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GSBN:Re: Strawbale walling query

I had a meeting today with a young Belfast architect, Siobhan Brown,
who is designing a strawbale house for a self builder in County
Fermanagh ~Northern Ireland

I don't think Siobhan has much experience of SB but she has had a
good go at the design mainly based on details in a book by Chris Magwood

The client wants to built a post and beam structure for the house and
then wrap the strawbale walls around the outside of the posts.
She was not proposing to tie the walls into the posts as she says
that Magwood's details do not show this.
She was planing to tie the wall plate to the rafters of the roof. The
house is single storey but with rooms in the loft. so the floor
joists for the upper floor will be part of the roof structure.

I have misgivings about this . I wonder if anyone has built a
strawbale house where the bale walls are not load bearing and are
wrapped around the outside of the structural posts without being tied
into them? The posts will be about 4 metres apart.

Fermanagh has to have 100% humidity all year round with a lot of
heavy winds and driving rain. If you stand still for 5 minutes moss
will grow on your head.  I also think the walls will need a rain screen

I would have thought a more solid structure would involve placing
sections of bale walls between the posts and being tied into them

Any useful comments and I will pass them onto Siobhan


Tom Woolley
Rachel Bevan Architects
17A Main Street
County Down
BT24 7AA
028 97 512851

Graduate School of the Environment
Centre for Alternative Technology
Unit 7, Dyfi Eco Parc
Powys, SY208AX

01654 703562

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