[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

GSBN: Digest for 4/26/06



This message contains a digest of the messages posted to the list today. If
you reply to this message, please be sure to change the subject line to
something meaningful. Also, be careful not to include the entire text of this
message in your reply.


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


-> Re: GSBN:fire test -- your opinions?
     by billc_lists@...
-> RE: GSBN:SBH with moisture-related problems
     by "Rikki  Nitzkin" rikkinitzkin@...
-> Re: GSBN:fire test -- your opinions?
     by Marcus marcus1@...
-> Re: GSBN:fire test -- your opinions?
     by "Chug." chug@...
-> Re: GSBN:fire test -- your opinions?
     by "Chug." chug@...
-> RE: GSBN:fire test -- your opinions?
     by jswearingen@...
-> RE: GSBN:fire test -- your opinions?
     by "Dan Smith" dan@...
-> Re: GSBN:fire test -- your opinions?
     by Ben bobregon@...
-> Re: GSBN:fire test -- your opinions?
     by strawnet@...
-> Re: GSBN:fire test -- your opinions?
     by Derek Roff derek@...
-> Re: fire test -- your opinions?
     by archilogic@...
-> Re: GSBN:fire test -- your opinions?
     by strawnet@...
-> Re: GSBN:Re: fire test -- your opinions?
     by strawnet@...
-> GSBN:Re: fire test -- your opinions?
     by "Strawbalefutures" info@...
-> Lime Wash
     by jeff@...
-> Re: GSBN:Re: fire test -- your opinions?
     by strawnet@...
-> RE: GSBN:Re: fire test -- your opinions?
     by jswearingen@...
-> Re: GSBN:Re: fire test -- your opinions?
     by Andrew Webb design@...
-> Re: GSBN:Re: fire test -- your opinions?
     by Athena & Bill Steen absteen@...
-> RE: GSBN:Re: fire test -- your opinions?
     by jswearingen@...


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

Date: 26 Apr 2006 02:12:40 -0600
From: billc_lists@...
Subject: Re: GSBN:fire test -- your opinions?

Hi all,

Interesting points re: edge vs flat, cement vs cement-lime vs lime vs
earthen plasters.

I think it's clear that order to really get the full data, more than
two tests will need to be done. Typically in a scientific procedure
you'd change just one variable at a time, for instance bales on edge
vs bales flat, with all other variables (plaster, etc) remaining the
same. Then you'd vary another constraint, such as the plaster types,
so that if you'd already done edge vs flat with one type of render
you'd be able to predict how the performance would vary (or not)
using different plasters as a result of bale orientation.  Otherwise
you have trouble saying exactly what caused any difference you may
have observed.

I personally don't think that we'll see a huge difference between
edge vs flat, though I can certainly see the reasoning behind doing
such tests to be sure.  I don't think molten strings are going to
make much difference, especially in a test wall which is built within
a four sided frame - it's not likely that the straw is going to go
anywhere. The question is more a matter of how heat is transferred
through the bale - do the hollow straws allow it to move faster
through flat bales?  Do vertical straws cause heat to move to the top
more quickly, causing failure there?


Regarding plasters, curiosity got the best of me and I pulled some
numbers from the SB Registry to see just what people are using on
their walls.  For exterior walls, they can choose from:

cement plaster
earth or clay plaster
lime plaster
wood siding over plastered bales
wood siding over unplastered bales
other - Describe if other

or any combination of the above.  Of those who reported their
exterior finish, the resulting numbers are:

Exteriors:

Cement only: 235

Earth only: 72

Earth/lime: 34

Lime only: 51

with a scattering of other strange combinations (perhaps different
treatments for different walls).  For interior walls, they can choose
from:

cement plaster
earth or clay plaster
lime plaster
gypsum plaster
wood
sheetrock
other - Describe if other

or any combination.  The resulting numbers are:


Interiors:

Cement only: 116

Cement plus other: 39 (includes cement & gypsum, cement & sheetrock,
cement & wood, etc)

Earth only: 94

Earth & Gypsum: 13

Earth & lime: 13

earth & other: 15

and again, a few who did other, more bizarre combinations.


So though these numbers are by no means definitive, it looks to me
that cement beats earth for exteriors in general by about 2 to 1, but
they're pretty close to an even match for interiors.

Which then begs the question:  Are we testing for fire resistance of
interior walls or exterior, or both?

On the flat vs edge orientation, I see 316 flat vs 84 on edge.

I don't know if those numbers will help anyone make a decision, but I
figured I'd throw them out there.  There's more reported use of earth
plaster than I expected there to be.


- --
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>>


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

Date: 26 Apr 2006 03:12:50 -0600
From: "Rikki  Nitzkin" rikkinitzkin@...
Subject: RE: GSBN:SBH with moisture-related problems

But the use of the rice hull
> is
> limited in that it serves only as an insulation material. The next
> challenge
> that I see would be to make structural members out of rice hulls

Have you tried using what we call I spain "Clascalita" (1 part lime, 1 part
cement, 8 parts rice hulls and water)? Here we use it for floors in
thicknesses up to 15 cm.  It gets very hard, though in a vertical position I
don't know how it would hold up.  Reinforcing it with bamboo maybe?

Rikki Nitzkin
Aulas, Lleida, Espana
rikkinitzkin@...
(0034)657 33 51 62 
www.casasdepaja.com (Red de Construccion con Balas de Paja)
 





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

Date: 26 Apr 2006 10:46:53 -0600
From: Marcus marcus1@...
Subject: Re: GSBN:fire test -- your opinions?

billc_lists@...:

<snip>
> I don't know if those numbers will help anyone make a decision, but I
> figured I'd throw them out there.  There's more reported use of earth
> plaster than I expected there to be.

I suspect if an analysis over time were available it would
show earth render gaining in popularity. In NoCal that's
certainly been a trend. As we learn more about using clay
and lime and as building officials become more accepting of
   alternatives to cement render, the ratio moves. In the
'early days' SB in this area was almost exclusively cement
plastered. (And some building contractors still won't
consider anything else.)

While I appreciate the limited capacity and time constraints
of the proposed testing, and agree that most
urban/commercial type projects needing a fire rating would
be concrete, it seems that the general fire insurance aspect
might have an impact on all SB structures. If the tests were
to show a two hour rating (or better), the underwriters
might be a little more friendly to bale wall structures.
It's conceivable that insurance could be easier to come by
and rates might be lower which would have an impact on the
whole SB community.

It seems that orientation of the bales would be less
important than type of render. The straw is just insulation
and a substrate for the plaster. I'd suggest both test walls
be edge stacked (answer that popping string question) - one
with portland/lime and the other clay rendered. Do the tests
and see what happens. Write it up and show the videos &amp;c. If
it seems warranted perhaps there could be a later round of
testing based on analysis of the results.

Marcus



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

Date: 26 Apr 2006 11:43:13 -0600
From: "Chug." chug@...
Subject: Re: GSBN:fire test -- your opinions?

Hi Baleheads

in the SB fire tests Barbara and Bee were involved with in the UK, even though
the render didn't seal to the metal frame of the test
jig very well it still took over two hours to reach failure with lime rendered
straw bales.
I copy the results which Bee sent to me below.

bale on
Chug
chug@...
<a  target="_blank" href="http://www.strawbale-building.co.uk/";>http://www.strawbale-building.co.uk/</a>

The results I've attached are for one of the tests, the one which used the
small regular bales.  I think this will be most useful for you. The other
test used larger bales, and performed very similarly, though it failed a
little later at 164 mins.

The test was what is known as an 'indicative' test, as opposed to one fully
in accordance with the standards - when it says in the report that 'the full
requirements of the standards were not, however, complied with', all that is
meant by that is that it was not conducted in the 3m x 3m test frame... this
is the required test size for a wall, in order to test to the accepted
british standards.  Our test was conducted in 1.5 x 1.5m test frames.  This
was because they were too frightened about the possibility of burning straw
igniting the filters in the flue from a big, burning wall!  They absolutely
refused to perform it in the large test rig because of this fear.  The tests
were delayed for a considerable time because of this, and eventually they
agreed to run them in smaller test frames.  However, it does mean that the
results from these small test frames (1.5m x 1.5m) are not as good as those
that I believe would be achieved in their large frame - because the large
frame, built of steel, has a ram which pushes upwards, so loading the wall -
giving it realistic compression.  In our frames, we simply had to cut some
timber wedges and hammer them in at the top to give the wall stablility/ as
much compression as we could. You'll note from the observations that after
only 50 minutes, the top edge of the wall moved out of  the frame away from
the furnace by 15mm... and continues to move outwards.  This would not of
course happen in loadbearing design.  So these tests go some way to
emulating infill results, not loadbearing, which I am certain would be
significantly better.

They are only allowed to make observations, not comments, on the performance
of the materials.  However, James was able to say to me that the performance
of the wall based on these results, was extremely good.
The tests look at two things:

Integrity
Insulation.

Integrity failed on the small bales wall after 135 mins (ignited cotton wool
test pad).  This is over 2 hours. Minimum building regs requirements on most
materials is 30 mins.  (Some places will require up to 2 hours - this
complies).

Insulation - this shows that the wall provides 144mins of insulation which
is extremely good.  Their tests allow up to 180 degrees on an individual
thermocouple and 140 degrees in domino effect over 5 thermacouples... this
was only 65 degrees after 144 minutes.  Don't know if there is a building
regs requirement here, but this would definitely comply.

We hope to get funding to run the larger test at some point, thereby getting
the official stamp of approval on them/british standards compliance.  But
til then, these results can definitely be quoted as official, indicative BRE
fire test results - and you can see that they easily comply with the stiffer
building reg requirements, and perform far better than minimum building regs
requirements.

Test 216578


Results of the indicative fire resistance test carried out, on 9 June 2004 for
a duration of 146 minutes on a rendered straw bale
wall, 1.5m x 1.5m, using agricultural grade straw.  The furnace heating regime
and appropriate procedures and criteria of BS 476:
Part 20/22: 1987 were utilised for the test using a furnace 1.5m x 1.5m x
1.5m.



The straw bales were of rye straw, measuring 460mm wide x 350mm high and
1020mm long.  All the bales except one had to be cut and
twined in order to form blocks of a suitable size for the wall.  The bales
were laid flat, with staggered joints, within a steel
frame lined with masonry blocks and lintel.  The bales were packed into the
frame as tightly as possible using timber wedges and a
timber plate along the top edge.  A stonewool blanket gasket was fitted
between the bales and the test frame.  Each face of the wall
was coated with a traditional lime render comprising 1 part lime putty, 3
parts well-graded sand and 10% metastar burnt china clay
The wall was constructed on 15th March 2004.  The base render layer was
completed on 16th March 2004.  The 3rd and final render
layer was applied on 25th March 2004.  A lime wash was applied on 1st April
2004.  Shortly before the test a few fine cracks were
visible on the unexposed face, none were observed on the exposed face.



