[GSBN] Question about SB insulation at foundation/ceiling
bohdan at bdcoarchitects.com.au
Mon Jan 23 21:50:51 CST 2012
Here in South Australia I am aware of a project where bales were used
underground as "lost formwork" for a concrete slab.
Everyone knew that the bales would rot - and there would be very little
insulation properties from the "rotten" bales.]
Bales rot when they get wet! The rotters!
From: GSBN-bounces at sustainablesources.com
[mailto:GSBN-bounces at sustainablesources.com] On Behalf Of Joyce Coppinger
Sent: Tuesday, 24 January 2012 12:01 PM
Subject: Re: [GSBN] Question about SB insulation at foundation/ceiling
Thanks for sharing, Frank. We all learn from our experiments and ideas
whether they work or not.
What I hoped was that some GSBNers would post comment [perhaps without
making specific references to projects or people] explaining that the
suggestions in the drawing might not be the best solutions - and offering up
lessons learned or better solutions to the question of insulation in the
ceiling and slab/foundation.
> Well now,
> that is pretty interesting.
> Thanks, Joyce, for sounding the alarm.
> Before I actually (physically and personally), had built any SB
> houses, I naturally ass-u-me-d that bales in the floor and ceiling
> were a good idea.
> It is too bad that the article in finehomebuilding references the
> experimental work of Michel Bergeron, of ArchiBio, in the
> ground-breaking book of Steen/Steen/Bainbridge/and Eisenberg. I love
> the book, and it is what gave me hope for the idea of burying bales
> below grade.
> Fortunately for me, Linda Chapman, (archi. from Ottawa), talked with
> me about doing this in the early nineties.
> She had boldly gone where no one had gone before. And the floor rotted.
> And there was the evidence from the huge three-story yoga retreat
> centre, built in Quebec, which was such a rotten embarrassment, that I
> won't mention it anymore.
> Then there's the theory that if you stick each bale into a garbage bad
> before you bury them under the floor ...
> just to say I did, I took a bale, put it into a garbage bag, and
> placed it into a weather-protected shed, to see what happened.
> First of all, it took three trys with the garbage bad to place a bale
> into it, without it being punctured by straw.
> Secondly, during the summer of 2000, which was a fairly wet year, the
> bale self-composted, with out having had a drop of rain on it. I
> imagine that relative humidity was all it took. It was full of mildew
> in two months time.
> I have to say, though, that the idea is so intriguing, that it
> captures the imagination of quite a few clients, who would wish me to
> design a foundation using straw bales.
> Maybe it's just a stupid idea, here in a climate with huge weather
> extremes, (+35C to -35C), and many days of damp rainy weather?
> Maybe all the ideas have not been tried as yet?
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