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GSBN: Digest for 3/9/06



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


-> Re:SB animal sheds
     by Andrew Webb design@...
-> RE: GSBN:Loadbearing sb with moisture damage
     by duncan@...
-> Re: GSBN:Loadbearing sb with moisture damage
     by duncan@...
-> RE: GSBN:Loadbearing sb with moisture damage
     by jswearingen@...
-> Re: GSBN:Loadbearing sb with moisture damage
     by Athena & Bill Steen absteen@...
-> Re: GSBN:Loadbearing sb with moisture damage
     by Joyce Coppinger jc10508@...
-> Re: GSBN:PROPOSAL: electronic bulletin
     by Judyknox42@...
-> RE: GSBN:Loadbearing sb with moisture damage
     by jswearingen@...
-> Re: GSBN:Loadbearing sb with moisture damage
     by "Bohdan Dorniak & Co Pty Ltd" bdco@...


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

Date: 9 Mar 2006 00:25:51 -0600
From: Andrew Webb design@...
Subject: Re:SB animal sheds

Thanks for your thoughts, Bob.

Cement is out of the question even if it was a good idea and lime is
also difficult due to transportation and cost.  Also, in a situation
like this both of those carry health risks for the builders that would
be good to avoid completely.  So, it is earth render or nothing - that
makes maintenance easier too; if you can say anything is easy in the
Himalayas.  The earth render is likely to be low quality as in most
cases it will be quite sandy and porous with not much chance of
obtaining clay from anywhere.

The animal sheds I have in mind are not as luxurious as 'barn' implies
and would be quite close quarters (within reason of course).  There is
the potential for animals to be snowed-in for a time so damage to the
walls is likely.  If maintenance is the only fall-back position, so be
it.  But if there is something, however modest, that could be done in
detailing or render, it would be worthwhile.  Whitewash should be
reasonably easy to obtain and that might deter licking?  Nothing will
deter kicking, leaning or urinating though.

Without a time-consuming, potentially costly, and limited-use training
course I can imagine many of the owners would not pay enough attention
to maintenance.  On the face of it, what's wrong with a bit of straw
sticking out of the wall of the shed?  Of course, that is asking for
failure of the wall particularly as the interior could be quite humid.
Cost aside, the best design would have mud brick walls wrapped by straw
walls for more thermal mass and durability inside and insulation
outside.  Then there is the problem of providing sufficient roof
overhangs in a place where timber is at a premium and long lengths are
hard to find if you could afford them.

Not easy and I'm not sure if it is worthwhile pursuing straw bale in
this case given all the difficulties and therefore the uncertainty of
its longevity.  If straw is viable it will still be in limited supply.
I would rather see it used for people's sleeping rooms (and not the rest
of the house) than for animal shelters.

- -Andrew

>
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Subject:
> GSBN:SB animal sheds
> From:
> "Bob Bolles" Bob@...
> Date:
> Tue, 7 Mar 2006 17:39:20 -0800
> To:
> "GSBN" GSBN@...
>
> To:
> "GSBN" GSBN@...
>
>
> Andrew,
> If the soils are salty, it seems unlikely to me that the animals will
> have a
> preference of the salt in the wall plaster over the salt in the soil.
>
> I take the opposite approach regarding plastering animal shelters
> (barns to
> us). I would be considerably more concerned with the animals damaging
> themselves then the damage to the walls. The walls can be easily
> replastered
> as required. An animal injuring itself would be of much greater
> consequences.
> I would not use a cement or lime plaster on the interior of an animal
> shelter for just that reason.
> Regards~
> bb
>
> Bob Bolles
> Bob@...
> www.StrawBaleHouse.com
> San Diego California, USA
>


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

Date: 9 Mar 2006 04:49:04 -0600
From: duncan@...
Subject: RE: GSBN:Loadbearing sb with moisture damage

On Tue, 2006-03-07 at 14:13 -0800, John Swearingen wrote:
> and this particular project was in a
> location that gets brutal wind and rain, so we were doing everything
> possible to make a tight shell. 
Is this something you would recommend in similar circumstances? Or are
there better ways to get that extra bit of tighness out of the building
envelope?

