[Strawbale] Bales on edge and insulated structures
derek at unm...
Wed Oct 13 15:43:14 CEST 2010
It sounds like you've got a system that is working well for you, and
that is great. My view is that most building decisions have pluses
and minuses. The pluses are the reason that we pick a system, and
the minuses have to be dealt with. Usually, they can be, if we want
to make the effort.
You ask what are the disadvantages of your three sided column
approach. One is that a three sided box column will be substantially
less strong than a four sided one. The fourth side makes a large
difference in the weight the column can support, and the out of plane
loads that it can resist. I'm not saying that you shouldn't build
this way. Just that when a builder removes strength from one element
in a building, she/he will have to be sure that sufficient strength
remains, or add strength via other building elements.
If I'm visualizing correctly, I would say another disadvantage is
that this kind of column interrupts the running bond stacking of the
bales. This makes the wall less stable, and less able to resist out
of plane loads. It means another interface between dissimilar
materials, which can lead to air infiltration and plaster cracking.
Again, these issues can be dealt with, if one chooses.
Language Learning Center
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University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001
505/277-7368, fax 505/277-3885
Internet: derek at unm...
--On Wednesday, October 13, 2010 1:20 PM +0200 Rikki Nitzkin
<rikkinitzkin at earthlink...> wrote:
> After listening to this last debate, I have a doubt...
> I have built very few wooden structures for straw (mostly I use
> loadbearing), but when I do, I have always found that using Box
> Beams (like the ones used for loadbearing roof-plates) vertically
> as a structure work very easily. In the case of using them as
> posts I only cover one side with OSB (9mm), not both, to save on
> material. They are easy to make, insulate, fix to the base plate,
> and permit you to top the structure off with a beam (probably
> another box beam) centered over the bales- which makes it easy to
> compress the bales within the structure (with car jacks or truck
> straps). This makes a very solid, straight wall with an insulated
> structure and permits using on-edge bales.
> When I do this (so far only with small "demonstration" buildings)
> it works well. I usually put the box beam posts in the corners,
> and around windows, and if there where a longer wall with no
> openings (never happened so far) I would put more posts in- with
> a maximum of 2,5 meters between posts (which is the length of the
> What are the disadvantages of doing this? I see only advantages...
> except (if using on-edge bales) that the first layer of plaster is
> a bit more difficult to apply.
> If there are no disadvantages, why don't people use this sistem
> very often?
> take care,
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