck. It should be long enough to be able to  overlap over the top of
the
window as well as the top of the side flashing. Then, moisture that got
to
the inside face of the stucco above the window, and moisture that leaked
behind the trim at the top of the window would not be able to end up
inside
the wall or sitting on top of the window buck or the top of the window.

It is important to note that caulking, even the best caulking, is only
going
to reliably last a few years. If it is all that you are depending on to
keep
moisture out, and it is hidden by trim or in places you rarely or ever
inspect and maintain, you have designed in a problem rather than
designing
it out. It's much easier to think these things through before you build
and
if it's too hard to visualize this, build a mock-up, a model, of what
you're
thinking about building and work out the details at full scale where
you can
try different things and even test them...

When I was building, I used to try to think like water - how could I
get in
and how could I get out. Use great care in your efforts to keep water
out,
and, knowing that you will not be able to achieve this completely, take
as
great an amount of care making sure that the water that does get in can
get
out. Of course I also used to think that you "only had to be smarter
than
water" to do this and it turns out that like many others, I had woefully
underestimated the IQ of water...and similarly overestimated my own...

What  I love about this forum is that we are, as a group, so interested
in
learning from our own and others mistakes and discoveries and sharing
that
learning openly.

David Eisenberg

 -----Original Message-----
 From: Laura Bartels laura@...
 To: GSBN GSBN@...
 Sent: Tue, 07 Mar 2006 20:50:30 -0700
 Subject: Re: GSBN:Loadbearing sb with moisture damage

   Regarding cutting out windows after basecoat (or all coats) of
plaster,
   I have always scratched my head over doing good moisture detailing
after
the window does go in. Any comments?  Laura

 Chris Magwood wrote:

  > From our point of view, it took about the same amount of time to  >
frame
everything up first and then stack and plaster compared to  > stacking
and
plastering and cutting out later. The reason we didn't  > keep doing it
this
way? Well, what do you do with a bunch of 3x5  > foot, 21-inch thick
hunks
of bale wall that weigh hundreds of pounds  > each?  >  > 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.
- ----



- ----
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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Checked by AVG Free Edition.
Version: 7.1.375 / Virus Database: 268.2.0/276 - Release Date: 3/7/2006


- ----
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 Mar 2006 11:52:48 -0600
From: Chris Magwood cmagwood@...
Subject: Re: GSBN:Loadbearing sb with moisture damage

David and all,

This is great to be addressing these issues!

I think that there is some hope that the CASBA details will end up
including several good strategies for making good window and door
openings. I don't think there's just one way to do it well, because
the kind of window, its materials, the trim scenario and the position
on the wall all have an affect on the chosen strategy.

I agree with David that relying on caulking is a bad idea. However,
caulkings and/or glues do tend to last a very long time when the
materials they are joining are making fairly full, flush contact with
one another and are not exposed to UV or weather. In the window
cutting arrangement, we had a very flat, straight edge on the cut
plaster, and made the wooden frame inserts so they fit tightly
against that cut plaster. The caulking that seals the two is then
behind the wooden window trim, which is in turn caulked to the face
of the plaster. Water must get behind the trim, and then through the
tight, caulked joint. I felt very confident with this (although I've
never repeated it exactly).

I'm not a big fan of pan-style flashings under the windows. Those
pans always have seams or lumpy bits where they are folded, and these
always seem vulnerable to me. Also, if they are to effectively allow
water to leave the wall, there must be a gap between the underside of
the wooden sill and the pan. If there isn't, then water is just going
to sit under the wood and keep it soaked. If water can run free of
this pan, that means that there is also a gap for air to infiltrate
under the window. If the pan is properly bent and sealed, this air
won't make it right into the home, but it will make the window base
very cold (at least here in Canuckland) and very prone to
condensation on the inside. Also, water under this sill will be prone
to freezing.

