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Re: GSBN:Re: Strawbale walling query

At 6:06 PM +0100 10/4/07, Tom Woolley wrote:
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

Hi Tom,

We're thinking about doing a similar thing - essentially a timber
frame with a SB wrap.  We plan wide porches instead of a rainscreen.

Part of my reason for wanting to do this is to minimize the notching
and customizing of bales to accomodate a frame, and part is to
minimize the joints between the dissimilar materials of frame and
bales, where moisture and other problems could creep in.

One thing that I don't like about some interior-post buildings I've
seen is that you end up with spaces behind the posts which are hard
to plaster properly, hard to keep clean, etc.

Some time back, possibly on this list, I read of a method that makes
sense to me. On the bale side of the post, you nail strips of ply or
OSB which extend out some distance on either side (I think it was
something like 6-12 inches).  Snug the bales up to that, then put
lath over the wood and extending out over the bale face to create a
continuous surface for the plaster.   Supposedly this allows for a
good seal and reduced chance of cracking at the joint.

Bill Christensen
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