[GSBN] prefab strawbale

martin hammer mfhammer at pacbell.net
Wed Jul 29 12:46:27 CDT 2009


I encourage people to look at the following website regarding a prefab SB
system being developed and implemented in the UK:

http://www.modcell.co.uk/page/new-balehaus-at-bath

Is anyone familiar with this?  Also, I include here a brief sequence of
comments between Dan Smith (GSBN member), Dietmar Lorenz (of Dan¹s office),
and myself.

Martin Hammer



On Jul 29, 2009, at 8:29 AM, Dietmar Lorenz wrote:

Very interesting, indeed. I wonder how material (and cost-) effective this
system is after all. The frames have to be overly sturdy for transport and
handled very carefully to avoid damage to the plaster or the installed doors
and windows. Wiring and plumbing could also be a challenge with such small
units, rather than full length wall segments or prefab boxes. Dan has
probably more insights to share from his experience with our ZETA
prototypes.

But it's great to see that this is being explored in a serious way, and it
certainly architecturally appealing. Maybe I'll see it from the airplane
Saturday morning, when we fly over the UK...



On 7/29/09 8:35 AM, Dan Smith  wrote:

Thanks, it's certainly refreshing in concept and looks.  But it seems about
$25 sf for bare bale panel only, hmm.

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On 7/29/09 9:40 AM, Martin Hammer wrote:

I agree with both of your comments.  The wood frames are thick, deep, heavy,
and consume a lot of wood.  Maybe an ŒI¹ section could be used.  And I
hadn¹t noticed the per sq.ft. price.

It¹s still good to see.  A modern vocabulary with SB (rarely seen), using
the bales only in solid panels (no holes poked in them), and at least trying
pre-fab, with plaster done in shop conditions (even though it inherently
creates bulky, heavy panels that must then be transported).  Not sure how
dependable the bale to frame interface is in terms of potential water
intrusion.




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