My preferred method (submitted to the CASBA details) involves a
window buck in which the bottom sill is made from stock 2-inches
wider than the sides, and is notched into the uprights, bevelled and
has a drip kerf cut into the bottom. By notching the sill into the
uprights (and then gluing the joint), water cannot go through or
around the sill, but follows the bevel away from the wall and rolls
free at the kerf. This means that my "rough" buck sill is actually
visible, so I use nice wood stock that is treated on all sides for
moisture resistance (or some owners metal clad this sill). Lately
I've taken to making this an intentional feature of the home, and
have been using thick slab hardwood for these sills, making them
heavy and distinctive in the wall.

Another thing that I've been doing lately is cutting plaster kerfs
into my frames (or anywhere where plaster will meet wood). A decently
deep kerf will mean that the plaster is not just resting on the
surface of the wood (where it's pretty easy for air and water to get
behind) but is filling the kerf and slowing (not stopping, since the
plaster will shrink a bit) this tendency.

Chris


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

Date: 8 Mar 2006 11:58:32 -0600
From: Chris Magwood cmagwood@...
Subject: Re: GSBN:Loadbearing sb with moisture damage

On a subject related to details talk:

My own details book is reaching the end of its shelf life. I'm
contributing to the CASBA book, which I think will be a great
resource. However, I'm also contemplating doing an update of my book
but offering it for free on the web (or by donation, or some such
thing). Perhaps there is a place for a TLS/GSBN-sponsored site on
which details are posted visually and accompanied by text/debate? I
don't want to undermine the CASBA effort at all, but since there are
so many possibilities and variations and changes happen faster than
books can be published, perhaps we'd all be doing the whole movement
some good by making an open-to-the-public details shop?

If there's any interest in this, I'm happy to throw the contents of
my details book (plus the revisions I'm working on) into the public
domain as a place to start.

Chris


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

Date: 8 Mar 2006 12:16:13 -0600
From: strawnet@...
Subject: Re: GSBN:Loadbearing sb with moisture damage

Chris Magwood, you are a gem...exemplifying perfectly what I said
earlier about what I love about this community of people.

Great idea and very generous of you. I, of course am only speaking for
myself and not for CASBA. I personally think we need both more
formalized and printed (and periodically updated) forms of this kind of
information and a place such as you describe below.

David

- -----Original Message-----
From: Chris Magwood cmagwood@...
To: GSBN GSBN@...
Sent: Wed, 8 Mar 2006 12:47:07 -0500
Subject: Re: GSBN:Loadbearing sb with moisture damage

  On a subject related to details talk:

 My own details book is reaching the end of its shelf life. I'm
 contributing to the CASBA book, which I think will be a great
 resource. However, I'm also contemplating doing an update of my book
 but offering it for free on the web (or by donation, or some such
 thing). Perhaps there is a place for a TLS/GSBN-sponsored site on
 which details are posted visually and accompanied by text/debate? I
 don't want to undermine the CASBA effort at all, but since there are
 so many possibilities and variations and changes happen faster than
 books can be published, perhaps we'd all be doing the whole movement
 some good by making an open-to-the-public details shop?

 If there's any interest in this, I'm happy to throw the contents of
 my details book (plus the revisions I'm working on) into the public
 domain as a place to start.

 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 Mar 2006 12:56:11 -0600
From: jswearingen@...
Subject: RE: GSBN:Loadbearing sb with moisture damage

Hi,

Chris' detail is a good illustration of the questions about waterproofing
fenestration, so I'll be so bold as to Chris as a guinea pig  (do guinea
pigs build straw houses, or is that another kind of pig?).  Chris' rant
against pans shows the problems that might be associated with them:

<I'm not a big fan of pan-style flashings under the windows. Those pans
always have seams or lumpy bits where they are folded, and these always seem
vulnerable to me. Also, if they are to effectively allow water to leave the
wall, there must be a gap between the underside of the wooden sill and the
pan. If there isn't, then water is just going to sit under the wood and keep
it soaked. If water can run free of this pan, that means that there is also
a gap for air to infiltrate under the window. If the pan is properly bent
and sealed, this air won't make it right into the home, but it will make the
window base very cold (at least here in Canuckland) and very prone to
condensation on the inside. Also, water under this sill will be prone to
freezing.>

