[Strawbale] [FWD] rainscreens, straw decay

mkdurham Durham origamickiteflyer at gmail...
Sun Mar 1 01:38:37 CET 2009

I am a previous student of landscape architecture in America.  I now live in

Anything helpful? I'll try and do with contacts, here.

Write me at my e-mail address.

Kathryn Durham

On Sat, Feb 28, 2009 at 4:35 PM, RT <ArchiLogic at yahoo...> wrote:

> ========= Forwarded from SB-r-Us AYahoogroups =======
> Hello.
> I’m a graduate student at Nihon University researching the
> interstitial hygrothermal environment of straw bale buildings in Japan.  I
> have
> several questions on a couple of different topics.
> 1.           I’m monitoring eight straw bale buildings in Japan.
> Generally, interstitial humidity and straw moisture content increases
> towards
> the exterior.  Comparing indoor and outdoor humidity levels suggest that
> rather
> than exfiltration or diffusion of indoor moisture, external moisture is the
> primary cause of interstitial moisture.  I’d like to investigate the
> influence of rain screens on the interstitial environment.  It may be too
> much
> to build identical straw bale structures, but I could build two or more
> straw
> bale walls protected from any unintended moisture.  The structure of the
> walls
> would be identical except that one wall would have a rain screen.  I could
> spray the walls with a measured quantity of water (in liters per minute)
> and
> monitor interstitial relative humidity and straw moisture content.
> The recent conversation on ventilated rainscreens has been helpful.  Thank
> you.  I’m looking for construction details of straw bale walls with rain
> screens to share with an architect.  I’ve found rough wall sections in
> King’s “Design of Straw Bale Buildings”, Minke’s “Building with
> Straw”, and Chiras’ “The Natural House”.  If any one could provide
> construction details or detailed photos, I’d be grateful.  (Thank you John
> in
> Australia and André in France for the descriptions.)
> 2.           I removed samples of straw from two straw bale structures
> at our research center.  Samples of straw were taken from around five
> temperature and relative humidity sensors.  One structure has been
> monitored
> for six years, the other for two years.  The condition of the straw was
> analyzed for mold and decay.  63 times magnification revealed fungal
> hyphae in
> what was to the naked eye clean straw.  A Yamaco MT-700 C-N Corder was
> used to
> measure total carbon concentrations.  As fungi digest straw, they consume
> the
> carbon in the straw and give off carbon dioxide.  The percentage of total
> carbon in the straw should, in theory, decline as the straw decomposes.
> Carbon
> concentrations were compared with new straw from 2008 grown and dried at
> our
> research center.  As expected, the straw from around sensors with a
> history of
> high relative humidity had the lowest carbon concentrations.
>               For those who know more about this then I, is total
> carbon a good measure of straw decomposition?  What other tests could be
> done
> to determine the extent of straw decomposition without samples of the
> original
> straw at the time of baling or building?  I was considering comparing
> stable
> carbon isotopes C12 and C14.
> 3.           I’d like to submit a paper to the Journal of Asian
> Architecture and Building Engineering, a peer reviewed Journal sponsored
> by the
> architectural associations of Japan, China, and Korea, by April 8 for
> publication in November.  Would anyone be interested in helping me with a
> statistical analysis of the carbon experiment described above?  Last year I
> received help with a paper from a couple of people on this list.  Many
> thanks.
> Kindest regards,
> Kyle Holzhueter
> Nihon University
> Graduate School of Bioresource Sciences
> Architecture and Regional Ecological Design Studio
> 1866 Kameino Fujisawa-City Kanagawa-Prefecture 252-8510
> TEL/FAX (81)466-84-3364
> http://hp.brs.nihon-u.ac.jp/~areds/<http://hp.brs.nihon-u.ac.jp/%7Eareds/>
> http://www.cnes.brs.nihon-u.ac.jp/
> ============= End of Forwarded Material ============
> --
> === * ===
> 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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