[GSBN] Straw Life Cycle Assessment Information Request

Bruce EBNet bruce at ecobuildnetwork.org
Tue Jul 1 12:12:58 CDT 2014

Ahem, I hereby formally nominate Ann Edminster to join this august group. I think the motion comes pre-seconded, but for those who don't know her:  Ann and I were the co-founders of CASBA, and she did some pioneering research on straw bale 20 years ago as discussed below.  She hasn't been so present in the natural building world lately because she keeps getting distracted by projects like creating LEED for homes, writing "Energy Free", teaching hundreds or maybe thousands of builders about efficient homes, and just generally running herself ragged trying to make a dent in the mainstream construction industry.  Sooner or later she will be reduced to a drooling zombie and resume making peaceful mud and straw houses with the rest of us, the world be damned.


Bruce   "Drooling Zombie, and proud of it"   King

On Jun 30, 2014, at 12:37 PM, Bill Christensen <lists at sustainablesources.com> wrote:

> FYI, Ann Edminster's site is http://annedminster.com/  and her direct email is ann@ that domain.
> On 6/30/14 2:21 PM, RT wrote:
>> On Sun, 29 Jun 2014 13:00:01 -0400, <gsbn-request at sustainablesources.com> wrote:
>>>> I am writing because I am a Master's student at HafenCity University in Hamburg, Germany in Resource Efficiency in Architecture and Planning
>>>> I am hoping to find information regarding the economic cost, environmental cost, energy consumption, and air and water pollution at each stage of straw in its life-cycle. Do you have any information that you could share with me?
>> If I were the Pacifica Patootie (aka Ann V. Edminster), I'd probably say:
>> "Environmental impacts of Straw Bale Construction ?
>> Been there, done that, got the Master's Thesis T-shirt."
>> Fortunately, I'm not Ann and she's far more gracious than I and her 1995 Master of Architecture (Univ. of California Berkeley) thesis was indeed on the subject mentioned above.
>> One of the tables that sticks in my mind (pretty impressive considering it's an almost 20-year old paper) is one which included numbers for embodied energy, water consumed in production and indices for waste factors for most common building materials and included straw. Recall that back in the early 1990's the notion of being able to quantify stuff like energy intensity/embodied energy of building materials was still in its infancy (like Maya was ?)and there have been some pretty nifty software tools developed since then that make LCA's much easier.
>> Unfortunately, I don't have Ann's edress on this computer but I'm sure that there are many on this List who do. Or perhaps a Google search will turn up one of the many books that Ann has written and one of the hits will include contact info.
>> Me ? Tea break is over and time to head back out into the searing summertime heat of the Great White North to finish splitting some rubbery Maple. (Hit it with a splitting maul and it's likely to bounce the maul back to smack you in the head. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I should have done this back in the winter but... )
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