[Strawbale] minimum air-change rate in SB passive houses/low-nergy houses?

Peter van Balen peter at tentotwo...
Mon Dec 12 20:57:54 CET 2005


(being new to this forum, I've added a short background to my SB interest/experience after my question)

Q: Have any forum members experience with or information on minimum air-change rate (ac) for SB houses?

Reason for asking this: 
For a passive house (PH), and even often said for a low-energy house (LEH) too, it seems to be unavoidable to ventilate through "balanced" ventilation (sorry, translated from Dutch/German - what I mean is two-way mechanical ventilation with heat recuperation), as ventilation in well-insulated air-tight houses becomes the single biggest heat loss. However, apart from avoiding the high investment costs, there may be other reasons one want to achieve at least LEH standards (and if possible PH standards) without BV. 
Just for O2 renewal and save CO2 levels, 0.1-0.2 ac suffices, thus the remainder of the often advised minimum of 1 ac seems to be needed primarily for keeping CO/NOx levels (gas cooking etc.) safe and avoid moisture problems. 
With humidity-controlled fan extractors in kitchen (area) and bathroom, dedicated 'wet zone' for drying laundry etc, and possibly added moisture stocking capacity (e.g. adobe wall) in remaining 'wet spots/spaces' (this beyond the capacity that the few cms of, preferably, earth plaster already give you), I wonder if any additional permanent mechanical ventilation (BV or otherwise) is needed in such a SB house to achieve LEH/PH standards - even in a (theoratically) air-tight built one - to avoid moisture problems?
Any information or suggestions welcome!

Peter van Balen (my last name being, coincidently, Dutch for bales...)

Living in France, I got interested in SB through meeting Tom Rijven some years ago. Got a little bit of hands-on experience through helping out (4 weeks) on Martin Oehlmann's building site (who I found thanks to Herbert's announcement on the ASBN website) and as well as a 3-week workshop led by Tom. Planned to start building our own SB house (infill bales on edge) from Autumn 2006, after some more SB work experience and hopefully some more insight in, amongst other things, ventilation & moisture issues in SB building. I found this, very helpful, site through Kuba (Wihan).
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