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GSBN: Digest for 10/7/07



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---------------------------------------------------------------------


-> RE: GSBN:Re: Lime plaster problems
     by "Rikki  Nitzkin" rikkinitzkin@...
-> RE: GSBN:Women in Strawbale and Natural Building
     by "Rikki  Nitzkin" rikkinitzkin@...
-> RE: GSBN:Any SB contacts in Chile?
     by "Rikki  Nitzkin" rikkinitzkin@...
-> Re: GSBN:Re: Lime plaster problems
     by Athena & Bill Steen absteen@...
-> Re: GSBN:Re: Lime plaster problems
     by Bruce King ecobruce@...
-> Re: GSBN:Women in Strawbale and Natural Building
     by Joyce Coppinger jc10508@...
-> Re: GSBN:Any SB contacts in Chile?
     by Mark Piepkorn mark@...
-> Re: GSBN:Re: Lime plaster problems
     by thangmaker@...
-> RE: GSBN:Re: Strawbale walling query
     by "Brian Hodge - Anvill" brian@...
-> Re: GSBN:Re: Lime plaster problems
     by Judyknox42@...


----------------------------------------------------------------------

Date: 7 Oct 2007 09:22:04 -0500
From: "Rikki  Nitzkin" rikkinitzkin@...
Subject: RE: GSBN:Re: Lime plaster problems

Sorry to chime in so late...been busy. Its just that I haven't seen anywhere
that in the responses to remind Andy that it is very important to wet down
as well as scratch the base layer of plaster before applying a new coat, and
if the material is different (lime on clay in this case) really rub the
first bit in so it binds well.

Hope your problem has been solved.

Rikki Nitzkin
Aulas, Lleida, Espana
rikkinitzkin@...
(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 Brian Hodge -
> Anvill
> Enviado el: jueves, 27 de septiembre de 2007 22:20
> Para: 'GSBN'
> Asunto: RE: GSBN:Re: Lime plaster problems
> 
> Hi Andy,
> I agree with John. We have been doing a very similar thing for about 5
> years and have not found it necessary to add the lime putty top coat. We
> have even done it without chaff with a great deal of success.
> 
> Regards
> 
> Brian
> 
> Anvil Straw
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: GSBN [<a  target="_blank" href="mailto:GSBN@...";>mailto:GSBN@...] On Behalf Of John
> Glassford
> Sent: Thursday, 27 September 2007 7:53 AM
> To: GSBN
> Cc: Andy Horn
> Subject: Re: GSBN:Re: Lime plaster problems
> 
> 
> G ' day Andy
> 
> My two rands worth mate.
> 
> You will need to remove the lime coat and scratch up the earth as others
> have said.
> 
> I would then apply a mix of earth/lime/sand and chaff or chopped straw.
> 
> All depends on the clay content of your earth but I would look at
> something like this 3 parts soil 2 parts lime 3 parts sand 1 part chaff.
> I use buckets for this mix.  It works well and binds well with the
> earthen render.  Then if you want you can apply a finish coat of lime
> render however I have not found that necessary in most cases except for
> look.
> 
> You can see a house we renedered with earth, then earth/lime/sand/chaff,
> then lime/sand, here:
> 
> <a  target="_blank" href="http://glassford.com.au/Jumbo.htm";>http://glassford.com.au/Jumbo.htm</a>
> 
> No delamination no cracks and it is nearly 6 years since we finished
> there.
> 
> Was in Cape Town a few weeks ago but did not have time to see much it
> was a Rotary trip with Hout Bay.  We will be back next year for an
> extended visit, see you then.
> 
> Kind regards
> The Straw Wolf
> Huff 'n' Puff Constructions
> <a  target="_blank" href="http://www.glassford.com.au/";>http://www.glassford.com.au/</a>
> 
> 61 2 6927 6027
> 
> Mount Kilimanjaro Climb 28/8/07 <a  target="_blank" href="http://www.coolamonrotary.com/kili/";>http://www.coolamonrotary.com/kili/</a>
> ----
> For instructions on joining, leaving, or otherwise using the GSBN list,
> send email to GSBN@...HELP in the SUBJECT line.
> 
> ----
> 
> 
> 
> 




----------------------------------------------------------------------

Date: 7 Oct 2007 09:22:08 -0500
From: "Rikki  Nitzkin" rikkinitzkin@...
Subject: RE: GSBN:Women in Strawbale and Natural Building

What is the deadline for info?

