[Strawbale] combination rammed earth / strawbales

Ben Albu ben at albu...
Tue Apr 18 23:56:13 CEST 2006

Dear strawbalers,

These days I have been thinking about some things concerning the  
construction of strawbale walls.
I also had a look at the construction of walls with the rammed earth  

Traditional, breathable strawbale wall : loam / strawbale / loam

disadvantages of this "sandwich" construction :

walls are difficult to finish straight, the same problem for the corners.
setting up of a strawbale wall goes fast and easy, but loaming is a lot of  
a loadbearing wall can shrink over time, and loam will crack.

advantages of a rammed earth wall :

construction is easy and goes fast (?)
cheap (in materials, but it requires more loam)
straight and beautiful result
good loadbearing capacities

disadvantages of this type of wall :

poor isolation (for cold climates)

I was wondering if somebody has some experience in making a combination of  
rammed earth / strawbale / rammed earth

If yes ....

Would the isolation properties be the same for this kind of construction  
compared to a classical strawbale wall ?

What about the fire resistant ? Is it advisable to put the bales in  
between without loamfinish ? In Austria they finished a strawbale wall  
completely with wood, but they dipped it in loam before construction.  
Would this also be a requierement if the straw is set up between 2 layers  
of rammed earth ?

Which advantages/disadvantages do you see for this type of construction ?

What about he foundation ?

I am also wondering if the time required to loam a strawbale wall would be  
+- equal to the construction of a rammed earth wall ?

Are there other techniques to isolate a rammed earth wall ? (Not with  
foam, rockwool, etc ...)

Thanks for your help.

Ben Albu

ben at albu...

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