[GSBN] Lime plaster and expansion joints
ecobruce at sbcglobal.net
Tue Feb 10 12:17:20 CST 2009
Laura, Bill, everyone, greetings
Laura's idea of somehow collecting, digesting and publishing our
collective experience is a good one. And it is exactly what we did,
however imperfectly, before publishing "Design of Straw Bale
Buildings". That is, in addition to all the fresh testing we had
done, we went through all the archives and odd little notes and memos
hiding in the hard drive, and especially contacted lots of people
(mainly y'all) with follow up questions. A thoroughly pleasant
experience, but not a simple or easy one.
If I could raise the money, I'd gladly do it again, or regularly.
Which swings us back around to Mark Piepkorn's lingering proposal for
a journal of natural building . . . which reminds me that that is
pretty much what The Last Straw has become under Joyce's wonderful and
persistent guidance. Thank you, Joyce, thank you.
There's always more that we could do, individually or collectively,
but I'm pretty thrilled with what we've already got -- a lot of
generous, smart, energetic people (that would be you) who are kind
enough to contribute to list serves like this, and to print in TLS &
elsewhere. Natural building is enjoying a true renaissance, albeit
still mostly off most people's radar, that will surely prove to be a
big part of figuring out how to get by when the oil runs out. I
suppose my request of all of us is simply to keep and report careful
records of what we do -- what worked, and especially what didn't
work. That's how we learn. If you have a spectacular success or
failure, but no record or memory of what you did, then there is no
lesson learned, it didn't even happen. By writing and saving these
email notes we might save each other from repeating mistakes, or
reinventing wheels. It is right here that the Internet is reeeeeeally
Bruce "a repeating mistake" King
On Feb 10, 2009, at 9:50 AM, Athena & Bill Steen wrote:
> On Feb 10, 2009, at 10:32 AM, Laura Bartels wrote:
>> Thanks for your thoughts.
>> A year or so ago I went back to look closely at cracks that had
>> developed in various places on the walls of the Waldorf School
>> buildings. Some areas on two of the buildings were through all
>> three coats of cement stucco. As I was doing a bit of moisture
>> investigating as well (including drilling in places that there was
>> no cracking but in areas that were going to be re-touched anyway, I
>> was probing all the areas I could. What was significant was that
>> there seemed to be a correlation between where the probe had little
>> resistance and where the largest cracks were. It appeared that in
>> areas where the straw was not firm and voids not well stuffed or
>> filled, that it allowed more cracking. Now, what the exact
>> explanation is I'm not sure- temperature variations causing
>> cracking, thicker stucco in those spots as you say above, etc. But
>> what seemed clear was that correlation.
> I think it's a combination of the thicker application and the loose
> straw that has been traditionally used to stuff those cavities. We
> had to abandon the loose straw technique years ago because the earth
> plasters would never adhere to it.
>> These conversations are making me wonder how we collect more of
>> people's experiences relating to things like this, compare them,
>> examine them, and learn more from all that we collectively are
>> doing. Some of you write books, some are very active on this and
>> other lists, some do master's theses, some keep very detailed
>> observations... occasionally we wrangle up some money to do formal
>> testing. It's all critical work. Am I off my rocker to think that
>> there may be some way to throw our lessons learned into a database
>> with sections on various topics, describe as many of the variables
>> as we can, and over time watch for congruences and incongruences?
>> Could it be this same group done privately, to give us a chance to
>> chew on all sorts of things? Maybe its just perhaps another use of
>> this exact same format. Maybe we raise topics periodically- lime
>> plaster, earth plaster, plaster prep, structural systems, etc.
> Love the idea, you already have most of my two cents on the topic.
> As to how, hey, whatever suits everyone else.
> Athena & Bill Steen
> The Canelo Project
> HC1 Box 324
> Canelo/Elgin, AZ 85611
> absteen at dakotacom.net
> GSBN mailing list
> GSBN at greenbuilder.com
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