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GSBN: Digest for 5/22/07

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-> RE: GSBN:Colombia
     by "Rikki  Nitzkin" rikkinitzkin@...
-> Revisiting top-of-wall details
     by Mark Piepkorn mark@...


Date: 22 May 2007 02:57:20 -0500
From: "Rikki  Nitzkin" rikkinitzkin@...
Subject: RE: GSBN:Colombia

Tell him to check out www.casasdepaja.com.  We don't have any members in
Colombia, but in many other south American countries, we do (see member's
list <a  target="_blank" href="http://www.casasdepaja.com/?pag=listado";>http://www.casasdepaja.com/?pag=listado</a> ).

He can also sign up to the list-serve at
<a  target="_blank" href="http://amper.ped.muni.cz/mailman/listinfo/paja";>http://amper.ped.muni.cz/mailman/listinfo/paja</a> and send a message there to

I believe there are some members of the listserve in Colombia...

Both are in Spanish.

Take care, 

Rikki Nitzkin
Aulas, Lleida, Espana
(0034)657 33 51 62 
www.casasdepaja.com (Red de Construccion con Balas de Paja)
> -----Mensaje original-----
> De: GSBN [<a  target="_blank" href="mailto:GSBN@...";>mailto:GSBN@...] En nombre de Andre de Bouter
> Enviado el: lunes, 21 de mayo de 2007 13:44
> Para: GSBN
> Asunto: GSBN:Colombia
> Hello,
> One of my workshop participants is Colombian and plans on going back to
> his homeland. (He also has some contacts with a university there).
> He would like to know if any SB building is happening there and, if so,
> he'd like some contact information. Anyone?
> Bye,
> Andre


Date: 22 May 2007 05:07:33 -0500
From: Mark Piepkorn mark@...
Subject: Revisiting top-of-wall details

I came across the following experience on a big-bale building in
Minnesota. The interior was not plastered at the time. I haven't
found out whether their hypothesis was correct or if they came up
with a good fix.

- - - - - -

Pete discovered that very cold air was showing up in many parts of
the North wall. That is the last place we expected to find a leak. It
is nowhere near doors or windows. It has three feet of fluffy
insulation blown on top of it.

Bob got diligent and recorded a bunch of surface temperatures and put
numbered tags on many spots on the wall. He wrote lists of the cold
spots and how they varied over time. Some places were substantially
colder than the outside air.

Finally a pattern emerged and we came up with a theory about what the
heck is going on.

The lower part of the building has a negative pressure, trying to
suck air in through any crack or crevice. We purposely didn't put a
vapor barrier over the top of the wall so the bales could breathe. As
planned, the air can't flow through the straw wall because the straw
is covered with cob on the outside, so the air gets drawn slowly down
through the insulation blown on top. Then it doesn't want to flow
through the bales themselves because they are so dense, so it flows
through the stuffing between the bales. Eventually the cold air
appears at the surface in the middle of the wall. It is still very
cold because the insulation is so effective.

<a  target="_blank" href="http://www.hugllc.com/index.php?option=com_content&amp;task=blogsection&amp;id=4&amp;Itemid=15&amp;limit=5&amp;limitstart=170";>http://www.hugllc.com/index.php?option=com_content&amp;task=blogsection&amp;id=4&amp;Itemid=15&amp;limit=5&amp;limitstart=170</a>

Mark Piepkorn

Captain, if I ever come to grief by forgetting
your advice, I hope my last moments will
be cheered by the sound of your beloved
voice breathing into my ear the blessed
words, 'I told you so.'
  - Ambrose Bierce


End of Digest

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