[Strawbale] Planning a home of BigBales 2011 in Estonia

paul paul at naturalbuilding...
Mon Feb 28 10:13:13 CET 2011

Hi all and thanks for the different answers. These are very interesting points and a great subject for us to talk about, but I still am awash with lots of OPINIONS and am really looking for more FACTS.

In simple questions

What is the background knowledge for people's opinion about load-bearing SB-structures; 
a) We have seen some calculations done for a load-bearing structures, but with very different results, It is similar questions asked but with varying answers, almost each test result you read, reads differently? Why? I agree with Max about bale sizes etc.. but is that really the answer?
b) what are these calculations based on? ( some are on tests, yes, but is seems some are on common sense? Is this good enough for the authorities in your country?...)
c) have these calculations been approved by building authorities? This is a main point!  Can anyone show me where an authority has approved these tests (loadbearing and creep tests for anyone who hasn't been following this topic so far) in Europe, especially with heavy snow loads??

Thanks again in advance for these discussions and your answers.

Best regards,

Paul Lynch/Manager
The Natural Building Company Oy
00358 44 2509663
paul at naturalbuilding...
Skype address - paul.g.lynch

Y-tunnus 2254617-8

On 27 feb 2011, at 23.28, Dave Howorth wrote:

> On Sun, 2011-02-27 at 11:26 +0100, forum at lamaisonenpaille... wrote:
>> Hello Dave,
> Hi Andre
>> Have you read Buce King's book?
> Yes, and quite a few others :)
>> It is easy to proove that plaster plays an important structural role in 
>> plastered bale walls: plaster a bale on 2 sides and (once the plaster is 
>> dry) push with your hands on the bale. Push with the other hand on a non 
>> plastered bale. The difference in stiffness of the bale your hands will 
>> expérience results from the resistance added by the (rigid) plaster. 
>> Even an important gap between plaster and the roof bearing assembly 
>> would not take away this phenomena.
> But again, that's an unloaded bale where the load is applied afterwards,
> which is not the usual built case. I absolutely agree that the plaster
> makes the structure a lot stiffer, and increases the ultimate
> load-bearing strength. I'm just not convinced that the plaster skins
> take all the load. I wonder if anybody has actually ever measured this?
>> So if we agree that plaster plays an important structural role we can 
>> debate wether one wants to use this strengh for live and/or dead loads. 
>> If possible, I would like the straw to be able to resist to all the 
>> normal loads (dead and live) and have the plaster as a safety margin for 
>> when mother nature throws that amazing storm/snowload/earthquake at your 
>> building.
> I think we seem to be agreeing, yes, and I agree with your desire.
>> After having seen a presentation from a Peter Braun (a Swiss engineer) 
>> on the Big bale buildings he designs I have come to no longer think of 
>> loadbearing big bale building as something simple. He often expérienced 
>> differences in settlement during the build and he came up with different 
>> ways of counterbalancing them. True, he seems to me to like the 
>> challange of making complicated buildings...
>> Me, I prefer simple buildings.
> I'm not familiar with his work. Do you have any links?
>> I also think it is great that not all people are like me...
> I'll second that. The world would be a dreadful place if it was full of
> me!
> Cheers, Dave
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