[GSBN] R value export straw blocks?
frank at livingsol.com
Tue Jan 27 16:38:09 CST 2015
Derek and All,
Thanks for suggesting that about the builder discussing density right
with the source, i.e., the baler operator.
That has been my exact experience.
And I've felt that it's a totally neccessary dialog, especially if it
leads looking further, to another souce for bales
In searching for bale supplies, I ask right up front binding the straw
with extra density in the bales.
Most farmers have agreed to this request, and set the compressor to it's
max, (without breaking strings!).
Speaking of density and weight, I've worked with Hemp bales, and have
found them the most dense. So dense, in fact, that I now avoid their
use. They are so dense that when you ask them to be cut, they ignore you.
Nothing dulls an electric chain saw blade, or even a carbide circular
saw blade faster than a hemp bale.
I also avoid them, to be more truthfull, because the amount of wood,
stalk and rigid stems with in each bale, is a much larger proportion
than the finer fibres. I anticipate that they are not up to their
thermal best. I suspect Poor insulation value, due to all the pathways
created for convection, by all that wood.
My Loonie's worth. Valued closer to two cents worth more each day.
Chair, Ontario Natural Building Coalition
613 756 3884
It would be chasing rainbows to expect every farmer to produce an
identical bale with factory consistency and industrial precision. On
the other hand, the wide variation that John Straube has mentioned might
point to a farmer’s ability to produce better bales without much effort.
I’m not sure how many farmers are in dialog with bale builders
worldwide, but in my experience, it is normal for the farmer and the
builder to discuss the builder’s needs before the baling starts. If
minor adjustments to the baler were all that is required to produce
improved bale performance, I bet many farmers would be willing to do it.
derek at unm.edu <mailto:derek at unm.edu>
On Jan 27, 2015, at 11:23 AM, Graeme North <graeme at ecodesign.co.nz
<mailto:graeme at ecodesign.co.nz>> wrote:
Are we chasing rainbows?
Just about ANY strawbale wall will give higher R values than just about
anything else in the natural building world. The science is one thing,
and really reaslly good to know, so once again I give my thanks to
those who persue this, but the practical application of a readily
obtainable, and variable natural material is another.
Talk of re-compressing bales, hammer milling straw etc, all head in the
direction of energy dense manufacturered materials. This may have some
use in making thinner prefab walls but moves away from owner built
houses where so much of the true joy and affordability that building
houses can come from.
For my 2c worth, If there was one bit of research I would love to see in
s/b is an external rain-screen that can be incorporated simply and
reliably into/onto an external plaster system that will keep straw and
any penetrations in that system, well and truely protected from
wind-driven rain. In ohter word a hwol assembly that really works
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