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RE: GSBN: re unplastered SBs and fire protection

1. I have seen "borax" mentioned often as an appropriate fire retardant
> and
> termite protection measure.  For those of us without access to US
> supermarkets - how do we make a boron based solution?  Have any Europeans
> used this solution?

Here in Spain I can buy Borax salts in any store which sells cleaning
products.  We dissolve it in hot water at a proportion on 7-10 (depending on
what you want) water: 1 borax salt.

Rikki Nitzkin
Aul?s, Lleida, Espa?a
(0034)657 33 51 62 
www.casasdepaja.com (Red de Construcci?n con Balas de Paja)
> -----Mensaje original-----
> De: GSBN [<a  target="_blank" href="mailto:GSBN@...";>mailto:GSBN@...] En nombre de lotan-
> build@...
> Enviado el: jueves, 18 de enero de 2007 8:22
> Para: GSBN@...
> Asunto: RE: GSBN: re unplastered SBs and fire protection
> Friends,
> The following ends with a comment about the ecohouse unplastered sb
> discussion.
> This past summer we performed a full wall fire test at the Standards
> Institute of Israel's testing facility.  No surprise to any of you: The
> strawbale wall - 2 meters wide, 2.5 meters tall with 5 cm of earth plaster
> (containing cut straw/chaff), interior (towards the fire) and exterior
> stood
> the full 3 hours at over 1000 degrees centigrade.  The exterior
> temperature
> of the wall did not increase at all.  At the completion of the test, the
> authorities took samples of the plaster and the straw, 1 cm thick, to test
> independently their flammability, drip and smoke indexes.  The plaster
> performed perfectly and is now rated inflammable.  The straw of course
> burnt
> completely.
> The code states: all building materials that are thicker than 1.6
> millimeter
> must be tested independently, in addition to the full wall fire test, to
> determine their flammability indexes.
> So, in order to receive fire code approval, we need to send a straw sample
> impregnated with a fire retardant in again for flammability testing.
> 2. Are there other fire retardant solutions that we can make / purchase
> that
> we can responsibly utilize, i.e. are not toxic or will in time be breathed
> in by the building's occupants (like VOC's) that can be sprayed onto the
> straw bale's exteriors before plastering (in order to work in accordance
> with local standards)?
> No one has stated that if someone chooses to leave straw bale walls
> un-plastered then they need to sprayed (dunked?) with fire retardant. Is
> this because it is trivial/obvious or irrelevant/unproductive?
> In any case we need input on fire retardants to make fulfill the current
> code stipulations.  In practice we realized that the real fire protection
> is
> the earth plaster, integrally adhered immediately after wall construction.
> Thanks - Alex
> Alex Cicelsky
> Education, Design and Construction
> Center for Creative Ecology
> Kibbutz Lotan
> D.N. Eilot 88855 Israel
> Tel: 054-979-9009
> Fax: 08-635-6842
> lotan-build@...
> websites: www.kibbutzlotan.com
> www.birdingisrael.com
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Martin Hammer [<a  target="_blank" href="mailto:mfhammer@pacbell.net";>mailto:mfhammer@...]
> Sent: Thursday, January 18, 2007 3:53 AM
> To: GSBN
> Subject: Re: GSBN: re Ecohouse
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