Rikki Nitzkin
Aulas, Lleida, Espana
rikkinitzkin@...
(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 Joyce Coppinger
> Enviado el: viernes, 21 de septiembre de 2007 19:30
> Para: GSBN
> Asunto: GSBN:Women in Strawbale and Natural Building
> 
> The theme of The Last Straw journal's March 2008 issue is The Women of
> Strawbale and Natural Building. In addition to updating the articles about
> women involved in strawbale and natural building in 1995 (TLS issue
> #10/Constructive Women), we want to feature women who are currently
> involved
> now.
> 
> Your involvement can be related to any aspect - workshop instructor,
> teaching an online course or in the classroom, helping with an
> association,
> architect, engineer, designer, design/builder, owner/builder, contractor,
> subcontractor, supplier, natural building materials store owner,
> plasterer,
> writer, author, consultant, promoter, realtor, codes official, lender,
> insurer...
> 
> We want to feature women from around the world, so please help us get the
> word out by passing this along to others!
> 
>  Here's what I'm looking for:
> 
> 1.  Photograph - a head shot or a photo showing the person doing a
> workshop,
> teaching a class, working on a project. 300 dpi jpg or tiff format 3x4
> 
> 2.  Brief bio of how you got involved, what you do (planning, design,
> construction, plaster, cob, strawbale, light straw clay, and such)
> 
> 3. A brief note about projects (types of projects and materials),
> involvement in associations, experience teaching or doing workshops, any
> other contributions to their particular field of expertise and work
> 
> This issue will take time to bring together, so the sooner you can send
> information to us the better.
> 
> If you have questions or need more information, just ask.
> 
> Thanks. Look forward to hearing from you!
> 
> Joyce
> -------
> Joyce Coppinger, Managing Editor
> The Last Straw journal
> GPFS/TLS, PO Box 22706, Lincoln NE 68542-2706 USA
> 402.483.5135, fax 402.483.5161
> thelaststraw@...
> www.thelaststraw.org
> 




----------------------------------------------------------------------

Date: 7 Oct 2007 09:43:13 -0500
From: "Rikki  Nitzkin" rikkinitzkin@...
Subject: RE: GSBN:Any SB contacts in Chile?

In the Spanish Strawbale Network we have several members.  The most
"professional" looking one is Jorge Broughton (www.arquitecturaenfardos.cl) 

The complete list is as follows:
  alejandro ceroni alejandroceroni@... 
    andre guillermo abascal klug euzkarrat@...  
    CLAUDIO OLIVARES claudioor@...
    Francisca Jimenez Perez bioespacios@...,  041-2992324 (c)  
    Jorge Broughton jbw@... 
    Jorge Yiries jyiries@...
    Manuel Ortega mortegaf@... 
    Maria Angelica Ruiz aruiz@...

Apart from Jorge Broughton, I don't know how many of these people have
actually built with Straw and how many are wanting to build.  I also don't
know if any of them speak English because all my contact with them has been
in Spanish.

Hope this helps.
  
Rikki Nitzkin
Aulas, Lleida, Espana
rikkinitzkin@...
(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 Martin Hammer
> Enviado el: viernes, 05 de octubre de 2007 18:21
> Para: GSBN
> CC: Daniela von Riegen
> Asunto: Re: GSBN:Any SB contacts in Chile?
> 
> Hello Chug,
> 
> Here's one more contact that might help.  A woman intern architect who
> attended a couple of my workshops who is Chilean but has recently been
> living in California.  She is about to build a straw bale house in Chile.
> 
> Daniela von Riegan -  dvonriegan@...
> 
> 
> Martin Hammer
> 
> 
> > Catherine and Bill,
> > Thank you very much for these contacts I will pass them on and also add
> them
> > to my international contacts list.
> >
> > bale on
> > Chug
> > chug@...
> > <a  target="_blank" href="http://www.strawbale-building.co.uk/";>http://www.strawbale-building.co.uk/</a>
> > .
> 
> > ----
> > For instructions on joining, leaving, or otherwise using the GSBN list,
> send
> > email to GSBN@...HELP in the SUBJECT line.
> > ----
> >
> 
> 




----------------------------------------------------------------------

Date: 7 Oct 2007 11:12:18 -0500
From: Athena &amp; Bill Steen absteen@...
Subject: Re: GSBN:Re: Lime plaster problems

I'll plead busy as well and before I made any comments I wanted to  
make sure they would be somewhat thorough.  There are a few things  
that have become evident to me over the years when it comes to lime  
over clay plaster.  In mho I would have to say that results are  
unpredictable and undependable.  I'm not saying it can't or doesn't  
work, but rather that outcomes vary widely. David Bainbridge  
mentioned in his earlier post the Getty people in Los Angeles as a  
resource.  I've made it a point to talk with them every few years  
about lime plaster and in particular their work with prickly pear  
cactus gel.  Anyhow in one of the last conversations we had they told  
me that there was a growing sentiment amidst the conservation  
community that the use of lime plaster over earth surfaces was not  
such a good idea.  They mentioned that although lime had better  
permeability than cement and allowed the earth to dry better when  
wet, it was still too different from an earthen substrate for it to  
work dependably.

