[GSBN] Bayside Strawbale Hurricane Damage strategy

Dodson Harper dodson at reginc.com
Thu Sep 28 17:23:20 CDT 2017


Thanks for this email. I called Sarah a couple of weeks ago but did not hear back. I would like to see some photos if possible.....

Dodson Harper
Resource Engineering Group
O: 970.349.1216
C: 970.209.3938

> On Sep 28, 2017, at 4:02 PM, Kindra Welch <kindra at claysandstraw.com> wrote:
> Hi Folks,   We had the privilege several weeks ago of having a project we baled and plastered in 2015 sit through a direct hit from a Category 5 hurricane, Harvey, as it made landfall on the Texas coast.  The project belongs to Sarah Robbins and sits near Bayside, TX on a little corner of land between Mission Bay and Copano Bay.  Design by Ben Obregon, Engineering by REG.
> The bales and their lime plaster did great.  The plaster on the windward walls looks sandblasted with a few dings from projectiles.  A few minor cracks on corners.  
> However a section of the roof peeled off:  the dark side of the wrap around porch? lightly nailed roof plywood?  … And some bales were soaked from above.
> So I drove down and poked it with a moisture meter.  Most readings at the top of the walls maxed out the meter, about half way down the wall we started getting 30-40% readings. “normal” walls that kept their roof read about 20-24%.  The owner, Sarah, has kept the meter and will re-evaluate every week to see if there are any changes.  
> Besides the missing section of roof, the interior was completely soaked and the cork floor ruined, but thats it for damages.  The solar and rainwater were up a running the whole time, so she had power and water when everyone else had none.
> The homeowners insurance is not expected to cover damages, but FEMA might come through with a little something.  Therefore we are trying to keep repair costs to a minimum.
> So my thought is to wait a few weeks, maybe a few months, and see if the walls dry out.  If they start to smell we will have to take action. In which case I would like to remove the exterior plaster and bales, leaving interior plaster (re-inforced lime 1” thick - still in perfect condition) intact. And replace bales from the exterior, then replaster the exterior.  
> What do you think, will it work?  What implications will I have from new bales having no connection to interior plaster?
> I have pics if anyone is interested.
> Kindra
> Clay Sand Straw
> Austin, TX
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