[GSBN] steel clad barn and straw bales

Chug chug at strawbale-building.co.uk
Mon Oct 10 03:51:49 CDT 2011

Thanks for all the replies folks, mucho gratias.

apologies for not replying sooner I've been leading a build on a community 
orchard project in London which was long on helpers and short on materials!

The general consensus seems to confirm my initial thoughts to use an earthen 
render on the cladding side (Tom's French dip maybe) to protect against 
moisture and fire chimney effect

Bale on
chug at strawbale-building.co.uk
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "John Glassford" <jacksflat at gmail.com>
To: "Global Straw Building Network" <GSBN at sustainablesources.com>
Sent: Friday, October 07, 2011 11:11 PM
Subject: Re: [GSBN] steel clad barn and straw bales

G ' day

We have recently built a straw bale home with the latest requirements from
the Victorian Bush Fire ratings for 40 BAL which is level 40 Bush Fire
Attack Level.


What we did was to build the walls of course then we fitted timber studs
every 600mm to the outside.  We then rendered the walls to the level of the
studs with earthen render.  After curing, the walls will be clad with double
fire retarded sarking, back to back.  Then the walls will be clad with
corrugated iron that passes the tests for bush fire resistance to Australian
Standards 1530.8.1

40 BAL is increasing levels of ember attack and burning debris ignited by
wind borne embers together with increasing heat flux with the increased
likelihood of exposure to flames.

See here for the building under construction:


This way there will be no chimney effect and the bales will be well
protected from fire and condensation.  You could probably retrofit the steel
barn this way as well after removing the iron.

With any steel posts in a straw bale wall we paint the steel with a bitumen
type paint or wrap the steel with double sided bitumen paper that sticks to
the steel and bonds with the render to avoid any condensation.  Obviously
the steel cladding corrugated iron is an ideal rain shield and gives a good
Aussie look see here on a house we helped to build near Canberra:


Again we rendered the straw bales in between the studs with earthen render.

Kind regards
Susan and John Glassford
Huff 'n' Puff Constructions
61 2 6927 6027
In Australia (02) 6927 6027

Mountains of the Moon 2011


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