[Strawbale] Strawbale Digest, Vol 72, Issue 9
nikvesmar at gmail...
Mon Nov 14 14:04:53 CET 2011
congratulations to the Czechs' team for their successful tests. I am
architect from Bulgaria and I as Caterina would like to know how we can use
these tests EU wide for our buildings. There are lots of researches made,
all with perfect results, and all of them are according to the EU fire
safety codes. We are working on straw bale acceptation in the Bulgarian
codes as building materials, but we can not use these tests, because they
are intellectual property of the organization who made them. So only
official translation is not enough. The only way to be accepted is this
organization to declare that our team (NGO) is branch or part of this
organization and submit the right to use the tests.
This is an issue here in Bulgaria, because there are already more than 6
houses (residential), all of them illegal, because of missing code
approval. In this case the Municipality has the right to demolish them,
because they do not respond to local building codes and this is the thing
we want to change.
So it will be very helpful further collaboration in all EU countries to
test and share this very important studies.
Respect to all of you !
On Mon, Nov 14, 2011 at 1:18 PM, Rikki Nitzkin
<rikkinitzkin at earthlink...>wrote:
> I don't know about Portugal, but here in Spain the architectural college
> has accepted the German fire test (with an oficial translation)...
> El 14/11/2011, a las 12:00, strawbale-request at amper....**muni.cz<strawbale-request at amper....muni.cz>escribió:
> Send Strawbale mailing list submissions to
>> strawbale at amper....muni.cz
>> To subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit
>> or, via email, send a message with subject or body 'help' to
>> strawbale-request at amper....**muni.cz<strawbale-request at amper....muni.cz>
>> You can reach the person managing the list at
>> strawbale-owner at amper....**muni.cz<strawbale-owner at amper....muni.cz>
>> When replying, please edit your Subject line so it is more specific
>> than "Re: Contents of Strawbale digest..."
>> Today's Topics:
>> 1. Re: Indoor Air Quality study (RT)
>> 2. Re: Fire tests 2011 - valid for the whole EU (catarina pinto)
>> Message: 1
>> Date: Mon, 14 Nov 2011 01:43:04 -0500
>> From: RT <archilogic at yahoo...>
>> To: GSBN at sustainablesources...
>> Cc: EuroSB <strawbale at amper....muni.cz>
>> Subject: Re: [Strawbale] Indoor Air Quality study
>> Message-ID: <op.v4xbl2zw0ciq73 at rt-acernb>
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-15; format=flowed;
>> On Fri, 11 Nov 2011 19:58:31 -0500, <GSBN-requestA**
>> sustainablesources.com <GSBN-request at sustainablesources...>>
>>> From: Pete Walker <P.Walker at ...
>>> To: Global Straw Bale Network <gsbn at greenbuilder...>
>>> Subject: [GSBN] Indoor Air Quality study
>>> I am supervising a Master students at the University of Bath looking at
>>> indoor air quality of straw bale buildings, in particular fungal spore
>>> counts. The idea for the project stemmed initially from what i believe
>>> are largely spurious stories that this is a potential health problem for
>>> building users. To date we have taken measurements in one straw bale
>>> building that showed the fungal spore count was in fact higher than the
>>> control conditions, but well below WHO limits.
>>> Is anyone aware of similar studies having been completed?
>>> UK GSBN subscribers: we are looking for straw bale buildings to sample.
>>> Volunteers please.
>> I found your incredulity (re: " largely spurious stories that this is a
>> potential health problem") to be curious given that:
>> (i) in-wall moisture sensors in monitored SB buildings have shown
>> elevated moisture levels necessary to support deleterious microbial
>> activity do in fact occur frequently and
>> (ii) air-tight construction to prevent moisture intrusion
>> on air leakage)
>> into the envelope materials and escape of mould spores from wetted
>> envelope materials into
>> the indoor air environment is the result of a conscious
>> effort/implementation of
>> meticulous detailing (rather than something that just happens as a
>> of good intentions) and
>> (iii) given the rainy reputation of the UK and the large numbers
>> of SB
>> buildings whose exterior
>> plaster is not protected from rain-wetting by a rainscreen
>> cladding one
>> would suspect that the
>> drying regime does not exceed the wetting regime
>> ... much more that would easily dispel any incredulity on my part.
>> Unfortunately, the SB-friendly, bona fide IAQ expert at CMHC (Don Fugler)
>> retired last year so is no longer available to the SB community at the
>> click of a mouse so I'll have to try and stumble through this .