But we are called upon to do two things that are contradictory: (1) Seal the
assembly from the outside to prevent water from getting in and (2) collect
any water that leaks around the window and let that water get to the
outside.  Chris' explanation of his kerfed sill doesn't show how both of
these are satisfied:

<My preferred method (submitted to the CASBA details) involves a window buck
in which the bottom sill is made from stock 2-inches wider than the sides,
and is notched into the uprights, bevelled and has a drip kerf cut into the
bottom. By notching the sill into the uprights (and then gluing the joint),
water cannot go through or around the sill, but follows the bevel away from
the wall and rolls free at the kerf. >

This is an assumption that, according to the Third Pig's Law of Water
Dynamics, might be unwarranted.  The Third Pig's law is: "Water flows
downhill, except not always."  Water, driven by wind, flows uphill, sideways
and all kinda ways, even filling up Lake Ponchitrain (sp) from behind.  So
we need to address that in detailing, and Chris' explanation doesn't give
all the details:

1. If water is blown over the top of the sill, what's to prevent it from
going under the window and then inside the wall and/or collecting there and
rotting wood, freezing, etd.?
2. What happens at the side of the sill/buck, on the horns, which could
provide an entry into the wall, behind the plaster.
3. What happens if/when water leaks in along the jamb, and falls down to the
sill, behind the plaster.  How will that water get out and/or be prevented
from going into the wall?

Generally this is accomplished by layering, for instance with a sill over a
pan which leaks out under the sill, where the sill provides a mechanical
barrier to water intrusion, and the pan collects water and, protected by the
sill, lets it drain to the outside, and I haven't figured out a way for that
to happen otherwise.

John "except not always" Swearingen



John Swearingen
 SKILLFUL MEANS
design and construction
 HYPERLINK "www.skillful-means.com"www.skillful-means.com


- -----Original Message-----
From: GSBN [HYPERLINK
"<a  target="_blank" href="mailto:GSBN@..."mailto:GSBN@...";>mailto:GSBN@..."mailto:GSBN@...] On
Behalf Of Chris Magwood
Sent: Wednesday, March 08, 2006 9:42 AM
To: GSBN
Subject: Re: GSBN:Loadbearing sb with moisture damage


David and all,

This is great to be addressing these issues!

I think that there is some hope that the CASBA details will end up including
several good strategies for making good window and door openings. I don't
think there's just one way to do it well, because the kind of window, its
materials, the trim scenario and the position on the wall all have an affect
on the chosen strategy.

I agree with David that relying on caulking is a bad idea. However,
caulkings and/or glues do tend to last a very long time when the materials
they are joining are making fairly full, flush contact with one another and
are not exposed to UV or weather. In the window cutting arrangement, we had
a very flat, straight edge on the cut plaster, and made the wooden frame
inserts so they fit tightly against that cut plaster. The caulking that
seals the two is then behind the wooden window trim, which is in turn
caulked to the face of the plaster. Water must get behind the trim, and then
through the tight, caulked joint. I felt very confident with this (although
I've never repeated it exactly).

I'm not a big fan of pan-style flashings under the windows. Those pans
always have seams or lumpy bits where they are folded, and these always seem
vulnerable to me. Also, if they are to effectively allow water to leave the
wall, there must be a gap between the underside of the wooden sill and the
pan. If there isn't, then water is just going to sit under the wood and keep
it soaked. If water can run free of this pan, that means that there is also
a gap for air to infiltrate under the window. If the pan is properly bent
and sealed, this air won't make it right into the home, but it will make the
window base very cold (at least here in Canuckland) and very prone to
condensation on the inside. Also, water under this sill will be prone to
freezing.