The unexposed face temperature of the wall was recorded during the test by
means of five thermocouples.  One was located at the
centre, and one was located at the centre of each quarter section.


The following observations were made during the test.  Unless otherwise stated
they are of the unexposed face:



Table  1 Observations


      Time

      Mins
     Observation

      0



      45



      50





      67



      78





      78



      86



      105



      117



      126





      135



      135





      135









      146
     Test started



      Smoke issuing from interface of top edge of wall and lintel



      Top edge of wall moved out of frame away from the furnace by
approximately 15mm



      Top edge of wall moved outwards a further 5mm



      Crack, approximately 60mm long x 1mm wide, developed in the central area
of the exposed face



      Issue of smoke increased



      Top edge of wall moved outwards a further 5mm



      Top edge of wall moved outwards to a total of approximately 36mm



      Top edge of wall moved outwards to a total of approximately 44mm



      Gap, up to 10mm wide, developed between centre of top of wall and lintel
due to the top edge of the wall bowing downwards



      Top edge of wall moved outwards to a total of approximately 65mm



      Sparks and loud popping noises emitted from top edge of wall





      Hot gases issuing from gap at top edge of wall ignited cotton-wool test
pad (integrity failure).  Width of gap increased up to
a maximum of approximately 18mm at centre.





      Entire wall fell out of frame.  Test stopped.








Integrity failure first occurred after 135min at the top edge of the wall. 
The specimen is shown before and after test in the
attached photos.



The maximum temperature measured on the unexposed face was 65 degrees C
recorded after 144min from the start of the test.  The
temperature recorded by the unexposed face thermocouples are shown plotted
against time in the attached graph.


These test results relate to an investigation which utilised the test
methodology given in BS 476:  Part 20/22. The full
requirements of the standards were not, however complied with.  The
information is provided for the test sponsor's information only
and should not be used to demonstrate performance against the standard nor
compliance with a regulatory requirement.  The test was
not conducted under the requirements of UKAS accreditation.


This report is made on behalf of BRE.  By receiving the report and acting on
it, the client - or any third party relying on it -
accepts that no individual is personally liable in contract, tort or breach of
statutory duty (including negligence).



James Knight

Senior Testing Consultant

For &amp; on behalf of BRE



&amp; R A Jones

Associate Director

For &amp; on behalf of BRE






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

Date: 26 Apr 2006 11:57:57 -0600
From: "Chug." chug@...
Subject: Re: GSBN:fire test -- your opinions?

Apologies the formatting broke down in the sending, the minutes should line up
with the text like this


      0



      45



      50





      67



      78





      78



      86



      105



      117



      126





      135



      135





      135









      146
     Test started



      Smoke issuing from interface of top edge of wall and lintel



      Top edge of wall moved out of frame away from the furnace by
approximately 15mm



      Top edge of wall moved outwards a further 5mm



      Crack, approximately 60mm long x 1mm wide, developed in the central area
of the exposed face



      Issue of smoke increased



      Top edge of wall moved outwards a further 5mm



      Top edge of wall moved outwards to a total of approximately 36mm



      Top edge of wall moved outwards to a total of approximately 44mm



      Gap, up to 10mm wide, developed between centre of top of wall and lintel
due to the top edge of the wall bowing downwards



      Top edge of wall moved outwards to a total of approximately 65mm



      Sparks and loud popping noises emitted from top edge of wall





      Hot gases issuing from gap at top edge of wall ignited cotton-wool test
pad (integrity failure).  Width of gap increased up to
a maximum of approximately 18mm at centre.





      Entire wall fell out of frame.  Test stopped.




and the tests were carried out by the Building Research Establishment, the
UK's official testing dept.

bale on
Chug
chug@...
<a  target="_blank" href="http://www.strawbale-building.co.uk/";>http://www.strawbale-building.co.uk/</a>
.




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

Date: 26 Apr 2006 12:45:36 -0600
From: jswearingen@...
Subject: RE: GSBN:fire test -- your opinions?

I agree with Bill that I wouldn't expect much performance difference between
flat and edgy bales as far as heat transmission goes--wouldn't that closely
correspond to the R-value, which is similar.  

So the only reason for testing bales on edge would be to see if the strings
would pop, and we know that with some certainty.  What we don't know is what
will happen after they pop, in a situation where the plaster is compromised.
Once a bale even begins to disgorge, the conflagration spreads like
wildflowers in a prairie. In an assembly using mesh, disgorgement would be
prevented as long as the mesh holds. (Obviously metal mesh has an advantage
over plastic or natural fiber here).

Marty mentioned that in the dark of the night he's worried that a plaster
failure would allow disgorgement and this could lead to a failure of the
entire assembly which would result in frowns on the faces of inspectors and
could ruin the value of the test for just about everybody.   He might be
right, and so I'd suggest doing a test with some kind of standard metal
mesh=85or doing the first test w/o mesh, and if the scenario above occurs, use
mesh for the second test.  

Of all the performance variables that could be tested--such as plaster,
mesh, orientation--the one that I would predict would give the greatest
difference, potentially, would be mesh, followed by earth plaster. 

John "My Strings are Melting" 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 billc_lists@...
Sent: Wednesday, April 26, 2006 12:57 AM
To: GSBN
Subject: Re: GSBN:fire test -- your opinions?


Hi all,

Interesting points re: edge vs flat, cement vs cement-lime vs lime vs
earthen plasters.

I think it's clear that order to really get the full data, more than two
tests will need to be done. Typically in a scientific procedure you'd change
just one variable at a time, for instance bales on edge vs bales flat, with
all other variables (plaster, etc) remaining the same. Then you'd vary
another constraint, such as the plaster types, so that if you'd already done
edge vs flat with one type of render you'd be able to predict how the
performance would vary (or not) using different plasters as a result of bale
orientation.  Otherwise you have trouble saying exactly what caused any
difference you may have observed.

I personally don't think that we'll see a huge difference between edge vs
flat, though I can certainly see the reasoning behind doing such tests to be
sure.  I don't think molten strings are going to make much difference,
especially in a test wall which is built within a four sided frame - it's
not likely that the straw is going to go anywhere. The question is more a
matter of how heat is transferred through the bale - do the hollow straws
allow it to move faster through flat bales?  Do vertical straws cause heat
to move to the top more quickly, causing failure there?


Regarding plasters, curiosity got the best of me and I pulled some numbers
from the SB Registry to see just what people are using on their walls.  For
exterior walls, they can choose from:

cement plaster
earth or clay plaster
lime plaster
wood siding over plastered bales
wood siding over unplastered bales
other - Describe if other

or any combination of the above.  Of those who reported their exterior
finish, the resulting numbers are:

Exteriors:

Cement only: 235

Earth only: 72

Earth/lime: 34

Lime only: 51

with a scattering of other strange combinations (perhaps different
treatments for different walls).  For interior walls, they can choose
from:

cement plaster
earth or clay plaster
lime plaster
gypsum plaster
wood
sheetrock
other - Describe if other

or any combination.  The resulting numbers are:


Interiors:

Cement only: 116

Cement plus other: 39 (includes cement &amp; gypsum, cement &amp; sheetrock, cement
&amp; wood, etc)

Earth only: 94

Earth &amp; Gypsum: 13

Earth &amp; lime: 13

earth &amp; other: 15

and again, a few who did other, more bizarre combinations.


So though these numbers are by no means definitive, it looks to me that
cement beats earth for exteriors in general by about 2 to 1, but they're
pretty close to an even match for interiors.

Which then begs the question:  Are we testing for fire resistance of
interior walls or exterior, or both?

On the flat vs edge orientation, I see 316 flat vs 84 on edge.

I don't know if those numbers will help anyone make a decision, but I
figured I'd throw them out there.  There's more reported use of earth
plaster than I expected there to be.


- --
Bill Christensen
<HYPERLINK
"<a  target="_blank" href="http://sustainablesources.com/contact/"http://sustainablesources.com/contact/";>http://sustainablesources.com/contact/"http://sustainablesources.com/contact/</a>>

Green Building Professionals Directory: <HYPERLINK
"<a  target="_blank" href="http://directory.sustainablesources.com"http://directory.sustainablesources.com";>http://directory.sustainablesources.com"http://directory.sustainablesources.com</a>>
Sustainable Building Calendar: <HYPERLINK
"<a  target="_blank" href="http://SustainableSources.com/calendar/"http://SustainableSources.com/calendar/";>http://SustainableSources.com/calendar/"http://SustainableSources.com/calendar/</a>
>
Green Real Estate: <HYPERLINK
"<a  target="_blank" href="http://SustainableSources.com/realestate/"http://SustainableSources.com/realest";>http://SustainableSources.com/realestate/"http://SustainableSources.com/realest</a>
ate/>
Straw Bale Registry: <HYPERLINK
"<a  target="_blank" href="http://sbregistry.sustainablesources.com/"http://sbregistry.sustainablesources.com/";>http://sbregistry.sustainablesources.com/"http://sbregistry.sustainablesources.com/</a>>
Books/videos/software: <HYPERLINK
"<a  target="_blank" href="http://bookstore.sustainablesources.com/"http://bookstore.sustainablesources.com/";>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 line.  
- ----


- -- 
No virus found in this incoming message.
Checked by AVG Free Edition.
Version: 7.1.385 / Virus Database: 268.4.6/323 - Release Date: 4/24/2006
 

- -- 
No virus found in this outgoing message.
Checked by AVG Free Edition.
Version: 7.1.385 / Virus Database: 268.4.6/324 - Release Date: 4/25/2006
 


- --- StripMime Report -- processed MIME parts ---
multipart/alternative
  text/plain (text body -- kept)
  text/html
- ---


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

Date: 26 Apr 2006 13:09:38 -0600
From: "Dan Smith" dan@...
Subject: RE: GSBN:fire test -- your opinions?

I agree with John, that at least one of the tests should be cement or
(cement-lime) plaster with mesh, as this would allow the best option of
getting a 2 hour rating, if that's possible in this test.

Dan Smith

- -----Original Message-----
From: GSBN [<a  target="_blank" href="mailto:GSBN@...";>mailto:GSBN@...] On Behalf Of John
Swearingen
Sent: Wednesday, April 26, 2006 10:32 AM
To: 'GSBN'
Subject: RE: GSBN:fire test -- your opinions?

I agree with Bill that I wouldn't expect much performance difference
between
flat and edgy bales as far as heat transmission goes--wouldn't that
closely
correspond to the R-value, which is similar.

So the only reason for testing bales on edge would be to see if the
strings
would pop, and we know that with some certainty.  What we don't know is
what
will happen after they pop, in a situation where the plaster is
compromised.
Once a bale even begins to disgorge, the conflagration spreads like
wildflowers in a prairie. In an assembly using mesh, disgorgement would
be
prevented as long as the mesh holds. (Obviously metal mesh has an
advantage
over plastic or natural fiber here).

