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GSBN:An inquiry about straw bale construction from South Africa
Hello GSBN members and Jessica and Andrea,
We received this inquiry at DCAT and I wanted to pass it along to the GSBN because I am always thrilled to see emerging crusaders/champions for the right things. I hope that others might have more suggestions for Jessica and Andrea beyond what I have suggested below. I'm unbelievably overcommitted through the next week and a half but will check back about all this when I return home from my trip to the frozen state of Minnesota where I will be teaching code officials about green building for two days and then giving presentations to city councils and department heads in two cities and to other organizations every day next week.
Original Message to DCAT:
Email: andrea@...: To whom it may concern or for David Eisenberg attention.
My name is Andrea Davidson and I am trying to assist my daughter age 9 to do a south african science expo run by Eskom, the only supplier of electricity in South Africa.
Jessica first read about straw bale houses last year and said that this was a better way to build for South African people. I did not understand her, me a mother, but then I connected to your website and what you said about poor countries and technology, then I understood. Jessica could be called a crusader for the environment and straw bale construction would be the answer. But how to get this out into the south african public eye - by presenting all of this at a science expo where all top delegates of the government will be. Do you know that South Africa produces a lot of wheat, maize etc and the chaf left over is burnt. We could use this to build.
But she needs help because she can show all the facts and figures but she needs to build a tiny house,show how warm it is and all the other benefits. Could you please help us here and guide us in this.
I have noted that you are a non-profit organisation - our rand is 9 to 1 dollar but she is willing to donate money but will have to save up as she gets 20.00 rand pocket money each month.
I really hope that we receive a reply to our mail.
With kind regards
Dear Andrea and Jessica
Thank you for your inquiry to DCAT about straw bale construction in South Africa. I don't know what your timeframe is for what you want to do, and since I am incredibly overcommitted in terms of my time for the next week and a half, I have taken the liberty of posting your message to the Global Straw Bale Network, an international group of people who are working on straw bale construction and natural building all over the world. I know that there are a few people on the GSBN e-mail listserve who are either in South Africa or are doing work there and so I expect that you may hear from them or from some of the other people on the list who may be able to provide you with information and other contacts.
One person in South Africa is Andy Horn
Architects & Consultants
A. R. HORN B.A.S. (UCT), B.Arch (UCT), Pr.Arch (SACAP), MIA, CIA
Telephone/Fax: 021 462 1614
4th Flr, The Armoury
160 Sir Lowry Rd
Another straw bale builder and pioneer who lives in Australia but has strong ties to South Africa is
John Glassford - affectionately known as The Straw Wolf at
Huff 'n' Puff Constructions
<a target="_blank" href="http://www.glassford.com.au/">http://www.glassford.com.au/</a>
61 2 6927 6027
And I recommend looking at a couple of other websites to learn more about straw bale construction:
The Last Straw Journal - www.thelaststraw.org
Ecological Building Network - www.ecobuildnetwork.org
Good luck and I will try to check back with you in a couple of weeks.
Oh, and Jessica, I really appreciate your willingness to send DCAT some money (we typically don't have much of it) but my guess is that there are some other local organizations doing good work who could also benefit from your support and I would recommend that you see where else you might be able to put that support to good use locally. Thank you.
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