Re: [SB-r-us] Outside the Box
- Hi H.W.,
I agree that stacking bales is not necessarily the only or best way to
use straw. It has been to date because the rectangular bale of fairly
standard size has been readily available; that size is determined by
agricultural / mechanical conveniences more than what is necessarily
best for building. It happens to be a good size for building too but it
may not be the optimum.
Anyway, I find it odd that your 'thinking outside the box' to achieve
'energy efficiency' requires the use of cement and possibly sheet metal;
two very energy-intensive and polluting materials to produce. I've just
recently come across a local company that produces "Ecoclad" which is a
SIP made of fibre-cement board and polyurethane foam. That's a very
bizarre idea of 'eco'. Similarly, your idea, which comes from some
commendable intentions, misses or glosses over the fundamental energy
inputs required to achieve the end result of an energy-efficient
building. Earth, straw, stone, bamboo, some timbers, hemp, flax and
other natural fibres and oils give you the raw materials to produce
almost any component of a building; all are low-energy and renewable.
That should be your starting point for a new innovation. Cement,
resins, metals, most plastics and other energy-intensive materials
should be seen as the compromises that they are. Granted, they are
often necessary to some extent in contemporary building but that is to
do with skills, market forces and the fact that we haven't developed
suitable alternatives yet. Don't get me wrong, the cost of materials
and methods is very important but cost is not only in dollar terms. In
addition, there is no reason that a new renewable low-energy building
system that you might derive is necessarily more expensive than one
using cement and metal.
I think it would be easy to see this as merely idealistic. On the
contrary, it's a fantasy to think that we (of the computer-owning
minority) can go on consuming and polluting while maintaining our all of
our conveniences, habits and assumptions.
If you are on your way to developing a new energy-efficient building
system I hope that you really think outside the box and don't simply
fold the box a different way.
Stone Tool wrote:
> I keep wondering if there is a method by which loose / chopped straw[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
> could be blown in between forms or pre-formed shells of
- --- In SBemail@example.com, Pennbo <pennbo@...> wrote:
> Is anyone really worried about the bales sliding around?
> TO impale or NOT to impale...
(1) Yes. Gravity and mass alone are insufficient.
(2) Impaling the bales on a bed of nails is the least
effective means of accomplishing the task,
an approach to the task which is about as ineffective as
driving vampire stakes into the hearts of the bales to provide
lateral stability to the wall.
More later when (and if) I get back from town alive.