[Strawbale] water supply

RT Archilogic at yahoo...
Thu Jul 7 20:22:48 CEST 2011

On Thu, 07 Jul 2011 04:18:58 -0400,
  Nikolay Marinov <nikvesmar at gmail...> wrote:

> I would like to ask you are there any specific requirements for  
> installing water pipes in straw bale walls.

> Thermal insulation around the pipes for
> sure to prevent condensation, but is it enough to protect the straw?


I would say "Just don't" -- don't put water supply pipes in the exterior  

I don't know where you are located so I have no idea of how cold it may  
get it your area but if there is any risk at all that some portion of the  
supply will be subject to freezing (ie an extremely cold winter and the  
home is unheated while the occupants are away for a day or two ... or  
sloppy detailing (or rodents) creates a thermal bridge through the straw  
allowing cold to get at some portion of the pipes) ... a burst pipe (or  
more likely, a fitting) due to frost expansion would result in a horrible  
mess in the walls.

That's just one of the many possible scenarios that could result in a  
plumbing leak.

Plumbing needs to remain easily accessible.

If the layout of the plan requires that there be supply lines in the  
exterior walls, I would venture that the plan could probably benefit from  
a revision, moving fixtures to an interior partition.

If supply lines or drain pipes absolutely need to be located on exterior  
walls, then I would suggest putting them (and electrical lines too) in a  
service chase constructed on the inside of the plaster air barrier thereby  
eliminating any chance of air leaks due to penetrations for services.

This could be accomplished as easily as erecting a counter-height stud  
wall (using 38 x 64 mm or even 38 x 38 mm studs) against the inside  
plaster and clipping demountable access panels to the surface of the studs.

=== * ===
Rob Tom
Kanata, Ontario, Canada
< A r c h i L o g i c  at  Y a h o o  dot  C A >
(manually winnow the chaff from my edress if you hit REPLY)

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