Duncan
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----------------------------------------------------------------------

Date: 9 Mar 2006 10:00:51 -0600
From: duncan@...
Subject: Re: GSBN:Loadbearing sb with moisture damage

On Wed, 2006-03-08 at 12:47 -0500, Chris Magwood wrote:
> 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, if you send it to me in some text form (pdf is problematic) then
I would be very happy to put it into wikisource (<a  target="_blank" href="http://wikisource.org";>http://wikisource.org</a>)
as a finished book and then weave it into the current wikibook
(<a  target="_blank" href="http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Straw_Bale_Construction";>http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Straw_Bale_Construction</a> )

It would be of great value - and doing it this way in no way limits a
future potential CASBA/GSBN site.

Duncan
wikisource:
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----------------------------------------------------------------------

Date: 9 Mar 2006 10:11:49 -0600
From: jswearingen@...
Subject: RE: GSBN:Loadbearing sb with moisture damage

The best solution is to chink any cracks with straw-clay.

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 Duncan Lithgow
Sent: Thursday, March 09, 2006 2:40 AM
To: GSBN
Subject: RE: GSBN:Loadbearing sb with moisture damage


On Tue, 2006-03-07 at 14:13 -0800, John Swearingen wrote:
> and this particular project was in a
> location that gets brutal wind and rain, so we were doing everything 
> possible to make a tight shell.
Is this something you would recommend in similar circumstances? Or are there
better ways to get that extra bit of tighness out of the building envelope?

Duncan
- -- 
Linux user #372812, GPG Encryption Key ID 21A8C63A, available on
Jabber/GoogleTalk, msn and yahoo with the help of Gaim. Yes - a nerd.


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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.  
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----------------------------------------------------------------------

Date: 9 Mar 2006 10:29:56 -0600
From: Athena &amp; Bill Steen absteen@...
Subject: Re: GSBN:Loadbearing sb with moisture damage

Let me start with the easiest thing to say which is that I agree with
David wholeheartedly.  Having gone through this discussion numerous
times over the years it seems to me that the place where a lot of
people get stuck is how to incorporate the "pan" approach in
conjunction with the way that window bucks are most typically placed
in straw bale walls.  To get around this we changed our window buck
design so as to make it a whole lot easier.  I assume that something
similar or identical to the way we do it will be forthcoming in the
CASBA details but let me take a brief shot at describing what I'm
talking about.  I find it much easier to use a pair of vertical 2xs
either side of the window opening that run from the foundation to the
roof plate/beam.  On the back side of those uprights we are attaching
a buck that is built out of 2x6s  configured like a picture/photo
frame so that the flat/wider side is facing forward.  This sets the
window slightly back from the outer surface of the wall where it is a
little more protected.  With this configuration a sill can be
attached to the buck and uprights and for that matter can be
replicated above the window so as to achieve what David pointed out.
With this approach Anyhow, to make this short, with this
configuration it becomes very easy to create the equivalent of a pan
either using peel and stick type membranes/metal or what have you.
Another advantage to this approach is that it allows any number of
different approaches for final detailing/plastering around the window.

Bill

Athena &amp; Bill Steen
The Canelo Project
HC1 Box 324
Canelo/Elgin, AZ 85611
absteen@...
www.caneloproject.com


On Mar 8, 2006, at 11:51 AM, strawnet@...:

> 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
> ----
>  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: 9 Mar 2006 10:33:00 -0600
From: Joyce Coppinger jc10508@...
Subject: Re: GSBN:Loadbearing sb with moisture damage

Chris,

I'm on deadline today...will give your idea some thought and respond soon.

Joyce

on 3.8.2006 11:47 AM, Chris Magwood at cmagwood@...:

> 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: 9 Mar 2006 11:08:05 -0600
From: Judyknox42@...
Subject: Re: GSBN:PROPOSAL: electronic bulletin

I would very much appreciate the time people take to create this bulletin,
and would be very interested in reading it.  Thanks for initiating this,
Duncan.
Judy

Judy Knox and Matts Myhrman
Out On Bale
1037 E. Linden St.
Tucson, Az  85719
520-622-6896
judyknox42@...
mattsmyhrman@...

Each of us can and must champion the evolutionary breakthroughs necessary to
sustain all life.  The journey of a champion is difficult, AND our access to a
joyful life.
Judy Knox


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

Date: 9 Mar 2006 11:36:07 -0600
From: jswearingen@...
Subject: RE: GSBN:Loadbearing sb with moisture damage

Hmmmmm.....
Beel sayed....

