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Re: Straw Houses / Facade integrated in surrounding environment:

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  • Norbert Senf
    Hi Simen: I ll forward your inquiry to the strawbale list: SB-r-us@yahoogroups.com Best ....... Norbert Senf ... Norbert Senf---------- mheat(at)heatkit.com
    Message 1 of 11 , Jun 1, 2008
      Hi Simen:

      I'll forward your inquiry to the strawbale list:
      SB-r-us@yahoogroups.com

      Best ....... Norbert Senf


      At 12:36 PM 6/1/2008 +0200, you wrote:
      >Hello there! We are concidering building a few
      >"eco village" inspired straw houses as huts in
      >Norway. The size would be about the size of a
      >normal house (a bit smaller though). We would
      >like to build them as eco friendly as possible
      >and of course cost effective (cheaper than
      >normal houses / huts). The government are
      >concerned about the facade / exterior and a bit
      >conservative. Which alternatives is there on how
      >to integrate the exterior with surrounding
      >nature? (Please excuse my non-native english).
      >Maybe you have a few word corrections and search
      >terms which are more apprriate too? Please
      >excuse if you are not the appropriate person to
      >ask this question. Maybe you could suggest a forum or two if not. Thanks
      >
      >Simen Myrberget

      -------------------------------------------
      Norbert Senf---------- mheat(at)heatkit.com
      Masonry Stove Builders
      25 Brouse Rd.
      RR 5, Shawville------- www.heatkit.com
      Qu├ębec J0X 2Y0-------- fax:-----819.647.6082
      ---------------------- voice:---819.647.5092
    • Patricia
      Hello, I am interested in learning about how one would wrap a thin-walled, energy-inefficient house in straw bales, thereby adding insulation. I know of one
      Message 2 of 11 , Jun 2, 2008
        Hello,

        I am interested in learning about how one would wrap a thin-walled,
        energy-inefficient house in straw bales, thereby adding insulation. I
        know of one couple who has done this in Tucson where I live.
        Unfortunatly, I know that they are not able to instruct me at this
        time how to do this due to some circumstances. So, I thought I would
        post this in hopes of finding someone else who has revamped their
        poorly-insulated home using straw bales.

        Thanks so much,
        Patricia
      • mindfulhome_deb
        I know the Wizards on this site have and will share their more polished approaches with you. All I have to share is what we did to several houses 10+ years
        Message 3 of 11 , Jun 3, 2008
          I know the Wizards on this site have and will share their more polished
          approaches with you. All I have to share is what we did to several houses
          10+ years ago.
          We took the siding off the houses and "tied" the bales to the frame.

          When we tore off the siding we also cleaned out the old, sometimes
          molding, ugly insulation and re-did any electrical "problems". We
          extended the roof lines, in most cases enough to create a porch.
          Then wrapped and sealed in the bales using several materials the
          most common was adobe and exterior plasters.

          We created window seats/sills and were careful to angle the openings
          around the windows to maximize light getting inside.

          Extending the roof edges was the only project everyone wanted to make
          harder that it needed to be. Most older roof lines are easy to extend,
          a simple angle change about one third to halfway down from the peak
          takes care of making sure there is enough overhang to protect the wall.
          We re-did the attic insulation and heating vents at the same time,
          since everything was open anyway. All of the outcomes were wonderful
          these houses used to leak so much heat that the exterior walls were ice
          covered and there were HUGH icicles from roof to ground. No More.

          Good luck Patricia
          Deborah
          mindfulhome_deb
          .,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,..,,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.
          --- In SB-r-us@yahoogroups.com, "Patricia" <ewanski@...> wrote:
          >
          > Hello,
          >
          > I am interested in learning about how one would wrap a thin-walled,
          > energy-inefficient house in straw bales, thereby adding insulation. I
          > know of one couple who has done this in Tucson where I live.
          > Unfortunatly, I know that they are not able to instruct me at this
          > time how to do this due to some circumstances. So, I thought I would
          > post this in hopes of finding someone else who has revamped their
          > poorly-insulated home using straw bales.
          >
          > Thanks so much,
          > Patricia
          >
        • carportman
          ... I too have an place I bought. Mine has no interior walls and only leaky exterior siding.............but it has great potential. The only way I can
          Message 4 of 11 , Jun 3, 2008
            --- In SB-r-us@yahoogroups.com, "Patricia" <ewanski@...> wrote:
            >
            > Hello,
            >
            > I am interested in learning about how one would wrap a thin-walled,
            > energy-inefficient house in straw bales, thereby adding insulation. I
            > know of one couple who has done this in Tucson where I live.
            > Unfortunatly, I know that they are not able to instruct me at this
            > time how to do this due to some circumstances. So, I thought I would
            > post this in hopes of finding someone else who has revamped their
            > poorly-insulated home using straw bales.
            >
            > Thanks so much,
            > Patricia

