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Re: GSBN:Re: A question about quantification of carbon sequestration in a bale and bale structures bale and bale structures

Hello Chris, hello everyone;
In quantifying all these  aspects we reach a rather complex level of
possible "roads" and choices for the future need to be thought and over and
over if we do not wish ending in "ecological mistakes" eventhough inducted
by good will and Earth caring approach.
 Burning on the field has traditionally been a farming way, for two main
reasons ie getting rid of pests, and feeding the soil with the minerals
contained in the straw ashes.
 But it is not necessary to burn all the straw. If -lets say 20% of the
straw is left on the field, and burnt, the 80 % remaining may be used for
 When a SB house is being deconstructed, the old straw could burnt to
produce heat, and then ashes used in farms. a simple and short , closed
 I am not an expert in baling machines, but I can easily imagin these could
be adapted-or built- to leave enough staw on the ground, as they bale?
 But the great interest I find in straw (and earth ) construction is the
enormous sustainability connected with these techniques.  So little energy
is involved.
On the other hand, quite a lot of human energy is required, because the
less we do through industrial process, the more we have to do with our good
old ape hands! Requires some labour. But is that a problem in itself? No. It
is a good solution, both socially and economically, because labour IS a
sustainable ressource.   Arent we about 7 billion on this planet?  An
economy (as ours today) based on less labour for short term profit in NOT
sustainable, in the distance. What our 7 billion people humanity needs is
freedom ,  balance and sustainability, not neverending growth. Decreasing
significantly the pressure (the demande) on stuffs like oil or steel, or
simply water,  globally would lead to a betterr environment of course, but
certainly to less reasons for wars, conflicts and stress at all levels.
This is on of the reasons I profoundly believe we are definitly part of the
solution, hoping time enough is left.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Chris Stafford" Stafford@...
To: "GSBN" GSBN@...
Sent: Wednesday, August 30, 2006 6:08 PM
Subject: Re: GSBN:Re: A question about quantification of carbon
sequestration in a bale and bale structures bale and bale structures

Here is another item for consideration. Burning straw in the fields
versus baling it for removal. Farmers in Eastern Washington go either
way believing each is being responsible to the environment. Those that
bale and remove the straw have to spray the next year's crops to
control pests. Burning straw eliminates need to spray.


Christopher Stafford Architects, Inc.
1044 Water Street, #326
Port Townsend, WA 98368

On Aug 29, 2006, at 5:13 PM, Derek Roff wrote:

My thoughts are in harmony with all who have commented so far.  This
discussion is helping me think about the question in more depth.  I
with David that we can't ignore the little things.  Although cases will
vary, little things can sometimes add up rapidly.  For example, while I
argued that the amount of carbon in the bales is fairly small, David
pointed out that we might compare that to burning the same straw.
mentioned comparing SB to the carbon used when employing other building

When we compare building with steel or brick and burning several tons
straw, to building with straw and (hopefully) not burning that straw,
the carbon sequestration embodied in the building materials choice is
multiplied.  Using Andre's figures, choosing to build with straw locks
more than ten times the carbon that is simply contained in the bales.
is before we look at energy savings.  That is an important calculation.

All of which makes David's job harder, because he now has to figure
out the
relative carbon impacts of building with SB versus each alternative.


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@...

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