My experience basically says the same thing.  For me the whole issue  
comes down to what type of earth plaster is underneath.  Apparently  
some are much better than others and just what all the variables are  
I can't say.  I think it will take some time to get a better grasp on  
it.  Clearly I would suggest that if the substrate has a lot of clay  
there is a likely possibility that if water is absorbed through the  
lime plaster and passed on to the earth substrate then obviously the  
clay will expand and have a tendency to push the lime plaster away  
therefore causing the two to separate.  If the earth plaster is weak  
then the connection will break down over time.  So in short I guess  
what I'm saying is that the earth plaster has to be of a really good  
quality for any chance of success.  It needs to be strong and not  
have an overly high content of expansive clay.  Another very  
important piece is that the earthen plaster substrate must be  
thoroughly dry as earth plasters shrink when drying. If that process  
is not complete the earth will pull away from the lime plaster and  
leave it hanging in the air. And as others have pointed out the  
surface needs to be extremely well keyed for the lime to adhere.  I  
don't think you can under-do that aspect.  Additional measures like  
that of placing sharp jagged stones in the plaster would also help  
such as the practice of "rahuela" used in Mexico where stones are  
placed in the mortar joint between adobes.

I think it was David that also mentioned the Japanesete We have  
worked closely with a pair of Japanese plasterers over recent years  
and it is important to note that the Japanese approach relies heavily  
on use of a glue when mixing what they call "Shikkui." Traditionally  
rice flour was used but was replaced with seaweed gel during a time  
of food shortages.  In general I would say that their plastering  
practices are far more meticulous than anything I've seen in this  
part of the world and in the words of the best plasterer from there  
that I can think of, "there is great difficulty in the connection  
between the two coats and at best it does not last for a very long  
time."

Having said all this I will say that my comments apply primarily to  
exterior finishes and I've not yet experienced any problems with  
interior or protected locations.  But I should add that we also  
typically include a percentage of some glue material in the lime  
plaster.

John Glassford suggested the use of lime/clay as an alternative and I  
think that it can be a very good one.  Much here depends upon the  
reaction between the clay soil and the lime. Over the years I've  
watched varying reactions, some soils produce exceptional results,  
others marginal.  I recently cornered Harry Francis who once worked  
for the American Lime Association while we happened to be together  
recently in Washington DC.  I told him that the using pH as an  
indicator of the right type of mix was not proving true all of the  
time.  Like he always does Harry went home and searched his extensive  
resources and just emailed me a paper that addresses some of those  
variables particularly soils with high levels of potassium and sodium  
carbonates.  I haven't had time to really absorb the content, but if  
any of you want a copy I would be happy to forward it.

I've already said more than I had intended, but to sum it up I would  
not suggest that we recommend the use of lime plaster over earthen  
substrates as a general practice.  I would suggest that it be adopted  
only after some testing and experimentation has been done and with a  
warning that the results are always guaranteed.

Bill
On Oct 7, 2007, at 7:10 AM, Rikki Nitzkin wrote:

> Sorry to chime in so late...been busy. Its just that I haven't seen  
> anywhere
> that in the responses to remind Andy that it is very important to  
> wet down
> as well as scratch the base layer of plaster before applying a new  
> coat, and
> if the material is different (lime on clay in this case) really rub  
> the
> first bit in so it binds well.
>
> Hope your problem has been solved.
>
> Rikki Nitzkin
> Aulas, Lleida, Espana
> rikkinitzkin@...
> (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 Brian  
>> Hodge -
>> Anvill
>> Enviado el: jueves, 27 de septiembre de 2007 22:20
>> Para: 'GSBN'
>> Asunto: RE: GSBN:Re: Lime plaster problems
>>
>> Hi Andy,
>> I agree with John. We have been doing a very similar thing for  
>> about 5
>> years and have not found it necessary to add the lime putty top  
>> coat. We
>> have even done it without chaff with a great deal of success.
>>
>> Regards
>>
>> Brian
>>
>> Anvil Straw
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: GSBN [<a  target="_blank" href="mailto:GSBN@...";>mailto:GSBN@...] On Behalf Of John
>> Glassford
>> Sent: Thursday, 27 September 2007 7:53 AM
>> To: GSBN
>> Cc: Andy Horn
>> Subject: Re: GSBN:Re: Lime plaster problems
>>
>>
>> G ' day Andy
>>
>> My two rands worth mate.
>>
>> You will need to remove the lime coat and scratch up the earth as  
>> others
>> have said.
>>
>> I would then apply a mix of earth/lime/sand and chaff or chopped  
>> straw.
>>
>> All depends on the clay content of your earth but I would look at
>> something like this 3 parts soil 2 parts lime 3 parts sand 1 part  
>> chaff.
>> I use buckets for this mix.  It works well and binds well with the
>> earthen render.  Then if you want you can apply a finish coat of lime
>> render however I have not found that necessary in most cases  
>> except for
>> look.
>>
>> You can see a house we renedered with earth, then earth/lime/sand/ 
>> chaff,
>> then lime/sand, here:
>>
>> <a  target="_blank" href="http://glassford.com.au/Jumbo.htm";>http://glassford.com.au/Jumbo.htm</a>
>>
>> No delamination no cracks and it is nearly 6 years since we finished
>> there.
>>
>> Was in Cape Town a few weeks ago but did not have time to see much it
>> was a Rotary trip with Hout Bay.  We will be back next year for an
>> extended visit, see you then.
>>
>> Kind regards
>> The Straw Wolf
>> Huff 'n' Puff Constructions
>> <a  target="_blank" href="http://www.glassford.com.au/";>http://www.glassford.com.au/</a>
>>
>> 61 2 6927 6027
>>
>> Mount Kilimanjaro Climb 28/8/07 <a  target="_blank" href="http://www.coolamonrotary.com/kili/";>http://www.coolamonrotary.com/kili/</a>
>> ----
>> For instructions on joining, leaving, or otherwise using the GSBN  
>> list,
>> send email to GSBN@...HELP in the SUBJECT  
>> line.
>>
>> ----
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> ----
>> For instructions on joining, leaving, or otherwise using the GSBN  
>> list,
>> send email to GSBN@...HELP in the SUBJECT  
>> line.
>> ----
>
> ----
> For instructions on joining, leaving, or otherwise using the GSBN  
> list, send email to GSBN@...HELP in the  
> SUBJECT line.
> ----
>