            I too have an place I bought. Mine has no interior walls and only
            leaky exterior siding.............but it has great potential. The
            only way I can conceive of wrapping it is to affix a beam (brick ledge
            wide enough for bales and sturdy enough for a 15' high stack in my
            case). The remainder is easy. Use wire ties from the inside. Pins
            on the outside if you want (and I like that for straightness and
            stability). Rather than pour a concrete beam, I could put piers every
            8' or so about 8" from the house beam and make a metal or wood
            spanning the piers to form a beam/ledge.

            Let me know what you find, Doug
            >
          • Carportman
            Regarding the thoughts on sealing the bales on a wrapped structure, should I just figure on basting the bales? This has to add a lot of weight, but should
            Message 5 of 11 , Jun 4, 2008
              Regarding the thoughts on sealing the bales on a "wrapped" structure, should I just figure on basting the bales? This has to add a lot of weight, but should certainly prevent moisture/fire problems. Will basted bales breathe?
              Douglas


              Visit us at www.Carportman.com



              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Speireag Alden
              ... I don t know. What s basting? -Speireag. -- If you wish to be loved, show more of your faults than your virtues. --Edward Bulwer-Lytton, author
              Message 6 of 11 , Jun 5, 2008
                On 2008, Jun 05, at 01:02, Carportman wrote:

                > Regarding the thoughts on sealing the bales on a "wrapped"
                > structure, should I just figure on basting the bales? This has to
                > add a lot of weight, but should certainly prevent moisture/fire
                > problems. Will basted bales breathe?

                I don't know. What's basting?

                -Speireag.

                --
                If you wish to be loved, show more of your faults than your virtues.
                --Edward Bulwer-Lytton, author (1803-1873)
              • Nancy or David Gray
                Basting is a cooking term. I believe he means dipping the bales in a slip, or spraying them with same. But good of you to ask. Best wishes, David Gray
                Message 7 of 11 , Jun 5, 2008
                  Basting is a cooking term. I believe he means dipping the bales in a slip, or spraying them with same. But good of you to ask. Best wishes, David Gray

                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Robert Tom
                  ... Hilsener og velkommen, Simen. Unfortunately, in searching my wet drive (which is badly fragmented and with many bad sectors), no results were returned,
                  Message 8 of 11 , Jun 5, 2008
                    >At 12:36 PM 6/1/2008 +0200, Simen Myrberget wrote:

                    > >Hello there! We are concidering building a few>"eco village" inspired
                    > straw houses as huts in>Norway.

                    > > The government are concerned about the facade / exterior and a bit
                    > >conservative.

                    > > Which alternatives is there on how> to integrate the exterior with
                    > surrounding> nature?

                    Hilsener og velkommen, Simen.

                    Unfortunately, in searching my wet drive (which is badly fragmented and
                    with many bad sectors), no results were returned, neither for "Norwegian
                    architects" nor "Norwegian vernacular housing" so I haven't a clue as to
                    what would be considered acceptable to a conservative Norwegian government.

                    But I will assume that Norway, being a Northern country, will be quite
                    similar to Canada in terms of housing forms (ie as a response to climate)
                    and material choices.

                    First, with regards to configuration, obviously those forms that were
                    utilised in the arid American southwest where strawbale construction
                    originated, will not be suitable in a clime
                    where rain is plentiful and snow is even more plentiful.

                    That is to say, low-sloped or flat roofs with minimal overhangs would
                    generally be a bad idea, with very few exceptions.