Marty mentioned that in the dark of the night he's worried that a
plaster
failure would allow disgorgement and this could lead to a failure of the
entire assembly which would result in frowns on the faces of inspectors
and
could ruin the value of the test for just about everybody.   He might be
right, and so I'd suggest doing a test with some kind of standard metal
mesh.or doing the first test w/o mesh, and if the scenario above occurs,
use
mesh for the second test.

Of all the performance variables that could be tested--such as plaster,
mesh, orientation--the one that I would predict would give the greatest
difference, potentially, would be mesh, followed by earth plaster.

John "My Strings are Melting" 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 billc_lists@...
Sent: Wednesday, April 26, 2006 12:57 AM
To: GSBN
Subject: Re: GSBN:fire test -- your opinions?


Hi all,

Interesting points re: edge vs flat, cement vs cement-lime vs lime vs
earthen plasters.

I think it's clear that order to really get the full data, more than two
tests will need to be done. Typically in a scientific procedure you'd
change
just one variable at a time, for instance bales on edge vs bales flat,
with
all other variables (plaster, etc) remaining the same. Then you'd vary
another constraint, such as the plaster types, so that if you'd already
done
edge vs flat with one type of render you'd be able to predict how the
performance would vary (or not) using different plasters as a result of
bale
orientation.  Otherwise you have trouble saying exactly what caused any
difference you may have observed.

I personally don't think that we'll see a huge difference between edge
vs
flat, though I can certainly see the reasoning behind doing such tests
to be
sure.  I don't think molten strings are going to make much difference,
especially in a test wall which is built within a four sided frame -
it's
not likely that the straw is going to go anywhere. The question is more
a
matter of how heat is transferred through the bale - do the hollow
straws
allow it to move faster through flat bales?  Do vertical straws cause
heat
to move to the top more quickly, causing failure there?


Regarding plasters, curiosity got the best of me and I pulled some
numbers
from the SB Registry to see just what people are using on their walls.
For
exterior walls, they can choose from:

cement plaster
earth or clay plaster
lime plaster
wood siding over plastered bales
wood siding over unplastered bales
other - Describe if other

or any combination of the above.  Of those who reported their exterior
finish, the resulting numbers are:

Exteriors:

Cement only: 235

Earth only: 72

Earth/lime: 34

Lime only: 51

with a scattering of other strange combinations (perhaps different
treatments for different walls).  For interior walls, they can choose
from:

cement plaster
earth or clay plaster
lime plaster
gypsum plaster
wood
sheetrock
other - Describe if other

or any combination.  The resulting numbers are:


Interiors:

Cement only: 116

Cement plus other: 39 (includes cement &amp; gypsum, cement &amp; sheetrock,
cement
&amp; wood, etc)

Earth only: 94

Earth &amp; Gypsum: 13

Earth &amp; lime: 13

earth &amp; other: 15

and again, a few who did other, more bizarre combinations.


So though these numbers are by no means definitive, it looks to me that
cement beats earth for exteriors in general by about 2 to 1, but they're
pretty close to an even match for interiors.

Which then begs the question:  Are we testing for fire resistance of
interior walls or exterior, or both?

On the flat vs edge orientation, I see 316 flat vs 84 on edge.

I don't know if those numbers will help anyone make a decision, but I
figured I'd throw them out there.  There's more reported use of earth
plaster than I expected there to be.


- --
Bill Christensen
<HYPERLINK
"<a  target="_blank" href="http://sustainablesources.com/contact/"http://sustainablesources.com/contact/";>http://sustainablesources.com/contact/"http://sustainablesources.com/contact/</a>>

Green Building Professionals Directory: <HYPERLINK
"<a  target="_blank" href="http://directory.sustainablesources.com"http://directory.sustainablesources.com";>http://directory.sustainablesources.com"http://directory.sustainablesources.com</a>>
Sustainable Building Calendar: <HYPERLINK
"<a  target="_blank" href="http://SustainableSources.com/calendar/"http://SustainableSources.com/calen";>http://SustainableSources.com/calendar/"http://SustainableSources.com/calen</a>
dar/
>
Green Real Estate: <HYPERLINK
"<a  target="_blank" href="http://SustainableSources.com/realestate/"http://SustainableSources.com/rea";>http://SustainableSources.com/realestate/"http://SustainableSources.com/rea</a>
lest
ate/>
Straw Bale Registry: <HYPERLINK
"<a  target="_blank" href="http://sbregistry.sustainablesources.com/"http://sbregistry.sustainablesources.com/";>http://sbregistry.sustainablesources.com/"http://sbregistry.sustainablesources.com/</a>
>
Books/videos/software: <HYPERLINK
"<a  target="_blank" href="http://bookstore.sustainablesources.com/"http://bookstore.sustainablesources.com/";>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 line.
- ----


- --
No virus found in this incoming message.
Checked by AVG Free Edition.
Version: 7.1.385 / Virus Database: 268.4.6/323 - Release Date: 4/24/2006


- --
No virus found in this outgoing message.
Checked by AVG Free Edition.
Version: 7.1.385 / Virus Database: 268.4.6/324 - Release Date: 4/25/2006



- --- StripMime Report -- processed MIME parts ---
multipart/alternative
  text/plain (text body -- kept)
  text/html
- ---
- ----
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: 26 Apr 2006 13:30:52 -0600
From: Ben bobregon@...
Subject: Re: GSBN:fire test -- your opinions?

I also agree w/ Dan and John. While I'm hopeful that both walls will
pass in whatever configuration they are built in, I think that wire mesh
will only help make the wall stronger (especially w/ cement in the mix),
and feel that it's worh it to hedge our bets -since we have the opportunity.

BTW I'm assuming that when we say mesh, we are talking about  the
product called "chicken wire" in my part of the world.

Ben Obregon

Dan Smith wrote:

>I agree with John, that at least one of the tests should be cement or
>(cement-lime) plaster with mesh, as this would allow the best option of
>getting a 2 hour rating, if that's possible in this test.
>
>Dan Smith
>
>-----Original Message-----
>From: GSBN [<a  target="_blank" href="mailto:GSBN@...";>mailto:GSBN@...] On Behalf Of John
>Swearingen
>Sent: Wednesday, April 26, 2006 10:32 AM
>To: 'GSBN'
>Subject: RE: GSBN:fire test -- your opinions?
>
>I agree with Bill that I wouldn't expect much performance difference
>between
>flat and edgy bales as far as heat transmission goes--wouldn't that
>closely
>correspond to the R-value, which is similar.
>
>So the only reason for testing bales on edge would be to see if the
>strings
>would pop, and we know that with some certainty.  What we don't know is
>what
>will happen after they pop, in a situation where the plaster is
>compromised.
>Once a bale even begins to disgorge, the conflagration spreads like
>wildflowers in a prairie. In an assembly using mesh, disgorgement would
>be
>prevented as long as the mesh holds. (Obviously metal mesh has an
>advantage
>over plastic or natural fiber here).
>
>Marty mentioned that in the dark of the night he's worried that a
>plaster
>failure would allow disgorgement and this could lead to a failure of the
>entire assembly which would result in frowns on the faces of inspectors
>and
>could ruin the value of the test for just about everybody.   He might be
>right, and so I'd suggest doing a test with some kind of standard metal
>mesh.or doing the first test w/o mesh, and if the scenario above occurs,
>use
>mesh for the second test.
>
>Of all the performance variables that could be tested--such as plaster,
>mesh, orientation--the one that I would predict would give the greatest
>difference, potentially, would be mesh, followed by earth plaster.
>
>John "My Strings are Melting" 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 billc_lists@...
>Sent: Wednesday, April 26, 2006 12:57 AM
>To: GSBN
>Subject: Re: GSBN:fire test -- your opinions?
>
>
>Hi all,
>
>Interesting points re: edge vs flat, cement vs cement-lime vs lime vs
>earthen plasters.
>
>I think it's clear that order to really get the full data, more than two
>tests will need to be done. Typically in a scientific procedure you'd
>change
>just one variable at a time, for instance bales on edge vs bales flat,
>with
>all other variables (plaster, etc) remaining the same. Then you'd vary
>another constraint, such as the plaster types, so that if you'd already
>done
>edge vs flat with one type of render you'd be able to predict how the
>performance would vary (or not) using different plasters as a result of
>bale
>orientation.  Otherwise you have trouble saying exactly what caused any
>difference you may have observed.
>
>I personally don't think that we'll see a huge difference between edge
>vs
>flat, though I can certainly see the reasoning behind doing such tests
>to be
>sure.  I don't think molten strings are going to make much difference,
>especially in a test wall which is built within a four sided frame -
>it's
>not likely that the straw is going to go anywhere. The question is more
>a
>matter of how heat is transferred through the bale - do the hollow
>straws
>allow it to move faster through flat bales?  Do vertical straws cause
>heat
>to move to the top more quickly, causing failure there?
>
>
>Regarding plasters, curiosity got the best of me and I pulled some
>numbers
>from the SB Registry to see just what people are using on their walls.
>For
>exterior walls, they can choose from:
>
>cement plaster
>earth or clay plaster
>lime plaster
>wood siding over plastered bales
>wood siding over unplastered bales
>other - Describe if other
>
>or any combination of the above.  Of those who reported their exterior
>finish, the resulting numbers are:
>
>Exteriors:
>
>Cement only: 235
>
>Earth only: 72
>
>Earth/lime: 34
>
>Lime only: 51
>
>with a scattering of other strange combinations (perhaps different
>treatments for different walls).  For interior walls, they can choose
>from:
>
>cement plaster
>earth or clay plaster
>lime plaster
>gypsum plaster
>wood
>sheetrock
>other - Describe if other
>
>or any combination.  The resulting numbers are:
>
>
>Interiors:
>
>Cement only: 116
>
>Cement plus other: 39 (includes cement &amp; gypsum, cement &amp; sheetrock,
>cement
>&amp; wood, etc)
>
>Earth only: 94
>
>Earth &amp; Gypsum: 13
>
>Earth &amp; lime: 13
>
>earth &amp; other: 15
>
>and again, a few who did other, more bizarre combinations.
>
>
>So though these numbers are by no means definitive, it looks to me that
>cement beats earth for exteriors in general by about 2 to 1, but they're
>pretty close to an even match for interiors.
>
>Which then begs the question:  Are we testing for fire resistance of
>interior walls or exterior, or both?
>
>On the flat vs edge orientation, I see 316 flat vs 84 on edge.
>
>I don't know if those numbers will help anyone make a decision, but I
>figured I'd throw them out there.  There's more reported use of earth
>plaster than I expected there to be.
>
>
>--
>Bill Christensen
><HYPERLINK
>"<a  target="_blank" href="http://sustainablesources.com/contact/"http://sustainablesources.com/contact/";>http://sustainablesources.com/contact/"http://sustainablesources.com/contact/</a>>
>
>Green Building Professionals Directory: <HYPERLINK
>"<a  target="_blank" href="http://directory.sustainablesources.com"http://directory.sustainablesources.com";>http://directory.sustainablesources.com"http://directory.sustainablesources.com</a>>
>Sustainable Building Calendar: <HYPERLINK
>"<a  target="_blank" href="http://SustainableSources.com/calendar/"http://SustainableSources.com/calen";>http://SustainableSources.com/calendar/"http://SustainableSources.com/calen</a>
>dar/
>
>
>Green Real Estate: <HYPERLINK
>"<a  target="_blank" href="http://SustainableSources.com/realestate/"http://SustainableSources.com/rea";>http://SustainableSources.com/realestate/"http://SustainableSources.com/rea</a>
>lest
>ate/>
>Straw Bale Registry: <HYPERLINK
>"<a  target="_blank" href="http://sbregistry.sustainablesources.com/"http://sbregistry.sustainablesources.com/";>http://sbregistry.sustainablesources.com/"http://sbregistry.sustainablesources.com/</a>
>
>
>Books/videos/software: <HYPERLINK
>"<a  target="_blank" href="http://bookstore.sustainablesources.com/"http://bookstore.sustainablesources.com/";>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 line.
>----
>
>
>--
>No virus found in this incoming message.
>Checked by AVG Free Edition.
>Version: 7.1.385 / Virus Database: 268.4.6/323 - Release Date: 4/24/2006
>
>
>--
>No virus found in this outgoing message.
>Checked by AVG Free Edition.
>Version: 7.1.385 / Virus Database: 268.4.6/324 - Release Date: 4/25/2006
>
>
>
>--- StripMime Report -- processed MIME parts ---
>multipart/alternative
>  text/plain (text body -- kept)
>  text/html
>---
>----
>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.
>----
>
>
>
>


