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Re: GSBN:Moisture research

Dear Martin, Dirk and others

Thank you very much for your support. The responses I have gotten in the
last few hours are so encouraging and it goes on...

During my research, I found a number of studies that have explored the
microorganism population on straw over time either in laboratories or in the
field. The  classic paper: "How Straw Decomposes"  by Summers, Blunk and
Jenkins focuses on the quantity of population on rice straw during
decomposition in a low moisture content environment in sealed containers.

Does anyone know if a similar study (quantity development of microorganisms
over time) has ever been done on straw directly in a wall?

There are many practices developed by experience that help to prevent
moisture failure of a straw bale construction (the questionnaires I received
so far summarize them nicely). One of them is impeccable, but "breathable"
plaster. I feel that  simple research over a longer period of time on
development of microorganism quantity on straw in walls covered with
different plasters could lead to potential improvements in  straw bale
technology. The influence of plaster on microorganism growth could be quite
complex - for example the moist earth plaster swells up air tight,
preventing oxygen availability for decomposition, lime is natural
microorganism killer, etc.

GrAT, The Center for Appropriate Technology at the Vienna University of
Technology - is carrying out similar long term research. I'm trying to
contact them, but they haven't  responded. It seems that the results aren't
available yet.

And please, to those who haven't done so yet, don't forget to fill out the

Thank you.

Very best wishes


----- Original Message -----
From: "Dirk Scharmer- FSB" ds@...
To: "'GSBN'" GSBN@...
Sent: Wednesday, April 19, 2006 10:14 AM
Subject: RE: GSBN:Moisture research

Dear Kuba,
I'm happy that you do this work. We're doing some moisture research too.

- Moisture/ temperature monitoring on 4 houses - one is being monitored
since November, 2004.
- Dynamic moisture transport simulation with WUFI
- Mold analyzing of embedded straw

The goal is to find the best prevention against moisture failure of a
bale construction and to get this in a buidling code.

In the next weeks we'll start a comprehensive research project with more
simulations, monitoring and analyzing. Our work and your work would fit
together perfectly to describe the complex mold problem of straw bales.
way to come more from the practical side may be the more significant one
the building site. The way of simulating and mold analyzing for me seems
be a good way to fit the requirements of the german building authorities.
Our first general approval for straw bales as an insulation material is
mainly based on simulations. Unfortunately we were not able to prove the
mold resistance of directly earth plastered straw bales, but we hope to do
this with the upcoming research.
We are working together with the Fraunhofer Institut fuer Bauphysik,

Let's get in contact!

Perhabs you would like to join our anual straw bale meeting in august,
18th-20th. There are some other international guests.

But anyway, I think we'll meet not later than ISBBC in Lakefield, do we?

You'll get my filled out questionaire immediately.



Fachverband Strohballenbau Deutschland e.V.
Auf der Ruebekuhle 10
D- 21335 Lueneburg
Tel. 00 49 4131- 727804
Fax. 00 49 4131- 727805
Internet: www.fasba.de
Email: ds@...

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