Athena &amp; Bill Steen
The Canelo Project
HC1 Box 324
Canelo/Elgin, AZ 85611
absteen@...
www.caneloproject.com




----------------------------------------------------------------------

Date: 7 Oct 2007 13:41:13 -0500
From: Bruce King ecobruce@...
Subject: Re: GSBN:Re: Lime plaster problems


On Oct 7, 2007, at 9:00 AM, Athena &amp; Bill Steen wrote:

>  . . . Another very important piece is that the earthen plaster
> substrate must be thoroughly dry as earth plasters shrink when drying.
> If that process is not complete the earth will pull away from the lime
> plaster and leave it hanging in the air.

Bill, thanks as always for a thoughtful and well-articulated post.

The above excerpt makes me think that the case is even weaker than you
say for lime over earth, in that you really don't want to apply a lime
plaster to a bone dry earthen substrate.  The earth would suck the
moisture prematurely out of the lime, wrecking or impeding a good cure.
  But if you moisten the earth first, then you are applying lime to the
substrate in its expanded state -- which happens anyway as bone-dry
earth sucks moisture long before the lime sets.  Looks like a lose-lose
proposition, or rather that you end up relying completely on glue and
mechanical anchorage of some sort.

Also, just to be clear, you finished with --
>  I would suggest that it be adopted only after some testing and
> experimentation has been done and with a warning that the results are
> always guaranteed

Don't you mean "never guaranteed"?

I would greatly appreciate a copy of Harry's paper, or anything by
Harry for that matter.

Thanks,

Bruce King, PE
Director, Ecological Building Network  ( www.ecobuildnetwork.org )
Publisher, Green Building Press  ( www.greenbuildingpress.com )
11 Mark Drive
San Rafael, CA 94903  USA
(415) 987-7271
bruce@...


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Date: 7 Oct 2007 13:41:50 -0500
From: Joyce Coppinger jc10508@...
Subject: Re: GSBN:Women in Strawbale and Natural Building

December 15 but we take text and photos up to the point of going to the
printer. The sooner the better is always a good guideline.

Joyce

on 10.7.2007 9:10 AM, Rikki  Nitzkin at rikkinitzkin@...:

> What is the deadline for info?
> 
> Rikki Nitzkin
> Aulas, Lleida, Espana
> rikkinitzkin@...
> (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 Joyce Coppinger
>> Enviado el: viernes, 21 de septiembre de 2007 19:30
>> Para: GSBN
>> Asunto: GSBN:Women in Strawbale and Natural Building
>> 
>> The theme of The Last Straw journal's March 2008 issue is The Women of
>> Strawbale and Natural Building. In addition to updating the articles about
>> women involved in strawbale and natural building in 1995 (TLS issue
>> #10/Constructive Women), we want to feature women who are currently
>> involved
>> now.
>> 
>> Your involvement can be related to any aspect - workshop instructor,
>> teaching an online course or in the classroom, helping with an
>> association,
>> architect, engineer, designer, design/builder, owner/builder, contractor,
>> subcontractor, supplier, natural building materials store owner,
>> plasterer,
>> writer, author, consultant, promoter, realtor, codes official, lender,
>> insurer...
>> 
>> We want to feature women from around the world, so please help us get the
>> word out by passing this along to others!
>> 
>> Here's what I'm looking for:
>> 
>> 1.  Photograph - a head shot or a photo showing the person doing a
>> workshop,
>> teaching a class, working on a project. 300 dpi jpg or tiff format 3x4
>> 
>> 2.  Brief bio of how you got involved, what you do (planning, design,
>> construction, plaster, cob, strawbale, light straw clay, and such)
>> 
>> 3. A brief note about projects (types of projects and materials),
>> involvement in associations, experience teaching or doing workshops, any
>> other contributions to their particular field of expertise and work
>> 
>> This issue will take time to bring together, so the sooner you can send
>> information to us the better.
>> 
>> If you have questions or need more information, just ask.
>> 
>> Thanks. Look forward to hearing from you!
>> 
>> Joyce
>> -------
>> Joyce Coppinger, Managing Editor
>> The Last Straw journal
>> GPFS/TLS, PO Box 22706, Lincoln NE 68542-2706 USA
>> 402.483.5135, fax 402.483.5161
>> thelaststraw@...
>> www.thelaststraw.org
>> 
>> ----
>> For instructions on joining, leaving, or otherwise using the GSBN list,
>> send email to GSBN@...HELP in the SUBJECT line.
>> ----
> 
> ----
> For instructions on joining, leaving, or otherwise using the GSBN list, send
> email to GSBN@...HELP in the SUBJECT line.
> ----
> 