- --- StripMime Report -- processed MIME parts ---
multipart/alternative
  text/plain (text body -- kept)
  text/html
- ---


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

Date: 26 Apr 2006 15:10:13 -0600
From: strawnet@...
Subject: Re: GSBN:fire test -- your opinions?

Hello all,

I've been reading with great interest all these comments and ideas and 
insights. Thanks to all for contributing them and this message is not 
intended to halt to this process. I just have some contextual comments 
and some thoughts of my own about this and about the thinking that 
Bruce and I have done in regard to what we're trying to achieve with 
minimal resources given the full range of tests we would love to be 
able to do.

First, I think it is important to clarify a few things about the test. 
Overall, it would be nice if we could do one test, see how it goes, and 
then decide on how we would build the second wall and then test it. But 
because of related expenses and timing, including the desire to have 
these results end up in Bruce's new book this fall, coupled with the 
amount of time required for these test walls to cure and dry before the 
test (a month) and our desire to have adequate curing and time between 
coats of plaster, we need to figure out what we're going to do and 
build both test walls at the same time and test them on consecutive 
days in July.

The tests we are planning to do are according to the ASTM E-119 Full 
Scale Fire Test standard and we plan to seek a two hour fire rating for 
the assemblies we test (for those who might want to know we're using 
the newest version - E119-05a). This test includes a hose stream test 
at the end of the specified duration of fire testing. We could test 
longer though we would have to pay more and the longer the test the 
longer and stronger the hose stream test. We have chosen to conduct the 
test for non-loadbearing specimens for a variety of reasons including 
cost, simplicity and timing. We recognize that we are still going to 
want to have the wall under some compression because if makes for a 
better wall and so we will be planning to work this out in the design 
of the walls. The frames in which we are building these panels in are, 
as we understand it, roughly 11' x 11' and about 16" deep so the 
unheated side of the wall will overhang the frame and need to be sealed 
up when we plaster it. We plan to have the bales placed in the frames 
such that the plaster finishes flush with the surface of the frame that 
will be placed against the test furnace. Thus the plaster will be 
supported at the bottom by the test frame and not merely hanging on the 
bales.

The criteria for a successful test result is that the wall has 
withstood the fire endurance test without passage of flame or gases hot 
enough to ignite cotton waste (on the unheated side), for a time equal 
to that for which classification is desired. The transmission of heat 
through the wall during the fire endurance test shall not have been 
such as to raise the temperature on its unexposed surface more than 
250=C2=B0F (139=C2=B0C) above its initial temperature. Also, that the wall has

withstood the fire and hose stream test without passage of water from 
the hose stream. The assembly shall be considered to have failed the 
hose stream test if an opening develops that permits the projection of 
water from the stream beyond the unexposed surface during the time of 
the hose stream test. The hose stream test for a rating 2 hours and 
over and less than 4 hours requires a water pressure at the base of the 
nozzle of 30 psi (207 kPa) for 2-1/2 minutes.

The walls need to have the same finish on both sides of the wall or we 
would be required to test both sides for a succesful test of the whole 
assembly. Although it isn't clearly delineated in the standard, because 
the requirement for a full scale test is a minimum area of 10ft x 10 
ft, I believe that we do not have the option of creating a panel with 
different finishes on different parts of the test wall and conforming 
to the requirements for a recognized test result. On the other hand, it 
might be worthwhile to think about doing this, even though it would be 
spending a chunk of money that would advance our knowledge but not 
create a strictly usable test result. We could choose to build a wall 
that had, say even four different combinations of plaster and 
orientation and test it if we could agree on what the best single 
configuration would be for the other test wall - something that would 
give us a successful two hour test we can rely on that is the most 
useful to those who need this test result.

The issue comes down to choices made in the realm of risk and 
uncertainty. As Bruce put it, the uncertainty regarding whether the 
specific wall assemblies we choose will pass both the fire and hose 
stream tests may be small but the risk if they do fail is high - the 
cost of the tests and the lack of a usable test result. So, for 
instance, if we were to test earthen plaster on one of these panels and 
it didn't pass the hose stream test we would not have a successful test 
for earthen plastered bale walls even if it survived the two hour fire 
endurance part of the test.

It's important to consider that what we test will likely be what is 
required when someone uses these test results to obtain code approval 
for a building. We would like the results to be as unrestricted as 
possible and if we were certain that earth plastered walls would pass 
we'd be more inclined to be doing them now. We're fairly certain that a 
lime-cement plaster with no mesh will get us that successful test in 
either bale orientation. As Bruce and I talked about this we found it 
hard to imagine that even if the plaster on the heated side of the wall 
failed at the onset of the hose stream test, because of the limited 
amount of charring seen in previous tests, there will almost certainly 
be some amount of uncharred straw and the other layer of plaster on the 
unheated side of the wall still in place to impede the hose stream from 
projecting beyond the unheated surface.

As for the orientation questions, I think its important to be precise 
in our thinking here. It was suggested that the test results related to 
insulation and orientation suggest that it doesn't make any difference 
which way the bales are placed for this test. But in fact, the r-value 
is not the same per inch - on-edge provides a higher insulating value 
per inch, which is why it makes little difference overall whether bales 
are flat or on-edge. So, when we think about fire resistance in these 
two orientations, the behavior may or may not be the same. We actually 
don't know. And the bigger issue is that this is the sort of thing that 
code officials are likely to cite if we test one way and not the other.

This is where the idea of doing one test panel that is our "sure thing" 
and one that is a combination of finishes and orientations may make 
some sense. Test with cement-lime plaster with bales on-edge let's say 
as the sure thing, and then do a combination wall panel that 
incorporates bales flat with lime plaster, bales flat with earthen 
plaster, bales on-edge with lime and bales on-edge with earthen 
plaster. We end up with our successful two hour fire test and we get a 
heck of a lot of information that we can point to and say here is a 
test that was done at the same time in the same lab and (in the best 
case scenario) these all also passed the fire and hose stream tests. If 
we had good documentation, which we hope to have, this could work to 
our advantage. I do need to say that I have specific concerns about 
lime plaster because of how much time it takes to cure and harden 
raising questions about whether it would be able to pass the hose 
stream test.

Perhaps I've opened a can of worms here and it would be much simpler to 
just do fairly conservative tests that will give us the most useful 
information and results. But I do agree with Bruce's baseline 
assumption that the places that are most likely to require the test 
results are also more likely to require a lime-cement kind of finish. I 
also want to just mention that the results of John Straube's moisture 
testing with regard to the dramatic increase in water vapor 
permeability of cement stucco with the addition of more lime relieves 
some of my concern about the use of stucco on bales. It is worth 
downloading and reading this from Bruce's website 
www.ecobuildnetwork.org.

Got to run, but I wanted to make sure we have as much as possible of a 
whole and realistic picture as we discuss the various possibilities.

David Eisenberg

- -----Original Message-----
From: John Swearingen jswearingen@...
To: 'GSBN' GSBN@...
Sent: Wed, 26 Apr 2006 11:32:06 -0700
Subject: RE: GSBN:fire test -- your opinions?

   I agree with Bill that I wouldn't expect much performance difference 
between
flat and edgy bales as far as heat transmission goes--wouldn't that 
closely
correspond to the R-value, which is similar.

So the only reason for testing bales on edge would be to see if the 
strings
would pop, and we know that with some certainty.  What we don't know is 
what
will happen after they pop, in a situation where the plaster is 
compromised.
Once a bale even begins to disgorge, the conflagration spreads like
wildflowers in a prairie. In an assembly using mesh, disgorgement would 
be
prevented as long as the mesh holds. (Obviously metal mesh has an 
advantage
over plastic or natural fiber here).

Marty mentioned that in the dark of the night he's worried that a 
plaster
failure would allow disgorgement and this could lead to a failure of the
entire assembly which would result in frowns on the faces of inspectors 
and
could ruin the value of the test for just about everybody.   He might be
right, and so I'd suggest doing a test with some kind of standard metal
mesh=E2=80=A6or doing the first test w/o mesh, and if the scenario above 
occurs, use
mesh for the second test.

Of all the performance variables that could be tested--such as plaster,
mesh, orientation--the one that I would predict would give the greatest
difference, potentially, would be mesh, followed by earth plaster.

John "My Strings are Melting" 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 billc_lists@...
Sent: Wednesday, April 26, 2006 12:57 AM
To: GSBN
Subject: Re: GSBN:fire test -- your opinions?


Hi all,

Interesting points re: edge vs flat, cement vs cement-lime vs lime vs
earthen plasters.

I think it's clear that order to really get the full data, more than two
tests will need to be done. Typically in a scientific procedure you'd 
change
just one variable at a time, for instance bales on edge vs bales flat, 
with
all other variables (plaster, etc) remaining the same. Then you'd vary
another constraint, such as the plaster types, so that if you'd already 
done
edge vs flat with one type of render you'd be able to predict how the
performance would vary (or not) using different plasters as a result of 
bale
orientation.  Otherwise you have trouble saying exactly what caused any
difference you may have observed.

I personally don't think that we'll see a huge difference between edge 
vs
flat, though I can certainly see the reasoning behind doing such tests 
to be
sure.  I don't think molten strings are going to make much difference,
especially in a test wall which is built within a four sided frame - 
it's
not likely that the straw is going to go anywhere. The question is more 
a
matter of how heat is transferred through the bale - do the hollow 
straws
allow it to move faster through flat bales?  Do vertical straws cause 
heat
to move to the top more quickly, causing failure there?


