[GSBN] Presentation at 2012 ISBC on French SB code
laura at greenweaverinc.com
Thu Mar 29 11:42:35 CDT 2012
I am writing to ask whether you have considered attending the 2012 International Straw Builders' Conference. In a conversation with Martin Hammer by phone yesterday, we were discussing how valuable it would be to have a presentation of the French straw bale code or guidelines. Martin will give an update on the straw bale code process through the International Code Council, while David Eisenberg will present on the Tribal Green Building Code effort that is taking place here in the US and the benefits and opportunities that presents for many.
Please consider your attendance, or someone else who has been instrumental in the creation of the code. And feel free to let me know if you have any questions or concerns.
520 S. Third St., Suite 5
Carbondale, CO 81623
Register now for the International Straw Builders Conference at www.strawbaleconference.com
On Nov 10, 2011, at 4:28 AM, Luc Floissac wrote:
> thanks Martin for the informations concerning ICC.
> In France the SB code is approuved since june 2011.
> This code is available here: http://www.compaillons.eu/boutique/reglesprofessionnellesdelaconstructionpaille
> This SB code covers:
> - SB infil
> - SB plaster with earth / lime / cement
> Martin, Could you give me your adress in order to send you this code ?
> Luc Floissac
> Le 10/11/2011 01:10, martin hammer a écrit :
>> Bad news and good news regarding the proposed Strawbale Construction section of the International Green Construction Code (IGCC). The bad news is very bad. Strawbale Construction was eliminated from the IGCC and it was not even heard at the Final Action Hearings that concluded Sunday.
>> Without going into the complex circumstances and procedure, three weeks ago a proponent of a related Code Change Proposal withdrew it, which caused the section to be eliminated. The proponent was a Building Official who is significantly less biased and more interested in public welfare than the many industry representatives involved, who as a rule are interested in protecting their territory. This building official was the only person in a position to do what he did. He maintains it was his decision, but also acknowledged the influence of other opponents (industry representatives). I was unknowingly exposed to this action, which amounted to (or felt like) a stab in the back.
>> The most legitimate criticism by opponents was that the IGCC process did not include committee members qualified to judge the structural aspects of the proposed SB code. Although there is truth to this, I argued (among other things) that the code was created by licensed design professionals and academics experienced in design, construction and testing of strawbale buildings (including many from the GSBN who were kind enough to write letters of support). This includes Mark Aschheim (CE professor Santa Clara University) who wrote detailed analysis and rationale for the seismic provisions.
>> At the other end of the spectrum were absurd comments, such as strawbale construction was “not a green subject”. Or that there is no uniformity from one bale to the next. The latter comment coming from a representative of the American Wood Council, which promotes a material (wood) where each piece is unique. Comments such as these speak of ignorance at best, or more likely obstructionism.
>> So what could possibly be the good news? I have refocused my energy on proposing strawbale construction for inclusion in the International Building Code (IBC). Proposals are due Jan 3, 2012. The IBC is where strawbale construction ultimately belongs (the IGCC would have been a nice step, but with limited effect). Once in the IBC (and probably the International Residential Code), it would as a matter of course become part of the building code of virtually every jurisdiction in the US.
>> Almost every opponent of SB Construction in the IGCC stated it “doesn’t belong in the IGCC, it belongs in the IBC”. I’ve written an e-mail “anticipating their support in principle” as I notified them of my IBC intention. The International Code Council, the body that facilitates and oversees the writing and publication of the I-Codes, has been very helpful throughout, and as one staff architect recently stated - “As long as you persevere we will be backing you.”
>> The IGCC effort was not wasted. The language as it stands is much more “code ready” than it was at the beginning of the process 2 years ago. I now have written objections from opponents, many of which I have addressed (the legitimate ones) and made changes resulting in a better code. It is on many more people’s radar (mostly in a good way). The structural provisions are undergoing further review by a task force organized by Mark Aschheim and are being placed on the plate of the Building Seismic Safety Commission, an important commission that advises the ICC.
>> With my intention to submit this to the ICC on 12/24/11 (my internal deadline), I offer to send the current version to those interested in making comments.
>> At least three people from this list were kind enough to make donations to CASBA to help cover expenses for the IGCC effort. I here offer to return those donations (contact me or Maurice Bennett), but will also suggest that they instead be used toward expenses of the even more important IBC effort. The first Hearings will occur in Dallas at the end of April.
>> That’s all for now on the code front. I will either succeed with this before I die (with significant help from my SB friends), or have the straw bale code engraved on my tombstone. But I now have a new plan and renewed optimism about straw bale in the IBC. Onward.
>> Martin Hammer
>> PS – A note of thanks to David Eisenberg for his continued support.
>> GSBN mailing list
>> GSBN at sustainablesources.com
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> GSBN at sustainablesources.com
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