[GSBN] vaulted straw bale house
ArchiLogic at yahoo.ca
Wed May 27 18:29:12 CDT 2015
As an archisort, arches and vaults hold a special appeal but I've only
built them using masonry so have no real empirical knowledge to add to a
discussion about building a SB vault.
Other than the challenges of building a structure which relies entirely
upon compression to work, using infinitely compressible SB building blocks
(which one assumes that the builders have already addressed by providing
some sort of integrated exo-skeletal or auxiliary structure in their
proposal) the other biggest issue is providing an effective strategy to
keep the bales dry ... both during and after erection of the vault.
The two farmer friends (2FF) appear to have addressed at least one third
of the "keeping it dry" issue with the greenhouse over-roof and another
1/3 by proposing an additional timber-framed structure over the bale vault
with a conventional roof/cladding,
While the greenhouse *may* do the job of keeping the bales dry if it
doesn't leak (something which greenhouses are notorious at doing) I think
that it would be Hell for the people having to work inside of it during
the hot & humid NE US summer in the era of Changed Climate weather
extremes ... and I do mean the biblical Hell.
There is also the issue of that period mentioned only in passing but a
critical one nonetheless --between dismantling of the greenhouse over-roof
shelter and installation of the cladding on the wood-framed structure over
the bale vault.
As the former Albequirky Derelict mentioned about heart-ache always
potentially just being ready to to strike with vaulted SB projects, I
would imagine that even a pious monk who took an oath of silence would
loudly vocalise more than a few expletives if after having spent a
torturous summer being broiled inside of a greenhouse while schlepping
bales awkwardly overhead ... and then all of one's winter working on
finishing the interior ... only to have a sudden early Spring rain storm
thoroughly soak the bales in that brief period between greenhouse
deconstruction and roof cladding installation.
Perhaps a better approach may be to simply focus on building the proposed
conventional wood-frame structure first, and then once it's weather-tight,
insert the bale vault as an infill afterwards. If a sheet metal roof
cladding over open purlins is used, it would be a relatively simple matter
to de-mount individual roofing panels as needed to accommodate any futzing
from overhead, if and when access to the top side of the bales is needed
and have the panels readily at hand to re-install if a sudden rain is
Better yet, the 2FF might consider ditching the redundant wood-frame
structure altogether and use a pre-fab deep "Vee" rib corrugated
galvanised steel arch shell as the combined permanent roof cladding and
structure, erected first, using it as the support from which an interior
bale vault can be suspended using the already existing suspension system
that are designed for conventional insulation and interior sheathing.
The "Vee" ribs would also provide a built-in ventilation airspace over the
vaulted bale insulation to ensure that any bulk moisture intrusion into
the insulation as a result of a less-than-effective air barrier strategy,
would have a means to get out.
If the quonset shed exterior aesthetic is less than appealing to the 2FF
(or their families (3FF) then I would imagine it wouldn't be too difficult
to simply tell the engineers (typically provided free by the steel arch
building manufacturer, in Canada at least) that the intention is to
install a Living Green Roof over top and they can design the steel vault
=== * ===
Rob Tom ADT1
Kanata, Ontario, Canada
[from GSBN Digest Vol 42, Issue 9]
> On Apr 15, 2015, at 10:53 PM,
> ejgeorge at riseup.net<mailto:ejgeorge at riseup.net> wrote:
[snipped & pasted -full message available in GSBN archive somewhere on
the WWWeb, pester megamulti-ListMom Wild Bill-Bob Christensen for the URL ]
> Some local (northeast US) farmer friends ... trying to build a vaulted
> straw bale house this summer.
> -- mostly exterior timber frame ...conventional roof above the vaulted
> Likely only the vaulted roof would be in place over the winter,
> conventional one added after greenhouse is dissembled in the spring.
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