[GSBN] Failures due to moisture migration in bale walls

Bill Christensen lists at sustainablesources.com
Sun Jun 28 21:50:06 CDT 2015

Chris et al,

I recall a discussion about a house that Paul Lacinski brought to GSBN 
about the McSweeney house back in 2005.  Among other contributing factors:

> The McSweeneys had not been venting showers, were drying laundry in the
>> house(including diapers) with no ventilation, and had a pot of water on
>> the woodstove.

The discussion starts at 
http://sustainablesources.com/GSBNarchives/msg01783.html and many of our 
illustrious members weighed in.

There are certainly other discussions related to moisture, moisture 
transport, etc in the archives.  A simple google search of a phrase like 
'GSBN moisture' or 'GSBN moisture failure' or similar should zero you in 
on whatever you might need from our 18 years of archived discussions.

Happy hunting!

On 6/27/15 10:35 AM, Chris Magwood wrote:
> Hi all,
> I'm working on a "defense" of the vapour permeable nature of straw 
> bale walls for a building code for an alternative solutions 
> application here in Ontario.
> The building department is particularly concerned about the lack of a 
> vapour barrier in the system (again!). I'm pulling out all the usual 
> test documents and building science theories to help make our case.
> But I'm interested in knowing if any of you out there have actually 
> encountered a bale wall that has failed due to moisture migration 
> through the wall, especially during the winter. I've certainly seen 
> some damage done by consistent exposure to rain, or leaky roofs, or 
> other bulk-water intrusions, but I've never seen a moisture migration 
> failure. If that has been the general experience of this list, with 
> its wide variety of climates and building styles, then that would seem 
> to me to make a good evidence-based defense for this.
> And if you have seen such a failure, I'd be interested in knowing 
> about the suspected (or known) causes, the conditions that led to this 
> failure, and whether or not the situation was able to be remedied.
> I don't need everybody on the list to respond... perhaps only those 
> who've seen examples of this type of failure. If the list is silent on 
> this, I'll take that to mean that this really hasn't shown itself to 
> be a major issue, and will say so in my AS application.
> Thanks all!
> Chris

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