----------------------------------------------------------------------

Date: 7 Oct 2007 14:54:13 -0500
From: Mark Piepkorn mark@...
Subject: Re: GSBN:Any SB contacts in Chile?

At 01:07 AM 10/4/2007, Chug wrote:

Also does anyone have any info
on the connection between sustainable
building-cob, strawbale, natural materials etc- and the
psychological
benefits of living/working in such a place.
Do you know of any research, case studies, books, people, anything
that
might be useful?

Mark has shared the following
member-only page from BuildingGreen Suite. If you find this page
valuable, we encourage you to

become a
member
!
Use this link to view the page for 
"Biophilia in Practice:
Buildings that Connect People with Nature"
:

<a  target="_blank" href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/article.cfm?fileName=150701a.xml&amp;accessCode=i2tt7o";>http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/article.cfm?fileName=150701a.xml&amp;accessCode=i2tt7o</a>

This link will expire on October 14, 2007.
Excerpts from the linked article:
... First, it is becoming increasingly well demonstrated that biophilic
elements have real, measurable benefits relative to such human
performance metrics as productivity, emotional well-being, stress
reduction, learning, and healing. And second, from an environmental
standpoint, biophilic features foster an appreciation of nature, which,
in turn, should lead to greater protection of natural areas, eliminate
pollution, and maintain a clean environment ...
... The most clearly demonstrated benefits of biophilia are related to
health and healing. If the biophilia hypothesis is correct, all human
beings have carried its stamp on their genes for millennia. Indeed, the
historical record reflects that the potential for biophilic features to
produce positive, measurable outcomes on human health and healing has
been understood for centuries. As long as 2,000 years ago, according to
Richard Louv in the book 
Last Child in the Woods
 (Algonquin Books,
2005), Chinese Taoists recognized that gardens and greenhouses were
beneficial to health. Leonard Maeger, writing in the 
English
Gardener
 in 1699, recommended spending time in a garden: iThere is no
better way to preserve your health.i In 1859, the pioneering British
nurse Florence Nightingale wrote in 
Notes on Nursing
 (reprinted by
Scholarly Publishing Office, University of Michigan Library, 2005) that
ivariety of form and brilliancy of colour in the objects presented to
patients are an actual means of recovery.i  ...
... Ulrich described a 1992 study he was involved with that examined
rates of recovery from heart surgery with different wall treatments in
the recovery rooms. Rooms had either bare white walls or various types of
artwork, including photographs of deep, dark forests, photographs of open
landscape vistas, and rectilinear abstract art. Ulrich and his fellow
researchers found that the closed forest images resulted in little
difference to patients compared with the blank wall, while the open
landscape scenes dramatically reduced pain and anxiety. Significantly,
the abstract art hindered patient recovery; in fact, according to Ulrich,
the negative effect of the abstract art was so significant that the
researchers discontinued that aspect of the experiment in the interest of
patient health. ...
... In 
Last Child in the Woods
, Louv quotes a number of experts
suggesting that inature may be useful as a therapy for attention deficit
hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)i and that lack of contact with nature may
be one of the 
contributors
 to the dramatic rise in ADHD among
children in recent years #173# an idea he refers to as inature-deficit
disorder.i ...
... The Heschong Mahone Group, Inc., in its most recent study of
daylighting in schools, found statistically significant evidence that
access to views through windows in school classrooms improves student
performance by 5% to 10% (see 
EBN

Vol. 13, No. 10
). While earlier studies had found a correlation of
faster learning with higher daylighting levels, this study found a
stronger correlation of faster learning with views to the outdoors than
with daylighting levels. ...
... Researchers from the Rocky Mountain Institute and Carnegie Mellon
University have reported significant improvements in productivity as a
result of green building features, including daylighting and views to the
outdoors (see 
EBN

Vol. 13, No. 10
). Even more difficult than demonstrating

whether
 certain building features boost productivity is figuring
out 
why
. At the 
Bringing Buildings to Life
 symposium,
Kellert cited studies suggesting that contact with nature improves
cognitive functioning on higher-order tasks, which may explain some of
the effects. ...

