[GSBN] Prefab hoe-down

Lars Keller larskeller at gmail.com
Fri Feb 26 23:27:07 CST 2016


Greetings from Friland, Denmark, Europe.
What a pleasure it is to follow a thread like this. A big tent indeed,
where it feels safe to share convictions as well as doubts.

Here in Denmark the status quo to me looks like this: building with straw
is legal, info about it is readily accessible, and it is rarely done. At
the same time, the general awareness of the need to change direction on
behalf of our future is growing very fast, and it goes hand in hand with a
general understanding of the personal economic and comfort benefits from
living in a well insulated house without draft.

We have a small but steadily expanding eco-village culture in Denmark,
where people build themselves or hire in the few people who know of straw
and clay. Here, the aesthetic choices tend to be the curvy.

In the rest of Denmark curvy is very rare. It is rare to find an architect
who would suggest straw to the costumer. It is almost impossible to find a
craftsperson straight out of craft-school who has heard of or knows about
straw. And there is no building market where you can buy building grade
bales or bigbags of clayplaster.

My intuition is, that by providing an approach which easily fits into
autocad - like pre-fab elements - that require no on-site trimming, while
providing a very convincing LCA, thereby we provide a path for mainstream
architects and advisers to get on board.

And likewise I think pre-fab - by visually and conceptually talking the
language of the present built culture - makes SB accessible for the folks
on craft-schools who put together the curricula, and thus also accessible
to the students.

I am totally in love with the selfempowering potential of non pre-fab SB.
I read the thoughts in this thread about the potential of narrowing the
tent, of loosing the core value, with care. Because it might not be worth
increasing the volume of SBC, if loosing the core value is what it takes.

To me the most important thing about SBC is not the sustainability or
low-mortgage potential, but the way it binds us humans from all over the
world together. The way it transforms our lives, feeds our dreams, puts
purpose in our day.

I will put forward the idea though, that these are not to opposites: I
think it likely, that increasing the volume of SBC by successfully
introducing pre-fab will also benefit everyone in love with curvy houses
and community barnraisings.

Lars Keller
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