[Strawbale] Load Bearing Multi-storey Straw Bale Tower House Castle

huffnpuff huffnpuff at shoal....au
Tue Jul 29 07:30:55 CEST 2003

Dear Chris

Well one cannot be said that you are not trying to push the envelope mate.

I wish you the best of British old mate!

Very novel idea and maybe you will discover how the pyramids were built.

The highest that I have gone is 4.5 metres load bearing using 8' x 3' x 
3' bales.  I also consulted for a load bearing building using 8'x4'x4' 
which went 4 high or 4.8 high.

How about building it the way the Yemenis did with their 7 story high 
mud brick buildings?  i.e. building a very wide foundation and gradually 
declining the size as you rise?

Ground floor;  Maybe 8'x4'x'4' on their flat and then faced inwards so 
you get an 8' wide wall as the base, go 18' high or 6.0m.  5 bales.

Second floor could be 8'x4'x4'  with the bales on the other plane i.e. 
4' wide.     This gives you a 4' wide base to sit the floor joists on.   
4 high i.e. 4.8 metres high.  14'.

Third floor could be 8'x3'x2'bales with the 2' wide i.e the bales on 
edge.  This gives a 2'wide base for the floor joists.  3 high i.e. 2.7 
high or 9'.

Fourth floor standard bales. This gives a 6'wide base for the floor 
joists.  6 high or 8' or 2.4m

A total height including bottom, middle and top plates of some 16 metres 
high or 50'.  Aprox.  Bloody high mate.  Do not know if it would work 
though but just another way to look at it.

All floors load bearing.  You will need scaffold for this method.

I have a heap of problems with the idea though, but the main concern 
would be moisture protection.   With good rendering details you may just 
succeed.  You will need good water proof capping for the top of the 
walls.  Earth based lime putty finished renders may just be water proof 
but they do crack under load and once you have a crack you have a 
moisture problem.

Anyhow have fun.  Hope it helps the thinking.


The Straw Wolf
61 2 6927 6027

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