[Strawbale]Some loadbearing compression ideas/questions
huffnpuff at shoal....au
Sun May 8 02:54:29 CEST 2005
G day Chris
Each to his own mate, I do not have a problem with the dip zee bales
method al a Tom Rijven as such. If a builder or owner builder likes the
method then use it as with all methods in straw bale buildings.
Tom the Magic Rijven demonstrated the method on one of our walls in
Ganmain. Tom had to dip the things then carry them up a ladder scaffold
as he was building the gable end. Tom being Tom did a grand job but it
was difficult to get them straight and we could not brush cut them
either. MLW just loves brush cutting bales into shape! Every building
is the last one that she is going to brush cut!
No my problems with the dip zee bales method are as follows:
1. Too slow.
2. The bales once in place do not take water from the side on as rain
tends to sheet off the bales if you put the cut edge to the outside of
the wall and the furry side to the inside. So why go to the bother of
dipping them when it is a whole lot easier and much faster to spray the
first two cost of earthen or lime render on the walls. Much, much
quicker and time is money in the building game.
3. You get very dirty and professional builders would just laugh at the
method no way would they take to this method.
4. Pre-compression is a must for those who are in the business of
earning their daily crust from building in straw bale. Without
pre-compression in all methods of SB you do not rest easy at night!
That I promise you. You see all bales aint the same mate.
Pre-compression takes the guess work out of building in straw bale and
means you can get the roof on immediately the pre-compression is done.
I always build a test wall out of the bales supplied for the job and do
some test runs to see how much compression I can get before I build.
This goes for in-fill and load bearing methods. You could possibly
still pre-compress dipped bales once in place. The method that Bill and
Athena are using and we are adopting a very similar methods would allow
one to pre-compress dipped bales but it would b e a messy job.
This is the way the Uni of Western Sydney have recently tested wider top
plates and bottom plates. It works a treat and I will post the photos
to the SB r-Us yahoo list for those interested. It is by the far the
best method that I have used and I am very happy with it for load
bearing buildings using any size of bales.
5. All this talk of the render bearing the load as against the straw
bales is too me practically hard to fathom. My strong belief is that
the straw bale AND the render act in symbiosis and spread the load
across the full width of the wall. Creep happens on all renders as far
as I know on all types of surface. I can show you photos of the render
on some walls not in touch with the top plates in some case up to 10mm
which means that the straw bales are holding the roof assembly up not
the renders. Dipped or not the render eventually creeps downwards and a
gap appears at the junction of the top plate and the bale.
Finally I do not like cement period from an environmental point of view,
I prefer earthen renders but for professional work I am using three
coats of lime directly on to the bales with zero netting, yes I know
that lime has almost as much embodied energy etc. as cement but it works
well on straw bales is easy to apply and handles moisture very well, as
opposed to cement. I would not fancy dipping zee bales in zee lime
The Straw Wolf
61 2 6927 6027
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