Regarding plasters, curiosity got the best of me and I pulled some 
numbers
 from the SB Registry to see just what people are using on their walls.  
For
exterior walls, they can choose from:

cement plaster
earth or clay plaster
lime plaster
wood siding over plastered bales
wood siding over unplastered bales
other - Describe if other

or any combination of the above.  Of those who reported their exterior
finish, the resulting numbers are:

Exteriors:

Cement only: 235

Earth only: 72

Earth/lime: 34

Lime only: 51

with a scattering of other strange combinations (perhaps different
treatments for different walls).  For interior walls, they can choose
from:

cement plaster
earth or clay plaster
lime plaster
gypsum plaster
wood
sheetrock
other - Describe if other

or any combination.  The resulting numbers are:


Interiors:

Cement only: 116

Cement plus other: 39 (includes cement &amp; gypsum, cement &amp; sheetrock, 
cement
&amp; wood, etc)

Earth only: 94

Earth &amp; Gypsum: 13

Earth &amp; lime: 13

earth &amp; other: 15

and again, a few who did other, more bizarre combinations.


So though these numbers are by no means definitive, it looks to me that
cement beats earth for exteriors in general by about 2 to 1, but they're
pretty close to an even match for interiors.

Which then begs the question:  Are we testing for fire resistance of
interior walls or exterior, or both?

On the flat vs edge orientation, I see 316 flat vs 84 on edge.

I don't know if those numbers will help anyone make a decision, but I
figured I'd throw them out there.  There's more reported use of earth
plaster than I expected there to be.


- --
Bill Christensen
<HYPERLINK
"<a  target="_blank" href="http://sustainablesources.com/contact/"http://sustainablesources.com/contact/";>http://sustainablesources.com/contact/"http://sustainablesources.com/contact/</a>>

Green Building Professionals Directory: <HYPERLINK
"<a  target="_blank" href="http://directory.sustainablesources.com"http://directory.sustainablesources.com";>http://directory.sustainablesources.com"http://directory.sustainablesources.com</a>>
Sustainable Building Calendar: <HYPERLINK
"<a  target="_blank" href="http://SustainableSources.com/calendar/"http://SustainableSources.com/calend";>http://SustainableSources.com/calendar/"http://SustainableSources.com/calend</a>
ar/
>
Green Real Estate: <HYPERLINK
"<a  target="_blank" href="http://SustainableSources.com/realestate/"http://SustainableSources.com/real";>http://SustainableSources.com/realestate/"http://SustainableSources.com/real</a>
est
ate/>
Straw Bale Registry: <HYPERLINK
"<a  target="_blank" href="http://sbregistry.sustainablesources.com/"http://sbregistry.sustainablesources.com/";>http://sbregistry.sustainablesources.com/"http://sbregistry.sustainablesources.com/</a>>

Books/videos/software: <HYPERLINK
"<a  target="_blank" href="http://bookstore.sustainablesources.com/"http://bookstore.sustainablesources.com/";>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 line.
- ----


- --
No virus found in this incoming message.
Checked by AVG Free Edition.
Version: 7.1.385 / Virus Database: 268.4.6/323 - Release Date: 4/24/2006


- --
No virus found in this outgoing message.
Checked by AVG Free Edition.
Version: 7.1.385 / Virus Database: 268.4.6/324 - Release Date: 4/25/2006



- --- StripMime Report -- processed MIME parts ---
multipart/alternative
  text/plain (text body -- kept)
  text/html
- ---
- ----
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: 26 Apr 2006 15:42:58 -0600
From: Derek Roff derek@...
Subject: Re: GSBN:fire test -- your opinions?

I am confident that a fire hose at close proximity could erode earthen
plaster.  I wonder what the proximity between the nozzle and the wall is,
during the hose stream test.  I wonder whether the fire hose is moved
during this part of the test (and how much), or if it is directed at a
single spot.

If the hose stream erodes the exterior earthen plaster fairly quickly,
would you speculate that the bales plus interior plaster could still
survive the hose stream test?  If we build an experimental wall with
multiple assemblies, and it fails, would you expect this to make it harder
to get permission from code officials to use any of these assemblies?

Derek

Derek Roff
Language Learning Center
Ortega Hall 129, MSC03-2100
University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001
505/277-7368, fax 505/277-3885
Internet: derek@...



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

Date: 26 Apr 2006 15:55:38 -0600
From: archilogic@...
Subject: Re: fire test -- your opinions?

Bruce, King of Sausalito wrote:

> ASTM fire test ... the tentative wall types are two-string Texas
> wheat bales---one with bales flat, and one with bales on edge---both
> with no pins or mesh, and both with two coats of lime-cement plaster.

> the people who will need a fire rating for their building (I suspect)
> will also need the higher hardness and durability of lime-cement.
>
> Any comments?

Given that we already we already have data for the fire-resistive
performance of Portland cement lime plasters when used to encapsulate
straw bales and that there are already data and standards in existence
which clearly define the cover requirements and what performance can be
expected of such plasters when used in non-SBC scenarios, it seems doubly
redundant to expend scarce research &amp; testing resources to test identical
PC/lime plasters on almost identical substrates (albeit oriented
differently).

Granted, one would expect the strings to fail relatively quickly on the
on-edge stacked bales (elapsed time quite likely predictable based on
existing test data) but one would hope that anyone building with on-edge
stacked bales would know that through-the-wall ties would be needed to
make up for the poorer straw/plaster bond anyway so that string failure
due to edge-stacking should not be an issue.

It could be easily argued that the biggest Brown mark against SBC is the
high embodied-energy content of the cement and/or lime that is used in the
"typical" SBH, (ie slab-on grade foundation, PC and/or lime plaster skins
inside and out).

If the only officially-recognised fire test data "out there" is data for
PC/lime plasters then those will likely be the only plaster types that
will be recognised by the officials who decide upon what gets written into
the Codes or gets built in their jurisdictions for a long, long time.
(Remember the rebar pins requirement ?)

In most parts of the world outside of Krazy Kalifohnia (where the
landscape spontaneously self-combusts on a regular basis) fires begin on
the interiors of buildings and it is the fire resistance of interior
materials that are of primary concern.

There is really no reason why we should not be promoting the use of
earthen plasters on interiors since its weakness (poor weathering
resistance) is not an issue on interiors.

There is no doubt in my mind nor should there be in that of any building
or fire official that 40mm or more thickness of a Portland cement or lime
plaster is at least as fire resistive as any of the conventional cladding
materials that are routinely used in urban housing situations -- vinyl,
wood or aluminum siding, synthetic stucco-covered polystyrene foam boards
etc.

Nor is there any doubt in my mind that Portland cement/lime plasters do
not provide sufficient protection against rain wetting of SB walls if the
plaster is fully exposed.

If SBC were to gain widespread use in urban scenarios, I doubt very much
that the tight confines of urban and suburban lots would allow for the
widespread use of wrap-around porches and sufficiently wide overhangs that
would be required to provide adequate protection for fully exposed
plasters.

So that tells me rainscreen claddings will likely be the cladding of
necessity in urban situations and since bales need to be fully
encapsulated by plaster, even beneath rainscreen claddings,  do we really
want to be creating a scenario where future SBH builders will be required
to use PC/lime plasters under those rainscreens even though the weather
resistance/hardness/durability aren't really required  and where earthen
plasters (albeit slightly thicker to make up for lower strength) would
serve quite nicely ?

I say if only two walls can be tested, test one with PC/lime plaster on
on-edge bales if you absolutely must test a PC/lime plaster, but the other
one absitively &amp; posolutely should be an earthen mix, preferably a mix
that is *the* best in the SB World so that the numbers that do result,
will amaze the pants off of the officials.


=== * ===
Rob Tom
Kanata, Ontario, Canada
<ArchiLogic at chaffyahoo dot ca>
(winnow the chaff  from my edress in your reply)

Please visit   <a  target="_blank" href="http://www.mercycorps.org/";>http://www.mercycorps.org/</a>



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

Date: 26 Apr 2006 16:33:42 -0600
From: strawnet@...
Subject: Re: GSBN:fire test -- your opinions?

Derek,

We're hoping to soon have all the specifics soon about the ASTM
Standard Practice E2226 (for the Hose Stream Test). The failure of the
hose stream test would invalidate the overall test. Actually there is a
provision for retesting a duplicate specimen for half the time and the
cost is about half for this - but this would require building another
wall panel to have ready for a retest if the first specimen failed the
hose stream test. Thinking about this is what led Bruce and I to think
about building another panel to test something different rather than
having the back up panel in reserve at the lab. More than anything it
is the time and expense involved in building and plastering and curing
that limits our options at this point.

I keep coming around to thinking that maybe we should get a horizontal
propane heater and build a couple of little test panels somewhere and
heat them to something like what the temps are for the big test and
then blast away with a hose approximating the hose stream testing and
see whether earthen plasters could survive the two hours and the hose
test. I just hate to gamble on not ending up with at least one
successful assembly out of this investment.

As for the impact of failure, that depends on who and how we share that
information I suppose. But from what i know if we knew how many times
conventional materials and systems fail these various tests before they
figure out the right configuration or design, we would understand part
of why the bigger labs are very careful about who is able to see what
is being built and tested much of the time. It isn't only proprietary
knowledge they're worried about...

David

- -----Original Message-----
From: Derek Roff derek@...
To: GSBN GSBN@...
Sent: Wed, 26 Apr 2006 15:29:28 -0600
Subject: Re: GSBN:fire test -- your opinions?

   I am confident that a fire hose at close proximity could erode
earthen
  plaster. I wonder what the proximity between the nozzle and the wall
is,
 during the hose stream test. I wonder whether the fire hose is moved
 during this part of the test (and how much), or if it is directed at a
 single spot.

 If the hose stream erodes the exterior earthen plaster fairly quickly,
 would you speculate that the bales plus interior plaster could still
 survive the hose stream test? If we build an experimental wall with
  multiple assemblies, and it fails, would you expect this to make it
harder
 to get permission from code officials to use any of these assemblies?

 Derek

 Derek Roff
 Language Learning Center
 Ortega Hall 129, MSC03-2100
 University of New Mexico
 Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001
 505/277-7368, fax 505/277-3885
 Internet: derek@...

 ----
  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: 26 Apr 2006 16:52:05 -0600
From: strawnet@...
Subject: Re: GSBN:Re: fire test -- your opinions?

Rob,

Though I largely agree with what you are saying (especially the part
about the high impacts of portland cement and lime) it is also the case
that for those of us down south those other tests, as far as the
insurance and code folks are concerned, don't really exist because they
aren't in full compliance with everything they think makes them valid.
If we were sure that the earthen plastered wall would pass the hose
stream test I think we'd be much more ready to jump on that bandwagon,
and take that gamble, though I've been a strong proponent of earthen
plasters for many years.

