[GSBN] Cordwood Walls

Min Hall minhall at xnet.co.nz
Wed Jan 7 14:55:14 CST 2015

Hi Tom - A number of cordwood houses have been built in Golden Bay in NZ's
South Island. Reasonably high humidity here, 2000mm rain and cold
temperatures in winter. They are plastered both sides and a pumice mortar
was used for laying up the walls to help with the insulation. I do not know
of any testing done but they perform better than my initial scepticism
foretold. Timber is pinus radiata. 

I'm not a great fan but I think the pumice rich mortar is a good idea and
certainly helps.




From: GSBN-bounces at sustainablesources.com
[mailto:GSBN-bounces at sustainablesources.com] On Behalf Of Tom Woolley
Sent: Thursday, 8 January 2015 5:55 a.m.
To: Global Straw Building Network
Subject: [GSBN] Cordwood Walls


We have  been asked to advise on building a cordwood building in Northern


The site is in the Sperrin Mountains which has nearly 100% RH all year round

average rainfall is well over 1000mm per annum though I am surprised it is
not higher


There are two issues

The building will need to meet reasonably high insulation standards under
the building regulations

I have found articles claiming that cordwood gives good insulation but I
find this hard to accept


Log cabins on the west side of Ireland rot in a few years where the end
grain is exposed but maybe cordwood would do better?


What is the best timber to use ?  Oak is indigenous here but not available


Any help much appreciated


thanks and Happy New Year






Tom Woolley

tom.woolley at btconnect.com <mailto:tom.woolley at btconnect.com> 

80 Church Road




BT 30 9HR

00(44) 28 44 831164




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