My preferred method (submitted to the CASBA details) involves a window buck
in which the bottom sill is made from stock 2-inches wider than the sides,
and is notched into the uprights, bevelled and has a drip kerf cut into the
bottom. By notching the sill into the uprights (and then gluing the joint),
water cannot go through or around the sill, but follows the bevel away from
the wall and rolls free at the kerf. This means that my "rough" buck sill is
actually visible, so I use nice wood stock that is treated on all sides for
moisture resistance (or some owners metal clad this sill). Lately I've taken
to making this an intentional feature of the home, and have been using thick
slab hardwood for these sills, making them heavy and distinctive in the
wall.

Another thing that I've been doing lately is cutting plaster kerfs into my
frames (or anywhere where plaster will meet wood). A decently deep kerf will
mean that the plaster is not just resting on the surface of the wood (where
it's pretty easy for air and water to get
behind) but is filling the kerf and slowing (not stopping, since the plaster
will shrink a bit) this tendency.

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.  
- ----


- -- 
No virus found in this incoming message.
Checked by AVG Free Edition.
Version: 7.1.375 / Virus Database: 268.2.1/277 - Release Date: 3/8/2006
 

- -- 
No virus found in this outgoing message.
Checked by AVG Free Edition.
Version: 7.1.375 / Virus Database: 268.2.1/277 - Release Date: 3/8/2006
 


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

Date: 8 Mar 2006 13:02:36 -0600
From: strawnet@...
Subject: Re: GSBN:Loadbearing sb with moisture damage

Chris,

All good points and although we may have some differences of opinion on
some bits, I think you bring up both some good solutions and some
issues for more discussion. It's worth thinking about this issue of
pans from a conceptual standpoint as much as from the practical issues
you raise. This is not always the case - since concepts and realities
are often at odds with each other, but I say this because what I think
is most essential here is that we are thinking about devising ways to
accomplish multiple goals in the most effective and hopefully,
environmentally responsible, efficient and aesthetic ways we can.

What we are trying to do is to ensure the longevity of the walls around
openings by minimizing the ability of water to get in and maximizing
the ability of water that does get in to get out. We have to consider
things like thermal bridging and condensation, freeze-thaw cycles,
capilarity, sequencing of installation, ease of ensuring reasonable
dependability both in installation and in service over time, including
maintainability. And, I think we should assume certain things. Windows
leak. Plasters and wood can crack and do move and what I like to see is
thinking that goes beyond (or behind or under) the first layer of
protection for when that happens. Like your plaster kerfs that minimize
the problem by design and detailing.

While I don't want to scare people about these things, I also have
heard too many people dismiss them as not being such a big problem.
Dealing with a few buildings and the unhappy and unfortunate owners of
them when they do fail has just reinforced in me the need to pay
attention to them all the way through, from initial design to the final
detailing.

David

- -----Original Message-----
From: Chris Magwood cmagwood@...
To: GSBN GSBN@...
Sent: Wed, 8 Mar 2006 12:42:07 -0500
Subject: Re: GSBN:Loadbearing sb with moisture damage

  David and all,

 This is great to be addressing these issues!

 I think that there is some hope that the CASBA details will end up
 including several good strategies for making good window and door
 openings. I don't think there's just one way to do it well, because
 the kind of window, its materials, the trim scenario and the position
 on the wall all have an affect on the chosen strategy.

 I agree with David that relying on caulking is a bad idea. However,
 caulkings and/or glues do tend to last a very long time when the
 materials they are joining are making fairly full, flush contact with
 one another and are not exposed to UV or weather. In the window
 cutting arrangement, we had a very flat, straight edge on the cut
 plaster, and made the wooden frame inserts so they fit tightly
 against that cut plaster. The caulking that seals the two is then
 behind the wooden window trim, which is in turn caulked to the face
 of the plaster. Water must get behind the trim, and then through the
 tight, caulked joint. I felt very confident with this (although I've
 never repeated it exactly).