So, I wonder if anyone knows of successful fire tests of bales with
earthen plaster? If so were they for a similar time period and did
these other tests have requirements similar to the E-119 hose stream
test? There's a lot at stake and we're not discounting the importance
of the issue of trying to reduce the ecological footprint of these
structures. We're also trying to make sure we end up with something
that will truly serve the evolution of bale construction once we've
spent this considerable chunk of money on these tests. Worst case
scenario may be that we test two wall panels and neither passes.
Obviously getting something to pass that is not what people want or
should be building is as bad and maybe worse. But we need this to be
result in progress for the acceptance of bale walls.

Let's keep talking about it...

David

- -----Original Message-----
From: Rob Tom archilogic@...
To: GSBN GSBN@...
Cc: ecobruce@...
Sent: Wed, 26 Apr 2006 17:41:12 -0400
Subject: GSBN:Re: fire test -- your opinions?

  Bruce, King of Sausalito wrote:

 > ASTM fire test ... the tentative wall types are two-string Texas
 > wheat bales---one with bales flat, and one with bales on edge---both
  > with no pins or mesh, and both with two coats of lime-cement
plaster.

  > the people who will need a fire rating for their building (I
suspect)
 > will also need the higher hardness and durability of lime-cement.
 >
 > Any comments?

 Given that we already we already have data for the fire-resistive
 performance of Portland cement lime plasters when used to encapsulate
 straw bales and that there are already data and standards in existence
  which clearly define the cover requirements and what performance can
be
  expected of such plasters when used in non-SBC scenarios, it seems
doubly
  redundant to expend scarce research &amp; testing resources to test
identical
 PC/lime plasters on almost identical substrates (albeit oriented
 differently).

  Granted, one would expect the strings to fail relatively quickly on
the
 on-edge stacked bales (elapsed time quite likely predictable based on
  existing test data) but one would hope that anyone building with
on-edge
 stacked bales would know that through-the-wall ties would be needed to
  make up for the poorer straw/plaster bond anyway so that string
failure
 due to edge-stacking should not be an issue.

  It could be easily argued that the biggest Brown mark against SBC is
the
  high embodied-energy content of the cement and/or lime that is used in
the
  "typical" SBH, (ie slab-on grade foundation, PC and/or lime plaster
skins
 inside and out).

  If the only officially-recognised fire test data "out there" is data
for
 PC/lime plasters then those will likely be the only plaster types that
  will be recognised by the officials who decide upon what gets written
into
 the Codes or gets built in their jurisdictions for a long, long time.
 (Remember the rebar pins requirement ?)

 In most parts of the world outside of Krazy Kalifohnia (where the
  landscape spontaneously self-combusts on a regular basis) fires begin
on
 the interiors of buildings and it is the fire resistance of interior
 materials that are of primary concern.

 There is really no reason why we should not be promoting the use of
 earthen plasters on interiors since its weakness (poor weathering
 resistance) is not an issue on interiors.

  There is no doubt in my mind nor should there be in that of any
building
  or fire official that 40mm or more thickness of a Portland cement or
lime
  plaster is at least as fire resistive as any of the conventional
cladding
  materials that are routinely used in urban housing situations --
vinyl,
  wood or aluminum siding, synthetic stucco-covered polystyrene foam
boards
 etc.

  Nor is there any doubt in my mind that Portland cement/lime plasters
do
  not provide sufficient protection against rain wetting of SB walls if
the
 plaster is fully exposed.

  If SBC were to gain widespread use in urban scenarios, I doubt very
much
 that the tight confines of urban and suburban lots would allow for the
  widespread use of wrap-around porches and sufficiently wide overhangs
that
 would be required to provide adequate protection for fully exposed
 plasters.

 So that tells me rainscreen claddings will likely be the cladding of
 necessity in urban situations and since bales need to be fully
  encapsulated by plaster, even beneath rainscreen claddings, do we
really
  want to be creating a scenario where future SBH builders will be
required
  to use PC/lime plasters under those rainscreens even though the
weather
  resistance/hardness/durability aren't really required and where
earthen
 plasters (albeit slightly thicker to make up for lower strength) would
 serve quite nicely ?

  I say if only two walls can be tested, test one with PC/lime plaster
on
  on-edge bales if you absolutely must test a PC/lime plaster, but the
other
 one absitively &amp; posolutely should be an earthen mix, preferably a mix
 that is *the* best in the SB World so that the numbers that do result,
 will amaze the pants off of the officials.

 === * ===
 Rob Tom
 Kanata, Ontario, Canada
 <ArchiLogic at chaffyahoo dot ca>
 (winnow the chaff from my edress in your reply)

 Please visit <a  target="_blank" href="http://www.mercycorps.org/";>http://www.mercycorps.org/</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 line. ----





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

Date: 26 Apr 2006 17:05:13 -0600
From: "Strawbalefutures" info@...
Subject: GSBN:Re: fire test -- your opinions?

Hi All
Just catching up with this very 'USA' debate. First, though, Fantastic
you've got the funding for it and are putting so much thought and energy
into getting it right. From my European perspective, I am still a bit
bemused at your insistence on using cement in any shape or form in buildings
since it is has no positive environmental credentials, is rigid instead of
flexible, waterproofing instead of weatherproofing, and non-permeable to
vapour instead of permeable. It is a major contributor to the green house
gas effect and global warming, uses up 50% of the UK annual electricity
production to manufacture, does not have a cycle of use that returns it back
to a harmless natural form and by all accounts also blocks aura's (for the
spiritual amongst us!). Finally it is a thoroughly modern, (invented in 1824
and used widely from 1914ish) new and untested material in the sense of
withstanding the test of time compared to lime that has at least 12,000
years of continuous successful use and clay which has far far longer,
probably as old as the human race itself. As well as only specifying natural
plasters and renders of either lime or clay we have also pioneered
low-impact foundations that use no cement, and solid floors made with either
lime or clay. All these designs have already been passed by UK Building
Regulations.
I think you need to beware of limiting your vision to testing what you know
will pass the test (i.e. lime/cement render, which has been thoroughly
tested already) instead of making sure you all have the opportunity to catch
up with Europe and enshrine the use of cement free renders and plasters in
your building codes - but you have to believe that our centuries of
tradition are valid, of course.
There is one other point to consider, though, which is that you also need to
understand the way lime works to use it effectively, because it is not like
cement, and this in itself may be your own limiting factor - do you know
enough about it to use and specify it?
My vote, in case you hadn't realised by now, would be for a feebly hydraulic
lime render on one wall and the best clay plaster you have on the other.
Both will pass the 2 hour test I'm sure but the clay may or may not pass the
hose test, would be interesting to find out. And to use bales flat for one
and on edge for the other because hey, why not. Even though we pretty much
know what will happen.
As Chug said, we were involved in a fire test with the Building Research
Establishment that can't be given a BS stamp but never-the-less showed that
lime rendered strawbale walls with straw laid flat will withstand fire for
more than 2 hours - the walls failed because of the design of the jig and
would probably have withstood fire for longer in a real situation. We used
feebly hydraulic lime, applied 12 weeks before the test, to both sides of
the wall.
I can't wait to find out what the final decision will be! Over to you, boys.
Barbara Jones


WARNING: Strawbale building can seriously transform your life!

Amazon Nails
Strawbale Building, Training and Consultancy
Hollinroyd Farm
Todmorden
OL14 8RJ

Tel/fax: 00 44 (0)1706 814696
email: info@...
web: www.strawbalefutures.org.uk





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

Date: 26 Apr 2006 17:45:12 -0600
From: jeff@...
Subject: Lime Wash

Hello Everyone,

We are presently working on a rather large project (30,000 sf horse
arena and attached residence, all straw bale) and would like to apply a
lime wash with pigment over the brown coat of plaster, which is
cement/lime, to roughly 15,000 sf of surface area.

My question is, has anyone ever tried spraying lime wash?  The huge
amount of surface area is leading me to try and find a faster way of
applying it other than by brush or roller.  We have access to both
hydrated and hydraulic lime.

Also, I know there have been discussions on these lists regarding size
of SB structure so I don't want to ask everyone if there is a larger SB
structure than this one (I am sure there is!), but this one definitely
is "up there" in terms of size.  Make a mental note if anyone ever asks
how large you can go.  We have 20 ft tall walls included in the 15,000
sf of wall system on this project.  It is all three-string bales stacked
on-edge.

Here are some pictures for your delight!  Thanks in advance for any help.

<a  target="_blank" href="http://photos.odiseanet.com/main/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.ShowItem&amp;g2_itemId=105&amp;g2_navId=xba8dd562";>http://photos.odiseanet.com/main/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.ShowItem&amp;g2_itemId=105&amp;g2_navId=xba8dd562</a>

Sorry about the use of cement plaster!  A project of this scale with six
feet of snow on the ground in the winter, big winds, and a "real-life"
time window, nothing compares with the cost, durability, and available
labor.  Thank goodness we live in a VERY dry climate!


Jeff Ruppert, P.E.
Principal

Odisea LLC
Ecological Building, Engineering and Consulting

Front Range Office 		West Slope Office
1731 15th St. #105		1022 Main St.
Boulder, CO  80302		Carbondale, CO 81623
303.443.4335			970.948.5744
303.443.4355 f			1.866.795.6699 f
jeff@...
www.odiseanet.com


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

Date: 26 Apr 2006 17:47:47 -0600
From: strawnet@...
Subject: Re: GSBN:Re: fire test -- your opinions?

I have to say that I love having this forum and that it has never
worked any better than it's working right now!

So, here are a few questions that perhaps some of you with more
experience with lime and perhaps with earth might be able to answer...

Given that we are not going to have 12 weeks to cure the finish on
these panels, is there a likely way that we can do a lime render and
have it stand up to the test, including the hose stream test since if
it fails that it fails the test? And do we know anything about how less
than adequately cured lime render will respond to a couple of hours of
intense heat and then the thermal shock and erosion of the hose stream
test?

Your questions, Barbara, about whether we know enough here to be using
lime plaster well is one that has been on my mind a lot over the last
few years as I listen to people who are really struggling to make these
things work and find themselves redoing jobs and trying to understand
what went wrong. The risk for the use of lime in such a test, if we are
having a hard time getting it right on ordinary walls doesn't reassure
me that it is a good choice here. But maybe I just don't know enough
about it and there are people here who do really know.

And second, I keep thinking about how much clay one would need to have
in the mix to get anything like at least minimal fired-clay
characteristics in earthen plaster?

It would be so much easier to make these decisions if we knew that we
had a back up plan for failure - a way that we could then take what
we've learned and do it again. I've just been at this long enough to
place a very high value on the fact that we now, finally have the
funding to carry out tests that we need, I believe, as much for
convincing the insurance folks and the building officials that this is
a safe and viable building system. We don't need to convince ourselves
of it although I am certain that we still have a great deal to learn...

I suppose some of us have been through the wringer enough times that we
are a bit cautious. One day soon, it's my hope that it is the newly
wide awake insurance and reinsurance sector that funds this sort of
research as they strive to address and survive climate change and peak
oil risks...I'm working on that in a variety of ways but who knows what
will unfold there.