Mark Piepkorn

www.potkettleblack.com

Sometimes, you have to go through a phase
whether you like it or not.
 - Tina Weymouth


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Date: 7 Oct 2007 16:59:36 -0500
From: thangmaker@...
Subject: Re: GSBN:Re: Lime plaster problems

Thank you, Bill.=C2=A0 I have had good results and no problems to date putting
lime over earthen plaster made with our native caliche clay.=C2=A0 We have
done what Bill


suggests:=C2=A0 scratching the surface=C2=A0well and letting the earthen
plaster dry completely.=C2=A0=C2=A0For those unfamiliar with caliche
it=C2=A0occurs in the same soil as limestone. 


It is the same basic material as lime (calcium carbonate)=C2=A0but less dense
and not well bonded to itself...flakey if you will.=C2=A0=C2=A0 Occasionally
clay is found with this 


material and is the best clay=C2=A0I have seen in terms of PI index (low
expansion and contraction).=C2=A0 =C2=A0This is the clay I wanted to use for
the fire test last year in San Antonio but as Matts pointed out it would not
perform well in a hot fire.=C2=A0=C2=A0 I am guessing the material is similar
enough to lime plaster that it both bonds well to it and their rate of movment
and reaction to moisture is similar.


=C2=A0


Cheers


Frank Meyer=C2=A0=C2=A0=C2=A0


PS we are hosting a Natural Building Colloquim later this month
www.naturalbuildingtexas.org and have a great caliche clay pit on site.


- -----Original Message-----

From: Athena &amp; Bill Steen 

To: GSBN 

Sent: Sun, Oct 7 12:11 PM

Subject: Re: GSBN:Re: Lime plaster problems





I'll plead busy as well and before I made any comments I wanted to make sure
they would be somewhat thorough. There are a few things that have become
evident to me over the years when it comes to lime over clay plaster. In mho I
would have to say that results are unpredictable and undependable. I'm not
saying it can't or doesn't work, but rather that outcomes vary widely. David
Bainbridge mentioned in his earlier post the Getty people in Los Angeles as a
resource. I've made it a point to talk with them every few years about lime
plaster and in particular their work with prickly pear cactus gel. Anyhow in
one of the last conversations we had they told me that there was a growing
sentiment amidst the conservation community that the use of lime plaster over
earth surfaces was not such a good idea. They mentioned that although lime had
better permeability than cement and allowed the earth to dry better when wet,
it was still too different from an earthen substrate for it to work
dependably.=C2=A0

=C2=A0

My experience basically says the same thing. For me the whole issue comes down
to what type of earth plaster is underneath. Apparently some are much better
than others and just what all the variables are I can't say. I think it will
take some time to get a better grasp on it. Clearly I would suggest that if
the substrate has a lot of clay there is a likely possibility that if water is
absorbed through the lime plaster and passed on to the earth substrate then
obviously the clay will expand and have a tendency to push the lime plaster
away therefore causing the two to separate. If the earth plaster is weak then
the connection will break down over time. So in short I guess what I'm saying
is that the earth plaster has to be of a really good quality for any chance of
success. It needs to be strong and not have an overly high content of
expansive clay. Another very important piece is that the earthen plaster
substrate must be thoroughly dry as earth plasters shrink when drying. If that
process is not complete the earth will pull away from the lime plaster and
leave it hanging in the air. And as others have pointed out the surface needs
to be extremely well keyed for the lime to adhere. I don't think you can
under-do that aspect. Additional measures like that of placing sharp jagged
stones in the plaster would also help such as the practice of "rahuela" used
in Mexico where stones are placed in the mortar joint between adobes.=C2=A0

=C2=A0

I think it was David that also mentioned the Japanesete We have worked closely
with a pair of Japanese plasterers over recent years and it is important to
note that the Japanese approach relies heavily on use of a glue when mixing
what they call "Shikkui." Traditionally rice flour was used but was replaced
with seaweed gel during a time of food shortages. In general I would say that
their plastering practices are far more meticulous than anything I've seen in
this part of the world and in the words of the best plasterer from there that
I can think of, "there is great difficulty in the connection between the two
coats and at best it does not last for a very long time."=C2=A0

=C2=A0

Having said all this I will say that my comments apply primarily to exterior
finishes and I've not yet experienced any problems with interior or protected
locations. But I should add that we also typically include a percentage of
some glue material in the lime plaster.=C2=A0

=C2=A0

John Glassford suggested the use of lime/clay as an alternative and I think
that it can be a very good one. Much here depends upon the reaction between
the clay soil and the lime. Over the years I've watched varying reactions,
some soils produce exceptional results, others marginal. I recently cornered
Harry Francis who once worked for the American Lime Association while we
happened to be together recently in Washington DC. I told him that the using
pH as an indicator of the right type of mix was not proving true all of the
time. Like he always does Harry went home and searched his extensive resources
and just emailed me a paper that addresses some of those variables
particularly soils with high levels of potassium and sodium carbonates. I
haven't had time to really absorb the content, but if any of you want a copy I
would be happy to forward it.=C2=A0

=C2=A0

I've already said more than I had intended, but to sum it up I would not
suggest that we recommend the use of lime plaster over earthen substrates as a
general practice. I would suggest that it be adopted only after some testing
and experimentation has been done and with a warning that the results are
always guaranteed.=C2=A0

