[GSBN] prefab strawbale
jswearingen at skillful-means.com
Thu Sep 17 19:55:06 CDT 2009
I'm just catching up on this thread and have much to think about but want to
make one comment.
On the subject of "mainstreaming" strawbale I'd repeat what I said
initially: the barrier is not really in the method but in the reliability
and predictability of the system. Most builders are phobic about trying
anything that doesn't produce a guaranteed result. When we can provide that
with straw then we can make inroads into the larger market.
John "Sure-thing" Swearingen
On Tue, Sep 15, 2009 at 2:24 PM, Jeff Ruppert <jeff at odiseanet.com> wrote:
> Hi all,
> We have worked with two clients in Colorado to develop panel systems. One
> went through construction while the other never made it off the desk. It
> was easy to see all of the merits of these systems and I believe they have
> The original motivation for this thread was that SB is not making much of a
> dent in mainstream activity. This has been a frustration of mine for a long
> time. Stacking bales is easy, but nobody wants to do it. It is dirty,
> itchy and downright not fun after the 400th bale. There is no industry, or
> should I say, bale-stackers, waiting for work because it is not a skilled
> task. This alone makes it very difficult for a mainstream builder to find
> someone to do the work.
> I created a roaming wall-building crew and it lasted for a few years. We
> stacked and plastered day after day. Work was never close to home so we
> were always traveling. It was tough keeping hired help on for longer than
> six months. Who wants to live like that? The pay for stacking bales is
> near nothing in todays market. As most of you already know, labor costs for
> a built-in-place bale wall dwarf the material costs, and that needs to be
> brought more in-line with other comparable systems if it is to really
> compete. It is time-consuming and messes up other subcontractors' schedules
> due to how long it takes.
> Straw bale construction has much merit and somehow needs to jump to the
> next level. An owner-builder can always choose to stack their own bales, no
> one will stop them. But if we really want to see it make a dent in resource
> productivity, prefab panels are the best idea yet. If we don't care where
> it goes, let's just keep stacking one bale at a time vertically and hope for
> the best.
> GSBN mailing list
> GSBN at greenbuilder.com
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