 I'm not a big fan of pan-style flashings under the windows. Those
 pans always have seams or lumpy bits where they are folded, and these
 always seem vulnerable to me. Also, if they are to effectively allow
 water to leave the wall, there must be a gap between the underside of
 the wooden sill and the pan. If there isn't, then water is just going
 to sit under the wood and keep it soaked. If water can run free of
 this pan, that means that there is also a gap for air to infiltrate
 under the window. If the pan is properly bent and sealed, this air
 won't make it right into the home, but it will make the window base
 very cold (at least here in Canuckland) and very prone to
 condensation on the inside. Also, water under this sill will be prone
 to freezing.

 My preferred method (submitted to the CASBA details) involves a
 window buck in which the bottom sill is made from stock 2-inches
 wider than the sides, and is notched into the uprights, bevelled and
 has a drip kerf cut into the bottom. By notching the sill into the
 uprights (and then gluing the joint), water cannot go through or
 around the sill, but follows the bevel away from the wall and rolls
 free at the kerf. This means that my "rough" buck sill is actually
 visible, so I use nice wood stock that is treated on all sides for
 moisture resistance (or some owners metal clad this sill). Lately
 I've taken to making this an intentional feature of the home, and
 have been using thick slab hardwood for these sills, making them
 heavy and distinctive in the wall.

 Another thing that I've been doing lately is cutting plaster kerfs
 into my frames (or anywhere where plaster will meet wood). A decently
 deep kerf will mean that the plaster is not just resting on the
 surface of the wood (where it's pretty easy for air and water to get
 behind) but is filling the kerf and slowing (not stopping, since the
 plaster will shrink a bit) this tendency.

 Chris
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----------------------------------------------------------------------

Date: 8 Mar 2006 16:43:58 -0600
From: "Bohdan Dorniak &amp; Co Pty Ltd" bdco@...
Subject: Re: GSBN:Loadbearing sb with moisture damage

Hi Chris
You use the word "kerf" not sure what that means.
But totally agree with your idea of the larger timber sill.
I have also used ceramic tiles as a window sill.
Bohdan
- ----- Original Message -----
From: "Chris Magwood" cmagwood@...
To: "GSBN" GSBN@...
Sent: Thursday, March 09, 2006 1:18 AM
Subject: Re: GSBN:Loadbearing sb with moisture damage


> Laura,
>
> We made lightweight bucks out of 1x4 material which fit tightly
> against the cut plaster of the opening. These were caulked into
> place, and the bottom sill was made of 2x6 material and had a bevel
> cut into the top and a drip kerf cut underneath. The three sides of
> the buck that were 1x4 were flush to the plaster and the bottom sill
> was 2 inches proud of the plaster. Wooden trim was attached to the
> 1x4s to cover the joint.
>
> It seemed as good as window detail with the bucks pre-framed into the
> wall. The biggest bonus of all was that we didn't develop any of the
> shrinkage cracks that can typically form from the corners of the
> windows to the top or bottom of the wall.
>
> Chris
>
>
> On 7-Mar-06, at 10:50 PM, Laura Bartels wrote:
>
>> Regarding cutting out windows after basecoat (or all coats) of
>> plaster,
>> I have always scratched my head over doing good moisture detailing
>> after
>> the window does go in. Any comments?
>> Laura
>>
>> Chris Magwood wrote:
>>
>>
>>> From our point of view, it took about the same amount of time to
>>> frame everything up first and then stack and plaster compared to
>>> stacking and plastering and cutting out later. The reason we didn't
>>> keep doing it this way? Well, what do you do with a bunch of 3x5
>>> foot, 21-inch thick hunks of bale wall that weigh hundreds of pounds
>>> each?
>>>
>>> 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.  ----
>>
>>
>
> Chris Magwood
> cmagwood@...
> 613-473-1718
>
>
> ----
> 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
> ine.  ----
>



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