=C2=A0

Bill=C2=A0

On Oct 7, 2007, at 7:10 AM, Rikki Nitzkin wrote:=C2=A0

=C2=A0

> Sorry to chime in so late...been busy. Its just that I haven't seen >
anywhere=C2=A0

> that in the responses to remind Andy that it is very important to > wet
down=C2=A0

> as well as scratch the base layer of plaster before applying a new > coat,
and=C2=A0

> if the material is different (lime on clay in this case) really rub >
the=C2=A0

> first bit in so it binds well.=C2=A0

>=C2=A0

> Hope your problem has been solved.=C2=A0

>=C2=A0

> Rikki Nitzkin=C2=A0

> Aul=C3=A1s, Lleida, Espa=C3=B1a=C2=A0

> rikkinitzkin@earthlink.net=C2=A0

> (0034)657 33 51 62=C2=A0

> www.casasdepaja.com (Red de Construcci=C3=B3n con Balas de Paja)=C2=A0

>=C2=A0

>=C2=A0

>> -----Mensaje original-----=C2=A0

>> De: GSBN [<a  target="_blank" href="mailto:GSBN@...";>mailto:GSBN@...] En nombre de Brian >> Hodge
-=C2=A0

>> Anvill=C2=A0

>> Enviado el: jueves, 27 de septiembre de 2007 22:20=C2=A0

>> Para: 'GSBN'=C2=A0

>> Asunto: RE: GSBN:Re: Lime plaster problems=C2=A0

>>=C2=A0

>> Hi Andy,=C2=A0

>> I agree with John. We have been doing a very similar thing for >> about
5=C2=A0

>> years and have not found it necessary to add the lime putty top >> coat.
We=C2=A0

>> have even done it without chaff with a great deal of success.=C2=A0

>>=C2=A0

>> Regards=C2=A0

>>=C2=A0

>> Brian=C2=A0

>>=C2=A0

>> Anvil Straw=C2=A0

>>=C2=A0

>> -----Original Message-----=C2=A0

>> From: GSBN [<a  target="_blank" href="mailto:GSBN@...";>mailto:GSBN@...] On Behalf Of John=C2=A0

>> Glassford=C2=A0

>> Sent: Thursday, 27 September 2007 7:53 AM=C2=A0

>> To: GSBN=C2=A0

>> Cc: Andy Horn=C2=A0

>> Subject: Re: GSBN:Re: Lime plaster problems=C2=A0

>>=C2=A0

>>=C2=A0

>> G ' day Andy=C2=A0

>>=C2=A0

>> My two rands worth mate.=C2=A0

>>=C2=A0

>> You will need to remove the lime coat and scratch up the earth as >>
others=C2=A0

>> have said.=C2=A0

>>=C2=A0

>> I would then apply a mix of earth/lime/sand and chaff or chopped >>
straw.=C2=A0

>>=C2=A0

>> All depends on the clay content of your earth but I would look at=C2=A0

>> something like this 3 parts soil 2 parts lime 3 parts sand 1 part >>
chaff.=C2=A0

>> I use buckets for this mix. It works well and binds well with the=C2=A0

>> earthen render. Then if you want you can apply a finish coat of lime=C2=A0

>> render however I have not found that necessary in most cases >> except
for=C2=A0

>> look.=C2=A0

>>=C2=A0

>> You can see a house we renedered with earth, then earth/lime/sand/>>
chaff,=C2=A0

>> then lime/sand, here:=C2=A0

>>=C2=A0

>> <a  target="_blank" href="http://glassford.com.au/Jumbo.htm=C2=A0";>http://glassford.com.au/Jumbo.htm=C2=A0</a>

>>=C2=A0

>> No delamination no cracks and it is nearly 6 years since we finished=C2=A0

>> there.=C2=A0

>>=C2=A0

>> Was in Cape Town a few weeks ago but did not have time to see much it=C2=A0

>> was a Rotary trip with Hout Bay. We will be back next year for an=C2=A0

>> extended visit, see you then.=C2=A0

>>=C2=A0

>> Kind regards=C2=A0

>> The Straw Wolf=C2=A0

>> Huff 'n' Puff Constructions=C2=A0

>> <a  target="_blank" href="http://www.glassford.com.au/=C2=A0";>http://www.glassford.com.au/=C2=A0</a>

>>=C2=A0

>> 61 2 6927 6027=C2=A0

>>=C2=A0

>> Mount Kilimanjaro Climb 28/8/07 <a  target="_blank" href="http://www.coolamonrotary.com/kili/=C2=A0";>http://www.coolamonrotary.com/kili/=C2=A0</a>

>> ----=C2=A0

>> For instructions on joining, leaving, or otherwise using the GSBN >>
list,=C2=A0

>> send email to GSBN@...HELP in the SUBJECT >>
line.=C2=A0

>>=C2=A0

>> ----=C2=A0

>>=C2=A0

>>=C2=A0

>>=C2=A0

>>=C2=A0

>> ----=C2=A0

>> For instructions on joining, leaving, or otherwise using the GSBN >>
list,=C2=A0

