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RE: GSBN:Re: Fire-Resistant Straw Bale and Fighting a SB fire


Seems to me that your fire marshall has had about the most perfect case to
write up.  They did just about everything wrong.  Using steel studs, they
placed a chimney right against the bales.  Using combustible material in a
location that should have been a fire-stop, they added fuel to an eventual
fire.  And for heaven's sake, what were they thinking of using a welding
torch on a straw bale wall.  Don't they know it is easier and safer to use
a hay saw?

I suggest that you (1) buy him a copy of Design of Straw Bale Buildings
(Bruce King, et al), and (2) go into Bill's archives and find the rash of
suggestions that came out the last two times this became a GSBM question.
There were a number of good sources listed in both places.

It seems that this comes up every couple years.  Perhaps a listing of the
best sources for addressing this question could be collected and posted on
CASBA's web site.  In fact, the best sources for addressing all the common
questions should be on virtually every web site dedicated to straw bale
construction.  The Last Straw web site has a very good set of resources
listed, but I am thinking of a list that is sorted by topic: fire, water,
strength, vermin, energy, beauty, etc.  Not being capable myself of even
creating my own simple web site, I make this suggestion in the spirit of
someone who says, "someone ought to do it."  ...then goes back to what he
was doing.

Nehemiah Stone

> [Original Message]
> From: Bob Bolles bobbolles01@...
> To: GSBN@...
> Date: 12/20/2007 9:55:06 AM
> Subject: GSBN:Re: Fire-Resistant Straw Bale and Fighting a SB fire
> On Dec 20, 2007 4:25 AM, Bob Bolles bobbolles01@... wrote:
> > Deputy Chief, Don Fisher, Fort Mojave Mesa Fire District (Arizona) has
> > requested information on two aspects of Straw Bale Buildings 1)
Features of
> > SB Construction that make our building more fire resistant 2) How to
> > fight a fire in a SB Structure.
> >
> > Having recently fought his first SB structure fire has motivated him to
> > research SB buildings and use that information to write an article in a
> > firefighter's magazine.
> >
> > In the case of the building fire that Chief Fisher encountered, the
> > plaster lath was attached to one side of steel studs and girts, and the
> > Bales were placed on the inside of the studs, creating an air cavity
> > between. Additionally, the barrier between the top of the Bales and the
> > attic was OSB. The fire was apparently started by a welding torch.
> >
> > We would appreciate all of your ideas about how to design and build
> > Fire-Resistant SBC and what you would like firefighters to know about
> > dealing with a fire in a Straw Bale Building
> >
> > If there is enough response, I will also put together a summary to
> > to The Last Straw.
> >
> > Best Regards and Happy Holidays~
> >
> > bb
> >
> > Sustainable Building Systems
> >
> > San Diego CA USA
> >
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