[GSBN] Deconstruction

martin hammer mfhammer at pacbell.net
Fri Jul 31 11:17:47 CDT 2009

On 7/30/09 11:32 AM, "Tim Owen-Kennedy" <timok33 at gmail.com> wrote:
> 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.
> Going to document as much as possible . . . but wanted to know if any of you
> had any pet concepts or things you've always wanted to know about if you could
> just tear into a wall . . .
> Tim, if it¹s not too late:
> In areas where you haven¹t yet pulled off plaster, I recommend you drill a
> grid of holes in the plaster (one side only, maybe a 12² grid) in order to
> insert a moisture meter probe, and take readings 2² from each plaster face and
> in the center of the bale.  Then pull the plaster off each face and see how
> the visible damage correlates with the moisture readings.
> You could take the same readings after the plaster is pulled off, which would
> be a lot easier, but soon after the plaster is off, the moisture content of
> the straw (especially near the surface) might significantly change.  It may
> already have changed since the water intrusion incident, but there¹s no way to
> go back in time (yet) (or maybe there is, and there are people among us who
> are from the future) (anyone on this list?).
> Like Graeme I¹d like to see an assessment of the steel reinforcement after 10
> years in a weather-exposed earth plaster.
> Like Dave Arkin I¹m interested in saving plaster samples (ones that will yield
> as large a cube as possible) for compression testing.  Although I assume you
> don¹t have compression values from the time of application for comparison..
> Also, although it¹s worth testing samples 10 years after application, I don¹t
> anticipate compression values much different than a typical earth plaster
> tested 30 days after it was created.   I believe that once an earth plaster
> (or adobe brick, etc.) is fully dry, it has reached its maximum compressive
> strength.  It doesn¹t cure and become stronger over time (even indefinitely)
> like materials with cement or lime binders.  It simply dries.
> If there¹s any additional costs associated with some of your ³research² work,
> maybe CASBA could cover it?  With what has been discussed so far it doesn¹t
> seem it would amount to much.
> Thanks for requesting input, and I look forward to hearing what you discover.
> Martin Hammer

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