[GSBN] Old cordwood?
frank at livingsol.com
Wed Jan 11 14:19:11 CST 2012
There are six cord-wood buildings that I know of, in Renfrew County, here in Ontario. I had a hand in building two of them in 1973 and 1975, and one in 2001.
These were built from 24" split poplar, with a mixture of portland, masonry, and sand. One was built on a concrete slab, as a workshop, and is still in use.
The other was as a home. Eventually the owner framed the entire inside with 2x4's and insulated that inner wall, vapour barrier, and drywall. The seasonal change in radial dimensions of the cord-wood produced excessive "Venting" to the outside air, and was simply too breezy for this winter climate. Even plastering the entire outside surface was not enough to stop seasonal movement of the wood, which resulted in more cracking.
I was involved building a more recent cord-wood house, however, in 2001.
This was built as a 'double wythe' masonry wall, with 8" long cord-wood, laid in two parallel rows, with agricultural perlite packed in the 8" space between the double row of cord-wood. Still a very thick wall, 24", but much more energy efficient, as the cracks in the wood and the mortar was less of an energy loss, since the cracks didn't pass all the way through to the exterior, and were insulated by the perlite in between rows.
Uh-Oh. Now that I re-read your posting, Chris, i see that you are looking for ancient cord-wood buildings.
So naturally any construction done by a young man like me wouldn't qualify as ancient. Old, maybe; not ancient.
Living Sol ~ Building and Design
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Bob Theis wrote:
Interesting quest, Chris.
I'd love to see if there's a correlation of the appearance of cordwood construction with the spread of the saw, as a technology supplementing the axe. Saws are more efficient, of course, but require a higher technology base, both for manufacture and support.
Hard to sharpen a saw on a flat rock, for example.
Chris Magwood wrote:
A question that's a bit off topic, since it's about that overgrown straw method of building... but does anybody know of really old cordwood buildings?
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