                    In terms of material choices for cladding, again, unlike the US southwest
                    where it might be acceptable to have hygroscopic materials (ie plaster)
                    applied directly to the straw bales and fully exposed to the elements,
                    ventilated/drained rainscreen-type claddings would be preferable, with an
                    emphasis on "ventilated/drained".

                    There would still be a requirement for the straw to be encapsulated in
                    plaster first to create a fire/rodent/insect/air barrier and drainage
                    plane but then the rainscreen cladding could pretty much be any material
                    that you could dream up.

                    Of course, if the overhangs are broad enough to provide thorough
                    protection against wetting of the walls, the requirement for a
                    rainscreen-type cladding becomes less critical but at Northern latituds
                    where as much light penetration as possible into the interior is generally
                    desirable, excessively wide overhangs may not be.

                    So if wood or masonry claddings are typical in Norway and would be
                    considered acceptable to the govt., they can be configured as
                    rainscreen-type claddings for strawbale so there shouldn't be any problem
                    of acceptance.

                    The rest is just a stylistic challenge. Korrekt?


                    === * ===
                    Rob Tom
                    Kanata, Ontario, Canada
                    < A r c h i L o g i c at chaffY a h o o dot c a >
                    manually winnow the chaff from my edress in your reply
                  • RT
                    ... a slip, or spraying them with same. This is the only post to this thread that I ve seen so far but I do believe I ve heard the term basting used WRT
                    Message 9 of 11 , Jun 9, 2008
                      --- In SB-r-us@yahoogroups.com, Nancy or David Gray <ndgray@...>
                      wrote:
                      >
                      > Basting is a cooking term. I believe he means dipping the bales in
                      a slip, or spraying them with same.

                      This is the only post to this thread that I've seen so far but I do
                      believe I've heard the term "basting" used WRT sewing by hand with a
                      thread and needle, as when making garments.

                      Perhaps that is what the OP was referring to ?

                      ie The practise of tying the two layers of lath or external pins
                      together by passing a bale needle/twine through the bales wall

                      --
                      === * ===
                      Rob Tom
                      Kanata, Ontario, Canada
                      < A r c h i L o g i c at chaffY a h o o dot c a >
                      manually winnow the chaff from my edress in your reply
                    • Carportman
                      RT had it right on the first guess. I call it basting, or dipping the bales into a sliip during the stacking process. It firms up the wall, and likely
                      Message 10 of 11 , Jun 10, 2008
                        RT had it right on the first guess. I call it basting, or dipping the bales into a sliip during the stacking process. It firms up the wall, and likely reduces the convection. My only concern has been that it might kill the wall's ability to breathe and it really makes the wall heavy. Does anybody do this anymore?
                        Douglas


                        Visit us at www.Carportman.com



                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • Speireag Alden
                        ... I don t know if anyone does it, but I doubt that I d do it. I could see slathering a bit of wet cob at the joints, to reduce air movement, and perhaps
                        Message 11 of 11 , Jun 10, 2008
                          On 2008, Jun 10, at 08:09, Carportman wrote:

                          > RT had it right on the first guess. I call it basting, or dipping
                          > the bales into a sliip during the stacking process. It firms up the
                          > wall, and likely reduces the convection. My only concern has been
                          > that it might kill the wall's ability to breathe and it really makes
                          > the wall heavy. Does anybody do this anymore?

                          I don't know if anyone does it, but I doubt that I'd do it. I
                          could see slathering a bit of wet cob at the joints, to reduce air
                          movement, and perhaps sprinkling some borax liberally within the bales
                          to discourage insects (in the event that some other detail fails,
                          because heaven knows I'm not perfect).

                          However, the wall is plenty heavy enough without adding more
                          weight. Adding a lot of mass cross-sectioning the wall can't be good
                          for the overall thermal performance.

                          On the wall's ability to breathe, I think that is generally
                          oversold and critically misunderstood. I don't think that the walls
                          "breathe" in any meaningful sense. They certainly don't selectively
                          permit the good stuff to happen while preventing the bad stuff from
                          happening.

                          But to the extent that they do breathe, coating each bale in a
                          substance which dries in place would certainly reduce any breathing.

                          -Speireag.
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