[GSBN] Prefab hoe-down

John Glassford jacksflat at gmail.com
Thu Feb 25 16:48:14 CST 2016


Morning Graeme

Have a great conference and I am sorry that we cannot make it over the
ditch but such is life.

I agree with most of your sentiments re prefab walls however I have to
disagree with you here:

The second is that making prefab panels that are just as reliant on
off-site factories, are as remote, or are as expensive as conventional
materials is not all that advantageous.

Yes they are competitive with conventional materials or straw bales for
owner builders.  However I feel strongly that unless we take the "hippie"
"feral" or "greenie" element out of straw bale building it will never reach
main stream in the way we have hoped it would for many many years now.

Professional builders look at the bottom line and unless we can show straw
bales to save them money, and pre-fab straw bale walls are a whole lot
quicker than "conventional" straw bale walls, we will never get it into
main stream.  Time is money.

We are kidding ourselves if we think that a handful of professionally built
straw bale homes are main stream, it is far from that.  Just look at
suburbia and the expansion in Sydney and even Wagga Wagga and you will see
no straw bale or earthen buildings.

To all of us who have been doing this now for many years and in our case
since 1997, it becomes very frustrating when you lose out on a job to
another totally unsustainable material such as hebel panels.

"Clients" today want a contemporary look more than the lovely round shapes
that we can create with straw bale walls. The straighter the walls the
sharper the look the better they prefer it.  We can get strawbale walls to
look like a hebel wall or block rendered but not low cost.

<http://glassford.com.au/main/projects-menu/south-coast-nsw/>
Sharp Straw Bale Home
<http://glassford.com.au/main/projects-menu/south-coast-nsw/>

Just the way I see it today.

I do not see the SITUPS
<http://glassford.com.au/main/sit-up-example/into-mainstream/> as being low
cost in our society BUT I do see it as low cost in my home Kenya where
labour is plentiful and very low cost compared to us here.

We will continue to improve our methods and test them in the field and
promote the straw prefab panels as we see them as being one way we can
achieve a main stream environmentally sound building practice.

I wish that we could have rescheduled our year to fit in with Methven so
that I can present our thoughts and discuss these in person with you all
but that is not to be. Drove through Methven last November for My Little
Wolverine's BIG birthday, such a sweet place and I am sure that you will
have a great time.

Kind regards
​The Straw Wolf
Huff 'n' Puff Constructions
http://www.glassford.com.au
61 2 6927 6027
In Australia (02) 6927 6027
Mobile 0412 11 61 57

RAG Endangered Species <http://www.endangeredrag.org/>
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