>> Rather than asking for volunteer subjects, I'd venture that it might be
>> more effective to have someone who is experienced at spotting potential
>> moisture problems in buildings, spend a week or so touring around the
>> isle (or maybe via Google satellite imagery) to have a cursory look at as
>> many SB buildings as possible in order to identify the ones that are
>> likely candidates for a closer look.
>> The next step might be to contact the owners of the first cull and seek
>> permission to inspect their building to look for clues indicating that
>> microbial activity within the envelope materials is getting into the
>> indoor air environment. (ie discolouration (ie mould spore flumes) of the
>> finishes in the vicinity of discontinuities in the air barrier (ie plaster
>> cracks, joints between dissimilar materials/components/planes etc) etc ...
>> and then monitor the IAQ of the worst of that bunch only. (ie no point
>> wasting time/resources monitoring obviously healthy buildings)
>> Stephen Collette (see below) has offered his assistance.
>> ============== forwarded material =====================
>>> On 2011-11-13, at 9:35 PM, Stephen Collette wrote:
>> [snipped & pasted]
>>>> Thank you very much for thinking of me with respect to this research. I
>>>> sincerely appreciate you forwarding me the post.
>>>> I am always interested in research such as this. Please forward my
>>>> contact information to these folks and let them know that I am a former
>>>> straw bale builder and now do air quality inspections full time, and
>>>> that I think I could help them out in some way.
>>>> Stephen Collette BBEC, LEED AP, BSSO
>>>> Your Healthy House - Indoor Environmental Testing & Building Consulting
>> ================ End of forwarded material ===========
>> (This message has been copied to the Euro SB List with an eye to expanding
>> the field of exploration beyond the very limited GSBN List membership.
>> More is better in this instance. )
>> === * ===
>> 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")
>> Message: 2
>> Date: Sun, 13 Nov 2011 14:04:11 +0000
>> From: catarina pinto <catarinarpinto at gmail...>
>> To: European strawbale building discussions
>> <strawbale at amper....muni.cz>
>> Subject: Re: [Strawbale] Fire tests 2011 - valid for the whole EU
>> j4CQhp3XhCPD5w at mail....com<CAMOyiMAouKwiy_q2tqOQ1kzTENY41AXMUuc_j4CQhp3XhCPD5w at mail....com>
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-2"
>> Thanks to Czech team for the tests and sharing them.
>> I would like to know more about using this test as EU legislation. I am a
>> Portuguese architect and here we don?t have specific legislation. Our
>> engineer laboratory, wich regulates building materials in Portugal,
>> list strawbales as a building material, they don?t say nothing about it.
>> So my question is if with this legislation I can legally work with
>> strawbale as a building material in Portugal? What should I argument and
>> report in the project documentation? Attach this documents, and others
>> more tests?
>> What is the best proceedure, in this case?
>> Best Regards,
>> Catarina Pinto
>> 2011/11/12 Jan Hollan <jhollan at amper....muni.cz>
>> A successful Czech (hence, EU) test of fire resistance of a plastered
>>> strawbale wall has been done in June. Now the official protocols are
>>> available, too.
>>> As Jan R??i?ka announced on the ESBG in Bouzov already, a specimen of a
>>> loadbearing strawbale wall, a 3 m square 0.58 m thick has been subjected
>>> a standard fire test in June 2011. The inner (heated) side has been
>>> earth-plastered (5 cm), the outer side had a lime plaster (3 cm). Bales
>>> 77 kg/m3 originally and 93 kg/m3 when fixed in the specimen. During the
>>> test, the load on the specimen had been 12 kN/m (so, like 360 kg on the
>>> whole specimen). The wall had endured for 144 min, test was stopped then
>>> due to the vertical deformation exceeding the allowed limit (this happend
>>> shortly after a large part of the earth plaster fell down).
>>> Another pair of specimens has been tested as well, one of them using
>>> strawbales as insulation (41 cm thick) in a wooden construction, earth
>>> plastered, loaded by 20 kN/m. This test had to be finished after 69 min
>>> to a failure of the other specimen; the strawbale-filled one remained
>>> almost intact. So it had been declared to comply with requirements for at
>>> least 60 min.
>>> For a longer text on the issue, with some images and
>>> with all needed URLs, including those to the protocols, see
>>> So, walls of such constructions, if not subject to larger loads than the
>>> tested ones, can be used in EU without any fire-related legal obstacles
>>> with best regards,
>>> European strawbale building discussion list
>>> Send all messages to:
>>> Strawbale at amper....muni.cz
>>> Archives, subscription options, etc:
>> CATARINA PINTO
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