- -----Original Message-----
From: Strawbalefutures info@...
To: GSBN@...
Sent: Wed, 26 Apr 2006 23:48:23 +0100
Subject: GSBN:Re: fire test -- your opinions?

  Hi All
Just catching up with this very 'USA' debate. First, though, Fantastic
you've got the funding for it and are putting so much thought and energy
into getting it right. From my European perspective, I am still a bit
bemused at your insistence on using cement in any shape or form in
buildings
since it is has no positive environmental credentials, is rigid instead
of
flexible, waterproofing instead of weatherproofing, and non-permeable to
vapour instead of permeable. It is a major contributor to the green
house
gas effect and global warming, uses up 50% of the UK annual electricity
production to manufacture, does not have a cycle of use that returns it
back
to a harmless natural form and by all accounts also blocks aura's (for
the
spiritual amongst us!). Finally it is a thoroughly modern, (invented in
1824
and used widely from 1914ish) new and untested material in the sense of
withstanding the test of time compared to lime that has at least 12,000
years of continuous successful use and clay which has far far longer,
probably as old as the human race itself. As well as only specifying
natural
plasters and renders of either lime or clay we have also pioneered
low-impact foundations that use no cement, and solid floors made with
either
lime or clay. All these designs have already been passed by UK Building
Regulations.
I think you need to beware of limiting your vision to testing what you
know
will pass the test (i.e. lime/cement render, which has been thoroughly
tested already) instead of making sure you all have the opportunity to
catch
up with Europe and enshrine the use of cement free renders and plasters
in
your building codes - but you have to believe that our centuries of
tradition are valid, of course.
There is one other point to consider, though, which is that you also
need to
understand the way lime works to use it effectively, because it is not
like
cement, and this in itself may be your own limiting factor - do you know
enough about it to use and specify it?
My vote, in case you hadn't realised by now, would be for a feebly
hydraulic
lime render on one wall and the best clay plaster you have on the other.
Both will pass the 2 hour test I'm sure but the clay may or may not
pass the
hose test, would be interesting to find out. And to use bales flat for
one
and on edge for the other because hey, why not. Even though we pretty
much
know what will happen.
As Chug said, we were involved in a fire test with the Building Research
Establishment that can't be given a BS stamp but never-the-less showed
that
lime rendered strawbale walls with straw laid flat will withstand fire
for
more than 2 hours - the walls failed because of the design of the jig
and
would probably have withstood fire for longer in a real situation. We
used
feebly hydraulic lime, applied 12 weeks before the test, to both sides
of
the wall.
I can't wait to find out what the final decision will be! Over to you,
boys.
Barbara Jones


WARNING: Strawbale building can seriously transform your life!

Amazon Nails
Strawbale Building, Training and Consultancy
Hollinroyd Farm
Todmorden
OL14 8RJ

Tel/fax: 00 44 (0)1706 814696
email: info@...
web: www.strawbalefutures.org.uk



- ----
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: 26 Apr 2006 18:17:33 -0600
From: jswearingen@...
Subject: RE: GSBN:Re: fire test -- your opinions?

You could use Natural Hydraulic Lime, which cures quicker, but would have
similar enough properties that it would cover other limes. NHL is much more
predictable in curing and behavior than other limes.  Michel at Transmineral
USA could advise you on this www.limes.us

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
strawnet@...
Sent: Wednesday, April 26, 2006 4:34 PM
To: GSBN@...
Subject: Re: GSBN:Re: fire test -- your opinions?


I have to say that I love having this forum and that it has never worked any
better than it's working right now!

So, here are a few questions that perhaps some of you with more experience
with lime and perhaps with earth might be able to answer...

Given that we are not going to have 12 weeks to cure the finish on these
panels, is there a likely way that we can do a lime render and have it stand
up to the test, including the hose stream test since if it fails that it
fails the test? And do we know anything about how less than adequately cured
lime render will respond to a couple of hours of intense heat and then the
thermal shock and erosion of the hose stream test?

Your questions, Barbara, about whether we know enough here to be using lime
plaster well is one that has been on my mind a lot over the last few years
as I listen to people who are really struggling to make these things work
and find themselves redoing jobs and trying to understand what went wrong.
The risk for the use of lime in such a test, if we are having a hard time
getting it right on ordinary walls doesn't reassure me that it is a good
choice here. But maybe I just don't know enough about it and there are
people here who do really know.

And second, I keep thinking about how much clay one would need to have in
the mix to get anything like at least minimal fired-clay characteristics in
earthen plaster?

It would be so much easier to make these decisions if we knew that we had a
back up plan for failure - a way that we could then take what we've learned
and do it again. I've just been at this long enough to place a very high
value on the fact that we now, finally have the funding to carry out tests
that we need, I believe, as much for convincing the insurance folks and the
building officials that this is a safe and viable building system. We don't
need to convince ourselves of it although I am certain that we still have a
great deal to learn...

I suppose some of us have been through the wringer enough times that we are
a bit cautious. One day soon, it's my hope that it is the newly wide awake
insurance and reinsurance sector that funds this sort of research as they
strive to address and survive climate change and peak oil risks...I'm
working on that in a variety of ways but who knows what will unfold there.

- -----Original Message-----
From: Strawbalefutures info@...
To: GSBN@...
Sent: Wed, 26 Apr 2006 23:48:23 +0100
Subject: GSBN:Re: fire test -- your opinions?

  Hi All
Just catching up with this very 'USA' debate. First, though, Fantastic
you've got the funding for it and are putting so much thought and energy
into getting it right. From my European perspective, I am still a bit
bemused at your insistence on using cement in any shape or form in buildings
since it is has no positive environmental credentials, is rigid instead of
flexible, waterproofing instead of weatherproofing, and non-permeable to
vapour instead of permeable. It is a major contributor to the green house
gas effect and global warming, uses up 50% of the UK annual electricity
production to manufacture, does not have a cycle of use that returns it back
to a harmless natural form and by all accounts also blocks aura's (for the
spiritual amongst us!). Finally it is a thoroughly modern, (invented in 1824
and used widely from 1914ish) new and untested material in the sense of
withstanding the test of time compared to lime that has at least 12,000
years of continuous successful use and clay which has far far longer,
probably as old as the human race itself. As well as only specifying natural
plasters and renders of either lime or clay we have also pioneered
low-impact foundations that use no cement, and solid floors made with either
lime or clay. All these designs have already been passed by UK Building
Regulations. I think you need to beware of limiting your vision to testing
what you know will pass the test (i.e. lime/cement render, which has been
thoroughly tested already) instead of making sure you all have the
opportunity to catch up with Europe and enshrine the use of cement free
renders and plasters in your building codes - but you have to believe that
our centuries of tradition are valid, of course. There is one other point to
consider, though, which is that you also need to understand the way lime
works to use it effectively, because it is not like cement, and this in
itself may be your own limiting factor - do you know enough about it to use
and specify it? My vote, in case you hadn't realised by now, would be for a
feebly hydraulic lime render on one wall and the best clay plaster you have
on the other. Both will pass the 2 hour test I'm sure but the clay may or
may not pass the hose test, would be interesting to find out. And to use
bales flat for one and on edge for the other because hey, why not. Even
though we pretty much know what will happen. As Chug said, we were involved
in a fire test with the Building Research Establishment that can't be given
a BS stamp but never-the-less showed that lime rendered strawbale walls with
straw laid flat will withstand fire for more than 2 hours - the walls failed
because of the design of the jig and would probably have withstood fire for
longer in a real situation. We used feebly hydraulic lime, applied 12 weeks
before the test, to both sides of the wall. I can't wait to find out what
the final decision will be! Over to you, boys. Barbara Jones


WARNING: Strawbale building can seriously transform your life!

Amazon Nails
Strawbale Building, Training and Consultancy
Hollinroyd Farm
Todmorden
OL14 8RJ

Tel/fax: 00 44 (0)1706 814696
email: info@...
web: www.strawbalefutures.org.uk



- ----
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: 7.1.385 / Virus Database: 268.4.6/324 - Release Date: 4/25/2006
 

- -- 
No virus found in this outgoing message.
Checked by AVG Free Edition.
Version: 7.1.385 / Virus Database: 268.4.6/324 - Release Date: 4/25/2006
 



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

Date: 26 Apr 2006 21:10:23 -0600
From: Andrew Webb design@...
Subject: Re: GSBN:Re: fire test -- your opinions?

Given that funding opportunities are few and far between and the book
and ISBBC deadlines are self-imposed, is it possible to decide the
time-frame after the test assemblies are chosen?  Or is the funding
linked to the book/ISBBC reports?  If not, you may be reporting findings
that are not as widely useful to the SB community as if you waited for
proper curing of the chosen assemblies.

- -Andrew Webb

>
> Given that we are not going to have 12 weeks to cure the finish on
> these panels,




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

Date: 26 Apr 2006 21:27:03 -0600
From: Athena &amp; Bill Steen absteen@...
Subject: Re: GSBN:Re: fire test -- your opinions?

But John I guess my question would be how much is it currently
selling for per bag.  If my memory serves me correctly it was a tad
bit on the high side.

Bill

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


On Apr 26, 2006, at 5:03 PM, John Swearingen wrote:

