[GSBN] Decostruction

Graeme North graeme at ecodesign.co.nz
Thu Jul 30 17:35:49 CDT 2009

Hi John

any observations about the reaction between steel reinforcing (and  
whether it was galvanised  or not?) and the earth plaster (natural or  
stabilised) would be welcome


(sent from my necktop via dial up)

Graeme North Architects
49 Matthew Road
tel/fax +64 (0)9 4259305

graeme at ecodesign.co.nz

On 31/07/2009, at 6:32 AM, Tim Owen-Kennedy wrote:

> Yeah,
> I just started pulling apart an earth plastered straw bale wall  
> that was damaged due to roof failure and there is actually some  
> significant mold. So what an opportunity. Going document as much as  
> possible to share with you all but wanted to know if any of you had  
> any pet concepts or thing you've always wanted to know about if you  
> could just tear into a wall to check, let me know and I'll do my  
> best to keep an eye out and get back to you in some form. And if  
> anyone had some tests they wanted done, like ten year cured earth  
> plaster compression, or plaster to bale adherion, or metal lath in  
> earth corrosion I'd be open to going the extra mile and negotiating  
> with my client, especially if they don't have to foot the bill for  
> it. Ok back to it.
> Can't wait for a chance to catch up on all your post this weekend
> Sent from my iPhone
> On Jul 30, 2009, at 10:25 AM, John Swearingen <jswearingen at skillful- 
> means.com> wrote:
>> That's interesting info, Chris, particularly your construction  
>> costs.  Maybe we should try something like that!
>> I'm not clear how, with a module that's pre-plastered, you tie  
>> modules together and make them weather-tight as well as  
>> structurally sound (don't forget, our ground shakes violently now  
>> and then).
>> It seems that your 'poured' walls are simple and easy for  
>> unskilled builders.   What would be the difference if you  
>> installed pre-fab walls w/o plaster, and a professional crew did  
>> the plastering as normally done?
>> John "Beyond Fab" Swearingen
>> On Thu, Jul 30, 2009 at 4:09 AM, <cmagwood at kos.net> wrote:
>> Hey all,
>> Very interesting to see this prefab discussion pop up! As some of you
>> know, I've been working on a prefab system for a while, and  
>> finally got a
>> chance to put to work on a full scale building this summer.
>> I've seen the Modcell system, and have many of the same  
>> reservations as
>> have been expressed here on the list. It seems a lot of material  
>> and not
>> much savings.
>> Our system here is just a typical load bearing wall that's made  
>> off site.
>> We use minimalist 2x4 box beam top plate and 2x4 sill plates, so  
>> there's
>> no more wood in the wall than any other building, and in fact  
>> much, much
>> less than any of the framed bale wall systems. In fact, it was  
>> watching
>> people ignore good old load bearing walls in favour of heavily framed
>> systems that got me wanting to prefab in the first place. I  
>> thought that
>> if we could eliminate the two complaints of weather protection and
>> wobbliness, then everybody could do load bearing.
>> In terms of transportation... all the bales, lumber, sand and masonry
>> ingredients get shipped from a source to a job site. Whether those
>> materials come to the "factory" first, get assembled and then  
>> continue on
>> to the job site seems pretty minor. In some cases, it may lower  
>> the EE,
>> sometimes make it a tiny bit higher, but not enough to discount  
>> the idea
>> of prefab. One of the beauties of our system is that the "factory"
>> requires only typical job site tools (chop saw, table saw, screw gun,
>> mortar mixer) and some floor space. Micro-factories are the way to do
>> this, not big centralized plants.
>> Our walls went together (with student workers, most of whom had no
>> building experience) in 1/4 of the amount of time we'd usually  
>> spend doing
>> site baled work. They turned out consistently sized, square,  
>> straight,
>> load bearing panels for less than the cost that any builder could  
>> make
>> standard frame walls.
>> You can check out photos of our system on the Photo Album section  
>> of the
>> class website at www.sustainablebuilding2009.ca. Those of you  
>> who've seen
>> me present on this subject know that I'm pretty enthused about it.  
>> After
>> too much time putting up test sheds, now that I've got a real  
>> building
>> done this way, I'm only more enthused than ever!
>> Chris
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>> -- 
>> John Swearingen
>> Skillful Means
>> www.skillful-means.com
>> blog: https://skillfulmeansdesign.wordpress.com
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