[Strawbale] Fwd: Re: seeking advice/assistance with strawbale shed

RT ArchiLogic at yahoo...
Wed Oct 21 18:53:57 CEST 2009

Just to stir up the pot a bit, I thought that y'all might have some  
thoughts on the following
 from the   

------- Forwarded message -------
From: "Keith Winston" <keith at earthsunenergy...>
Cc: greenbuilding at listserv....org
Subject: Re: [Greenbuilding] seeking advice/assistance with strawbale shed
Date: Wed, 21 Oct 2009 11:35:14 -0400

There are a number of straw bale sheds built, mostly as demo projects.
I would generally recommend against it, except for that purpose.

One of the big advantages of SB is the high insulation value.
Meaningless in a shed, generally. Same goes for most of the value of
thermal mass & hydrophilic plasters, and to some degree air quality. A
highly-breathable shed is a very forgiving thing.

The interior finish of SB is not so cheap (materially), and (both
interior and exterior are) VERY labor intensive. Sheds don't typically
have an interior finish.

IMO you need large overhangs, and some structure that keeps the SB off
the ground: typically 12-18" (I would advocate more in the 18"+ for
anything but the dryest climes).

If you do the math, and especially if you value your volunteer energy,
it's not a great fit. UNLESS: you put a high value on the demo aspect
(are you in a good SB environment?), for example, a larger SB project
is on the horizon.

I can't stress enough how important free labor is to make SB even
faintly competitive with almost anything else. Compressed (possibly
stabilized) earth blocks made onsite could be another local natural
materials approach that could go faster/cheaper, if you can find/build
a press.

Full disclosure: I work with/around SB quite a bit, and I really love
certain aspects, but am weary of it being oversold.


On Wed, 21 Oct 2009 11:04:10 -0400, Joshua Dolan <sapsquatch7 at gmail...>  

>  Hello!
>  I am a teacher at South Hill elementary school. We have a small
>  organic orchard on site, and I'd love to build a shed for educational
> and maintenece materials. I was wondering about the cost/viability of
> building a straw bale structure at the school. The district would take
> a lot of convincing, I'm betting, but it is worth a try. Is there a
> local person I could talk to, or, even better, who would like to help
> on such a project?
> I'm looking to write a grant to cover the costs and community support is  
> a must.
> Thanks,
> Carolyn Belle

========= 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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