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Re: GSBN:RE: 5 perms / no ventilation; and top-of-wall

At 08:54 AM 3/9/2007, Rene Dalmeijer wrote:
...it depends on the diurnal temperature swing...


        The diurnal difference is something I think none of us even
considered. Even during the coldest times, most of this region will
generally see close to a 10C or better daily spread. I'll pass this
info back along the line, with props to you.

        I don't know what kind of continuing relationships these
builders have with the occupants of the houses that prompted these
questions; hopefully there is some kind of dialog, or the capacity
for one to develop.

        Avoiding needless cold bridging is well pursued by the
contractor-practitioners that were at the meeting; some
owner-builders (and, sadly, too many professionals) don't seem to
have quite fully grasped its significance, though. More education all around.

        It really does seem to me that nonprofessionals and
professionals alike are getting increasingly savvy to the nuances and
science of this stuff, which is pleasing. Still, we have to accept
the potential (perhaps likelihood) for some high-profile failures in
the U.S., or maybe an aggregate of smaller ones, which I'm kind of
surprised hasn't happened yet. It's good that the literature, the
built stock, and popular knowledge all continue to grow and improve;
I think the material and movement are ever-better-positioned to
respond if anything like that were to happen.

At 04:18 PM 3/8/2007, Jeff Ruppert wrote:
I have witnessed so many poorly executed project that some
people think they can do all on their own, it worries me.  I think this
topic alone would be a good one for an article in TLS or at least worthy
of discussion in other forums.

The amount of information and help available these days regarding bale
walls is so easy to come by it makes you wonder why some people feel
like they need to re-invent the wheel.

        On the self-builder end of this, part of it is certainly
that there's a lot of buy-in to the romantic side of SB, which
includes the idea that building a SB house is super-simple. While it
can be, that really depends on the understandings and expectations
people have (and the codes and other restrictions enforced in a given
place). Playing rogue cowboy with a $300,000 owner-contractor
project, as you described, isn't something I'd do if I were going to
pop that much to build a place. But we're in America, and you're in
the American West...

        After all this time I'm still greatly moved by the
empowerment aspect of natural building. I still carry the notion that
natural building can inspire people to examine their preconceptions,
self-limitations, and lifestyle... and come up with newer, deeper,
better ways of being and building. For me, there's a big difference
between a strawbale house and a house with straw bales in the wall.
For others, there's no such distinction.

        I'm with you that it's a topic worth seeing explored.

Mark Piepkorn

It is not he who reviles or strikes you who insults you,
but your opinion that these things are insulting.
  - Epictetus