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GSBN:Re: GSBN re Ecohouse

IÕve watched with interest this discussion on burning bale walls. Over a bowl of udon, the norm being shirt fronts get broth splattered, I began to wonder how much bale moisture content effects different wall burning characteristics. Here in the Pacific Northwest where a typical new bale will have around 11 to 13% moisture content IÕve heard of no bale walls burning. Yet the Saudi Arabia library project where bales are absolutely tinder dry they did have a fire. All the walls were up to the intermediate horizontal stabilizing ladder, 9 bales high and 2 bales thick, when a welderÕs spark traveled through loose straw over to a wall. On my next trip back I was told that all 2,800 bales were lost in less than a 1/2 hour.

An interesting side bar comment. Recently checking my first straw bale houseÕs 12 year old plastered walls I found similar 13% moisture contents.

Best wishes for a Happy New Year.

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

On Jan 13, 2007, at 11:02 AM, Nehemiah Stone wrote:

One important point that I left out, is that at the time the test was done, there was ZERO wood in the structure. No ceiling joists. No rafters. Not even a top plate or, if I remember correctly, a window buck. Burning of the exposed straw has only tight straw (think closed phone book) to try to ignite. Please do not think of the Yuba Fair Grounds test to be directly
applicable to a home.  Sorry if I gave that impression.

EarthLink Revolves Around You.

[Original Message]
From: billc billc_lists@...
Date: 1/12/2007 3:48:23 PM
Subject: Re: GSBN:GSBN re Ecohouse

At 6:42 PM +0100 1/12/07, André de Bouter wrote:
Hello everybody,

I'm not so surprised that the straw behind the currogated polycarbonate sheeting still looks good as it never receives any rain (only humid air).

Hopefully they had the sense to douse the straw
really well with boric acid solution or some
other fire retardant before placing the
polycarbonate.  Were I foolish enough to attempt
unplastered bales somewhere, I'd at least do
that. Despite Nehemiah's Yuba story.

Bill Christensen
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