..... On the back side of those uprights we are attaching a buck that is
built out of 2x6s  configured like a picture/photo frame so that the
flat/wider side is facing forward.....  With this configuration a sill can
be attached to the buck and uprights....
....and for that matter can be replicated above the window so as to achieve
what David pointed out..... it becomes very easy to create the equivalent of
a pan either using peel and stick type membranes/metal or what have you.

So, what you mean is you can use the buck/frame to attach a sill that's
independent of the window itself as well as the bales, and that the
buck/frame gives you a good attachment surface?  And what did David say
about "above the window"?

John "Peeling Schtick" Swearingen


John Swearingen
 SKILLFUL MEANS
design and construction
 HYPERLINK "www.skillful-means.com"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@...
<<a  target="_blank" href="mailto:GSBN@...";>mailto:GSBN@...> ] On Behalf Of Athena &amp; Bill Steen
Sent: Thursday, March 09, 2006 8:17 AM
To: GSBN
Subject: Re: GSBN:Loadbearing sb with moisture damage


..... On the back side of those uprights we are attaching a buck that is
built out of 2x6s  configured like a picture/photo frame so that the
flat/wider side is facing forward.  This sets the window slightly back from
the outer surface of the wall where it is a little more protected.  With
this configuration a sill can be attached to the buck and uprights and for
that matter can be replicated above the window so as to achieve what David
pointed out..... it becomes very easy to create the equivalent of a pan
either using peel and stick type membranes/metal or what have you. Another
advantage to this approach is that it allows any number of different
approaches for final detailing/plastering around the window.

Bill

Athena &amp; Bill Steen
The Canelo Project
HC1 Box 324
Canelo/Elgin, AZ 85611
absteen@...
HYPERLINK "www.caneloproject.com"www.caneloproject.com
<www.caneloproject.com> 


On Mar 8, 2006, at 11:51 AM, strawnet@...:

> 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
> ----
>  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.
>

>

- ----
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: 9 Mar 2006 17:34:03 -0600
From: "Bohdan Dorniak &amp; Co Pty Ltd" bdco@...
Subject: Re: GSBN:Loadbearing sb with moisture damage

In South Australia we can't use too much timber as there is a problem with
termites and the range of timber is very limited - Pinus Radiata. We tend to
either use Cypress Pine (termite resistant) or steel.
And like Bill Steen's note we tend to place columns either side of window
openings. It gives a better finish to the straightness for windows and also
for a rendering (stucccoing). There is less clean up of render also.

Bohdan

- ----- Original Message -----
From: "Athena &amp; Bill Steen" absteen@...
To: "GSBN" GSBN@...
Sent: Friday, March 10, 2006 2:47 AM
Subject: Re: GSBN:Loadbearing sb with moisture damage


> Let me start with the easiest thing to say which is that I agree with
> David wholeheartedly.  Having gone through this discussion numerous
> times over the years it seems to me that the place where a lot of
> people get stuck is how to incorporate the "pan" approach in
> conjunction with the way that window bucks are most typically placed
> in straw bale walls.  To get around this we changed our window buck
> design so as to make it a whole lot easier.  I assume that something
> similar or identical to the way we do it will be forthcoming in the
> CASBA details but let me take a brief shot at describing what I'm
> talking about.  I find it much easier to use a pair of vertical 2xs
> either side of the window opening that run from the foundation to the
> roof plate/beam.  On the back side of those uprights we are attaching
> a buck that is built out of 2x6s  configured like a picture/photo
> frame so that the flat/wider side is facing forward.  This sets the
> window slightly back from the outer surface of the wall where it is a
> little more protected.  With this configuration a sill can be
> attached to the buck and uprights and for that matter can be
> replicated above the window so as to achieve what David pointed out.
> With this approach Anyhow, to make this short, with this
> configuration it becomes very easy to create the equivalent of a pan
> either using peel and stick type membranes/metal or what have you.
> Another advantage to this approach is that it allows any number of
> different approaches for final detailing/plastering around the window.
>
> Bill
>
> Athena &amp; Bill Steen
> The Canelo Project
> HC1 Box 324
> Canelo/Elgin, AZ 85611
> absteen@...
> www.caneloproject.com
>
>
> On Mar 8, 2006, at 11:51 AM, strawnet@...:
>
>> 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
>> ----
>>  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
> ine.  ----
>



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