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Re: [SB-r-us] Here's a ponderance...

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  • chug.
    Dear David, I have worked on a strawbale building where this exact method was used and seems to be holding up well, and I have seen a couple of others on
    Message 1 of 6 , Jun 1, 2003
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      Dear David,
      I have worked on a strawbale building where this exact method was used and seems to be holding up well, and I have seen
      a couple of others on European websites(If I can find/remember where, I will post the URL's)any Eurobalers know where?
      I have read about another living roof where the balestrings were cut once the bales where on the roof, and spread out, I
      think the idea was to reduce the overall height - I don't think it was a strawbale house - though I'm sure there is a
      picture of this roof with a natural lawnmower(Goat) on top!
      Regards
      Chug
      chug@...
      http://www.strawbale-building.co.uk/

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: david morrison <davjen@...>
      To: <SB-r-us@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Tuesday, May 27, 2003 11:12 PM

      I got to thinking in the biffy today, (another good reason to have an
      outhouse), that I could actually cover the roof with unprotected bales,
      cover them with 4 inches of soil or so, toss some seeds up there and let it
      grow and compost over the years.

      thoughts?

      d

      David Morrison
      Northern Minnesota
      WWW.LIVEGREEN.ORG
      davjen@...
    • Rey Arbolay
      I have not tried the natural roof method, but remember reading extensibly about several of them. You may want to consider that a natural roof will be more
      Message 2 of 6 , Jun 1, 2003
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        I have not tried the natural roof method, but remember reading
        extensibly about several of them. You may want to consider that a
        natural roof will be more expensive, up front costs, than a
        traditional roof. The added load of the dirt and the bales will
        force you to overengineer the roof for safety and longevity. Dirt
        is HEAVY. You wil also not be able to colect any rain water off
        the roof. The advantages of course are numerous. The additional
        mass created by the dirt will eliminate a major source of thermal
        radiation into and out of your home. The additional weight and the
        interloking plant roots will make your roof extremelly stable and
        resistant to high winds, hail and other natural phenomena. Also,
        by carefully selecting the ground cover plants, the beauty of a
        natural roof is worth the additional work involved.
        Any way, if you choose to install a natural roof, here is the way
        to do it (understand this is from outside references, as I have
        not personally installed one). Over your rafters, nail or screw
        your decking as normal. Above that you must put a water barrier. 6
        mil plastic with taped seams as a minimum. Next is the straw or
        hay bales. Cut the strings and disperse, as compressed straw has a
        harder time decomposing and wold have some gaps. Next comes your 2-
        4 inches of dirt or compost. Finally, plant the roof, either with
        a ground cover or native grases.
        If you choose to go this direction, please post your experiences
        back to this list for the rest of us.

        R.F. Arbolay
      • dane
        I agree that soil and compost are necessary but would also recommend the addition of some high-N material else the decomposing straw will rob all of the N from
        Message 3 of 6 , Jun 1, 2003
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          I agree that soil and compost are necessary but would also recommend the
          addition of some high-N material else the decomposing straw will rob all of
          the N from the grasses, flowers, etc..

          30-to-1 being the ideal C:N ratio, for every thirty bales of straw used, you
          should add one bale-sized quantity of fresh cow or horse manure, fish offal,
          or some other high-N material. And by all means, toss a handful of red
          wrigglers and/or earthworms up there. nothing better for grounds
          maintenance.

          Dane
          after the first drenching rains of the season in
          valparaíso, Chile


          ----- Original Message -----
          From: Rey Arbolay <TXH2344@...>
          To: <SB-r-us@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Sunday, June 01, 2003 5:54 AM
          Subject: Re: [SB-r-us] Here's a ponderance...


          > Any way, if you choose to install a natural roof, here is the way
          > to do it (understand this is from outside references, as I have
          > not personally installed one). Over your rafters, nail or screw
          > your decking as normal. Above that you must put a water barrier. 6
          > mil plastic with taped seams as a minimum. Next is the straw or
          > hay bales. Cut the strings and disperse, as compressed straw has a
          > harder time decomposing and wold have some gaps. Next comes your 2-
          > 4 inches of dirt or compost. Finally, plant the roof, either with
          > a ground cover or native grases.
          > If you choose to go this direction, please post your experiences
          > back to this list for the rest of us.
          >
          > R.F. Arbolay
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
          > SB-r-us-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
          >
          >
          >
          > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
          >
          >
          >
        • Dale Banks
          d said ... gee dave, you must have made a lot of progress on your house in the last 2 months to be thinking about another structure already! good job... ...
          Message 4 of 6 , Jun 2, 2003
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            d said

            > Im thinking about trying to toss up a studio space this fall before winter
            > sets in,

            gee dave, you must have made a lot of progress on your house in the last 2
            months to be thinking about another structure already! good job...

            > I got to thinking in the biffy today, (another good reason to have an
            > outhouse), that I could actually cover the roof with unprotected bales,
            > cover them with 4 inches of soil or so, toss some seeds up there
            > and let it
            > grow and compost over the years. If it looks like it needs it in 5 or 10
            > years, pull all that down and re-do it.

            You might look into vegetated landfill cap design. A clay layer is used as
            a semi-impervious barrier under a layer of topsoil that is vegetated with
            indigenous plants and trees (there are other details I can't remember). the
            idea behind the concept I heard of at a presentation a while back was to
            design the cap with your annual rainfall in mind so that the vegetation
            would drink all the rainfall (and snowmelt) over the course of the year.
            You look at the storage capacity of the soil and clay, and the consumption
            rate of the vegetation and the annual rainfall, and design accordingly. In
            your case, maybe you could toss bales up there, cover them with a few inches
            of clay, then some inches of soil and some veg and see what happens. the
            bales would maybe stay dry and insulate longer than one might think. using
            local indigenous vegetation would help insure that it wouldn't croak as rick
            suggested.
            Just some wild guesses for you to kick around next time you're brainstorming
            in the biffy.

            Cheers,

            Dale
          • Mark F Olson
            David, I saw something like this somewhere on the internet except they omitted the dirt (since this was pretty heavy and it complicate bale replacement).
            Message 5 of 6 , Jun 2, 2003
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              David,

              I saw something like this somewhere on the internet except they omitted the
              dirt (since this was pretty heavy and it complicate bale replacement).
              Without the dirt, the bales are allowed to breath. Also, if you use hay, it
              will have it's own seed and you won't need to plant grasses (personally, I
              would plant some flower seeds). The bales were set in place flat with the
              strings intact. Over several years the bales would decompose, loosing their
              insulative quality and shape and they would be replaced with fresh bales.
              Sounds like a pretty simple system, if you don't mind changing the bales
              every so often.

              One other thing, they made sure that the roof had a little slope to it to
              insure that no standing water would collect under the bales.

              Good luck,

              Mark


              Over your rafters, nail or screw
              > your decking as normal. Above that you must put a water barrier. 6
              > mil plastic with taped seams as a minimum. Next is the straw or
              > hay bales. Cut the strings and disperse, as compressed straw has a
              > harder time decomposing and wold have some gaps. Next comes your 2-
              > 4 inches of dirt or compost. Finally, plant the roof, either with
              > a ground cover or native grases.
              >
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