>> send email to GSBN@...HELP in the SUBJECT >>
line.=C2=A0

>> ----=C2=A0

>=C2=A0

> ----=C2=A0

> For instructions on joining, leaving, or otherwise using the GSBN > list,
send email to GSBN@...HELP in the > SUBJECT
line.=C2=A0

> ----=C2=A0

>=C2=A0

=C2=A0

Athena &amp; Bill Steen=C2=A0

The Canelo Project=C2=A0

HC1 Box 324=C2=A0

Canelo/Elgin, AZ 85611=C2=A0

absteen@dakotacom.net=C2=A0

www.caneloproject.com=C2=A0

=C2=A0

- ----=C2=A0

For instructions on joining, leaving, or otherwise using the GSBN list, send
email to GSBN@...HELP in the SUBJECT line. ----=C2=A0


________________________________________________________________________
Email and AIM finally together. You've gotta check out free AOL Mail! -
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Date: 7 Oct 2007 17:06:26 -0500
From: "Brian Hodge - Anvill" brian@...
Subject: RE: GSBN:Re: Strawbale walling query

For about 5 years we have been using 100x100mm (4"x4") posts set into
the straw bale wall. We use a 2 string bale which means that the twine
is set back about 120mm (5") from the face of the bale. We notch the
bale around the post which allows us to maintain running bond. We tie
the straw bales back to internal walls after the compression is
completed. We also tie the bales to any full height openings after
compression.

If when building the straw bale wall we felt that the wall was a bit
unstable ( possibly because of a long run of bales without internal
walls), we would tie the bales back to the post, loosely during
assembly. During compression we might need to cut those ties if they
start to work against the compression. If necessary we would retie them
after compression, however this rarely needed, as there is significant
stability gained from the compression, and rigidity of the top boxing.
We render across the face of the post, ensuring that any cavities
between the post and bales are filled with render. We have used this
method in single and 2 storey construction in very windy areas,
(unfortunately very little rain) and have never had any cracking appear
around the posts.





- -----Original Message-----
From: GSBN [<a  target="_blank" href="mailto:GSBN@...";>mailto:GSBN@...] On Behalf Of Joyce
Coppinger
Sent: Sunday, 7 October 2007 8:25 AM
To: GSBN
Subject: Re: GSBN:Re: Strawbale walling query


There is a straw-bale building in Nebraska (40x80 if I remember
correctly) where the bales are used as infill (not loadbearing) and they
wrapped around the outside of the posts without being tied to the poles.
The bale walls sit about four inches away from the posts. The building
was constructed in 1997-8 in the northeast corner of the state (gets
plenty of rain and snow and high winds). There are 28 posts (from red
cedar trees felled nearby) in this building - most around the perimeter
but some for structural support of the loft and rafters.

The bales are tied together with rebar pounded into the center at two
points within each bale, staggered up through three courses (see The
Straw Bale House by Steen, Steen et al). The building is coated with
cement stucco which is troweled over chicken wire pinned to the bales.

A rainscreen would probably be a good idea for the climate you describe.

Joyce
- -------
Joyce Coppinger, Managing Editor
The Last Straw journal
GPFS/TLS, PO Box 22706, Lincoln NE 68542-2706 USA
402.483.5135, fax 402.483.5161
thelaststraw@...
www.thelaststraw.org



on 10.4.2007 12:06 PM, Tom Woolley at woolley.tom@...:

>
> 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
>
> thanks
>
>
> Tom Woolley
> woolley.tom@...
> Rachel Bevan Architects
> 17A Main Street
> Saintfield
> Ballynahinch
> County Down
> BT24 7AA
> 028 97 512851
>
> also:
> Graduate School of the Environment
> Centre for Alternative Technology
> Unit 7, Dyfi Eco Parc
> Machynlleth
> Powys, SY208AX
>
> 01654 703562
>
>
>
>
>
>
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list, send
> email to GSBN@...HELP in the SUBJECT line.
> ----
>

- ----
For instructions on joining, leaving, or otherwise using the GSBN list,
send email to GSBN@...HELP in the SUBJECT line.

- ----






----------------------------------------------------------------------

Date: 7 Oct 2007 19:21:10 -0500
From: Judyknox42@...
Subject: Re: GSBN:Re: Lime plaster problems

Matts and I have had great success with lime plaster over clay plasters,
particularly in the bale wrap project next door which is in its 7th year,
exposed
to the west sun and weather, and doing just fine.  Now I'm going to have to
put my head together with him and try to figure out why it's worked so well.
Plaster on...(not to be confused with let's get plastered)
Judy

Judy Knox and Matts Myhrman
Out On Bale
1037 E. Linden St.
Tucson, Az  85719
520-622-6896
judyknox42@...
mattsmyhrman@...

Each of us can and must champion the evolutionary breakthroughs necessary to
sustain all life.  The journey of a champion is difficult, AND our access to a
joyful life.
Judy Knox


**************************************
 



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