[Strawbale] re: Embodied Energy, Carbon research of Big Bales...

Robert Tom ArchiLogic at yahoo...
Sun Nov 4 23:31:33 CET 2007

On Sun, 04 Nov 2007 13:14:03 -0500, Max Vittrup Jensen <max at permalot...>  

> It so happen to be that Canadian François Gonthier-Gignac and I are in  
> process of developing a tool to promote cleaner ways of building through  
> optimizing Embodied energy, energy efficiency and costs in residential  
> housing.

Some time ago (10 years ?) through the auspices of Canada Mortgage &  
Housing Corp.


there was a LCA software program developed called "OPTIMIZE" that enabled  
one to model the embodied energy of a proposed design, as well as the life  
cycle costs and other things like replacement costs at the end of the life  
cycle, water consumption, waste generation, ease of re-use/recycling of  
the deconstructed building materials and if I recall correctly, potential  
for off-gassing of VOCs and actual dollar costs.

I've gone through a number of hard drives since then so I can't pull up  
the actual printout results (about 10 pages per run I think) at the moment  
but if you contact CMHC, they should be able to provide you with  

> put to the task of coming up with  an amount of kilo joule whichgoes  
> into 1 single big bale, my approach would be to find out how many big  
> balesan average (European) baling machine make per hectare, and find out  
> the liters ofdiesel consumed. These figures should give the individual  
> answer.The LCA (Life Cycle Analysis) tool then also need  some figures  
> for transport to storageand to site,

Typically, the figure for embodied energy would include the energy  
consumed for transport to storage and to the site, as well as the  
"production energy" for harvesting and baling operations and any other  
energy consumed during the process of construction to get the bales in  
place in the walls.  You will this defined in:

Cole, Raymond J. and Rousseau, David. 1992.
Environmental auditing for building construction: energy and air pollution  
indices for building materials.  Building and Environment 27, #1 (January)

Obviously, since big bales require the use of heavy machinery at each and  
every stage of their handling, the embodied energy per kilogram of straw  
will be greater than that for "regular"-sized two and three string bales  
so the figures provided for the EE of straw in the references provided  
earlier in this thread, will not apply.

Also, I'm pretty sure that the EE numbers in the sources mentioned were  
compilied by looking at Canadian and Australian  
farming/transportation/building practises which I suspect, would be  
noticeably different than those for most European locations, mostly due to  

Even here in Canada, one will see quite a difference in scale between 2  
different provinces within the same country (ie Prairies vs Central  

=== * ===
Rob Tom
Kanata, Ontario, Canada
< A r c h i L o g i c  at chaffY a h o o  dot  c a >
manually winnow the chaff from my edress in your reply

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