> You could use Natural Hydraulic Lime, which cures quicker, but
> would have
> similar enough properties that it would cover other limes. NHL is
> much more
> predictable in curing and behavior than other limes.  Michel at
> Transmineral
> USA could advise you on this www.limes.us
>
> 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
> strawnet@...
> Sent: Wednesday, April 26, 2006 4:34 PM
> To: GSBN@...
> Subject: Re: GSBN:Re: fire test -- your opinions?
>
>
> I have to say that I love having this forum and that it has never
> worked any
> better than it's working right now!
>
> So, here are a few questions that perhaps some of you with more
> experience
> with lime and perhaps with earth might be able to answer...
>
> Given that we are not going to have 12 weeks to cure the finish on
> these
> panels, is there a likely way that we can do a lime render and have
> it stand
> up to the test, including the hose stream test since if it fails
> that it
> fails the test? And do we know anything about how less than
> adequately cured
> lime render will respond to a couple of hours of intense heat and
> then the
> thermal shock and erosion of the hose stream test?
>
> Your questions, Barbara, about whether we know enough here to be
> using lime
> plaster well is one that has been on my mind a lot over the last
> few years
> as I listen to people who are really struggling to make these
> things work
> and find themselves redoing jobs and trying to understand what went
> wrong.
> The risk for the use of lime in such a test, if we are having a
> hard time
> getting it right on ordinary walls doesn't reassure me that it is a
> good
> choice here. But maybe I just don't know enough about it and there are
> people here who do really know.
>
> And second, I keep thinking about how much clay one would need to
> have in
> the mix to get anything like at least minimal fired-clay
> characteristics in
> earthen plaster?
>
> It would be so much easier to make these decisions if we knew that
> we had a
> back up plan for failure - a way that we could then take what we've
> learned
> and do it again. I've just been at this long enough to place a very
> high
> value on the fact that we now, finally have the funding to carry
> out tests
> that we need, I believe, as much for convincing the insurance folks
> and the
> building officials that this is a safe and viable building system.
> We don't
> need to convince ourselves of it although I am certain that we
> still have a
> great deal to learn...
>
> I suppose some of us have been through the wringer enough times
> that we are
> a bit cautious. One day soon, it's my hope that it is the newly
> wide awake
> insurance and reinsurance sector that funds this sort of research
> as they
> strive to address and survive climate change and peak oil risks...I'm
> working on that in a variety of ways but who knows what will unfold
> there.
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Strawbalefutures info@...
> To: GSBN@...
> Sent: Wed, 26 Apr 2006 23:48:23 +0100
> Subject: GSBN:Re: fire test -- your opinions?
>
>   Hi All
> Just catching up with this very 'USA' debate. First, though, Fantastic
> you've got the funding for it and are putting so much thought and
> energy
> into getting it right. From my European perspective, I am still a bit
> bemused at your insistence on using cement in any shape or form in
> buildings
> since it is has no positive environmental credentials, is rigid
> instead of
> flexible, waterproofing instead of weatherproofing, and non-
> permeable to
> vapour instead of permeable. It is a major contributor to the green
> house
> gas effect and global warming, uses up 50% of the UK annual
> electricity
> production to manufacture, does not have a cycle of use that
> returns it back
> to a harmless natural form and by all accounts also blocks aura's
> (for the
> spiritual amongst us!). Finally it is a thoroughly modern,
> (invented in 1824
> and used widely from 1914ish) new and untested material in the
> sense of
> withstanding the test of time compared to lime that has at least
> 12,000
> years of continuous successful use and clay which has far far longer,
> probably as old as the human race itself. As well as only
> specifying natural
> plasters and renders of either lime or clay we have also pioneered
> low-impact foundations that use no cement, and solid floors made
> with either
> lime or clay. All these designs have already been passed by UK
> Building
> Regulations. I think you need to beware of limiting your vision to
> testing
> what you know will pass the test (i.e. lime/cement render, which
> has been
> thoroughly tested already) instead of making sure you all have the
> opportunity to catch up with Europe and enshrine the use of cement
> free
> renders and plasters in your building codes - but you have to
> believe that
> our centuries of tradition are valid, of course. There is one other
> point to
> consider, though, which is that you also need to understand the way
> lime
> works to use it effectively, because it is not like cement, and
> this in
> itself may be your own limiting factor - do you know enough about
> it to use
> and specify it? My vote, in case you hadn't realised by now, would
> be for a
> feebly hydraulic lime render on one wall and the best clay plaster
> you have
> on the other. Both will pass the 2 hour test I'm sure but the clay
> may or
> may not pass the hose test, would be interesting to find out. And
> to use
> bales flat for one and on edge for the other because hey, why not.
> Even
> though we pretty much know what will happen. As Chug said, we were
> involved
> in a fire test with the Building Research Establishment that can't
> be given
> a BS stamp but never-the-less showed that lime rendered strawbale
> walls with
> straw laid flat will withstand fire for more than 2 hours - the
> walls failed
> because of the design of the jig and would probably have withstood
> fire for
> longer in a real situation. We used feebly hydraulic lime, applied
> 12 weeks
> before the test, to both sides of the wall. I can't wait to find
> out what
> the final decision will be! Over to you, boys. Barbara Jones
>
>
> WARNING: Strawbale building can seriously transform your life!
>
> Amazon Nails
> Strawbale Building, Training and Consultancy
> Hollinroyd Farm
> Todmorden
> OL14 8RJ
>
> Tel/fax: 00 44 (0)1706 814696
> email: info@...
> web: www.strawbalefutures.org.uk
>
>
>
> ----
> 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: 7.1.385 / Virus Database: 268.4.6/324 - Release Date:
> 4/25/2006
>
>
> --
> No virus found in this outgoing message.
> Checked by AVG Free Edition.
> Version: 7.1.385 / Virus Database: 268.4.6/324 - Release Date:
> 4/25/2006
>
>
> ----
> 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: 26 Apr 2006 22:03:15 -0600
From: jswearingen@...
Subject: RE: GSBN:Re: fire test -- your opinions?

Yes, about $30, but for the purposes of the test, it would be good.
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 Athena &amp; Bill
Steen
Sent: Wednesday, April 26, 2006 8:13 PM
To: GSBN
Subject: Re: GSBN:Re: fire test -- your opinions?


But John I guess my question would be how much is it currently selling for
per bag.  If my memory serves me correctly it was a tad bit on the high
side.

Bill

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


On Apr 26, 2006, at 5:03 PM, John Swearingen wrote:

> You could use Natural Hydraulic Lime, which cures quicker, but would 
> have similar enough properties that it would cover other limes. NHL is
> much more
> predictable in curing and behavior than other limes.  Michel at
> Transmineral
> USA could advise you on this www.limes.us
>
> 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 
> strawnet@...
> Sent: Wednesday, April 26, 2006 4:34 PM
> To: GSBN@...
> Subject: Re: GSBN:Re: fire test -- your opinions?
>
>
> I have to say that I love having this forum and that it has never 
> worked any better than it's working right now!
>
> So, here are a few questions that perhaps some of you with more 
> experience with lime and perhaps with earth might be able to answer...
>
> Given that we are not going to have 12 weeks to cure the finish on 
> these panels, is there a likely way that we can do a lime render and 
> have it stand
> up to the test, including the hose stream test since if it fails
> that it
> fails the test? And do we know anything about how less than
> adequately cured
> lime render will respond to a couple of hours of intense heat and
> then the
> thermal shock and erosion of the hose stream test?
>
> Your questions, Barbara, about whether we know enough here to be using 
> lime plaster well is one that has been on my mind a lot over the last
> few years
> as I listen to people who are really struggling to make these
> things work
> and find themselves redoing jobs and trying to understand what went
> wrong.
> The risk for the use of lime in such a test, if we are having a
> hard time
> getting it right on ordinary walls doesn't reassure me that it is a
> good
> choice here. But maybe I just don't know enough about it and there are
> people here who do really know.
>
> And second, I keep thinking about how much clay one would need to have 
> in the mix to get anything like at least minimal fired-clay
> characteristics in
> earthen plaster?
>
> It would be so much easier to make these decisions if we knew that we 
> had a back up plan for failure - a way that we could then take what 
> we've learned
> and do it again. I've just been at this long enough to place a very
> high
> value on the fact that we now, finally have the funding to carry
> out tests
> that we need, I believe, as much for convincing the insurance folks
> and the
> building officials that this is a safe and viable building system.
> We don't
> need to convince ourselves of it although I am certain that we
> still have a
> great deal to learn...
>
> I suppose some of us have been through the wringer enough times that 
> we are a bit cautious. One day soon, it's my hope that it is the newly
> wide awake
> insurance and reinsurance sector that funds this sort of research
> as they
> strive to address and survive climate change and peak oil risks...I'm
> working on that in a variety of ways but who knows what will unfold
> there.
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Strawbalefutures info@...
> To: GSBN@...
> Sent: Wed, 26 Apr 2006 23:48:23 +0100
> Subject: GSBN:Re: fire test -- your opinions?
>
>   Hi All
> Just catching up with this very 'USA' debate. First, though, Fantastic 
> you've got the funding for it and are putting so much thought and 
> energy into getting it right. From my European perspective, I am still 
> a bit bemused at your insistence on using cement in any shape or form 
> in buildings
> since it is has no positive environmental credentials, is rigid
> instead of
> flexible, waterproofing instead of weatherproofing, and non-
> permeable to
> vapour instead of permeable. It is a major contributor to the green
> house
> gas effect and global warming, uses up 50% of the UK annual
> electricity
> production to manufacture, does not have a cycle of use that
> returns it back
> to a harmless natural form and by all accounts also blocks aura's
> (for the
> spiritual amongst us!). Finally it is a thoroughly modern,
> (invented in 1824
> and used widely from 1914ish) new and untested material in the
> sense of
> withstanding the test of time compared to lime that has at least
> 12,000
> years of continuous successful use and clay which has far far longer,
> probably as old as the human race itself. As well as only
> specifying natural
> plasters and renders of either lime or clay we have also pioneered
> low-impact foundations that use no cement, and solid floors made
> with either
> lime or clay. All these designs have already been passed by UK
> Building
> Regulations. I think you need to beware of limiting your vision to
> testing
> what you know will pass the test (i.e. lime/cement render, which
> has been
> thoroughly tested already) instead of making sure you all have the
> opportunity to catch up with Europe and enshrine the use of cement
> free
> renders and plasters in your building codes - but you have to
> believe that
> our centuries of tradition are valid, of course. There is one other
> point to
> consider, though, which is that you also need to understand the way
> lime
> works to use it effectively, because it is not like cement, and
> this in
> itself may be your own limiting factor - do you know enough about
> it to use
> and specify it? My vote, in case you hadn't realised by now, would
> be for a
> feebly hydraulic lime render on one wall and the best clay plaster
> you have
> on the other. Both will pass the 2 hour test I'm sure but the clay
> may or
> may not pass the hose test, would be interesting to find out. And
> to use
> bales flat for one and on edge for the other because hey, why not.
> Even
> though we pretty much know what will happen. As Chug said, we were
> involved
> in a fire test with the Building Research Establishment that can't
> be given
> a BS stamp but never-the-less showed that lime rendered strawbale
> walls with
> straw laid flat will withstand fire for more than 2 hours - the
> walls failed
> because of the design of the jig and would probably have withstood
> fire for
> longer in a real situation. We used feebly hydraulic lime, applied
> 12 weeks
> before the test, to both sides of the wall. I can't wait to find
> out what
> the final decision will be! Over to you, boys. Barbara Jones
>
>
> WARNING: Strawbale building can seriously transform your life!
>
> Amazon Nails
> Strawbale Building, Training and Consultancy
> Hollinroyd Farm
> Todmorden
> OL14 8RJ
>
> Tel/fax: 00 44 (0)1706 814696
> email: info@...
> web: www.strawbalefutures.org.uk
>
>
>
> ----
> 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: 7.1.385 / Virus Database: 268.4.6/324 - Release Date: 
> 4/25/2006
>
>
> --
> No virus found in this outgoing message.
> Checked by AVG Free Edition.
> Version: 7.1.385 / Virus Database: 268.4.6/324 - Release Date: 
> 4/25/2006
>
>
> ----
> 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: 7.1.385 / Virus Database: 268.4.6/324 - Release Date: 4/25/2006
 

- -- 
No virus found in this outgoing message.
Checked by AVG Free Edition.
Version: 7.1.385 / Virus Database: 268.4.6/324 - Release Date: 4/25/2006
 



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

End of Digest

To request a copy of the help file, reply to this message and put "help" in
the subject.