[Strawbale] European Strawbale Building, ESBG and the share of experiences

asbn asbn at baubiologie.at
Fri Feb 17 00:01:17 CET 2012

Dear Jenik and all the other open-hearted balers

Good to hear you again and my deepest admiration, how you solve problems.

Good to be reminded, that Ecodum ­ I know Ales Brotanek and Ecodum's
professionality from our ESBG 2002 in Austria ­ and many other good European
straw bale builders, researchers, scientists, enthusiasts are not on this
list, because they don't speak english or do more practice than writing
emails, but are still active.

And all the "older" European baleheads from the very first beginning like
Martin Oehlmann, René Dalmeijer, André Bouter, Lars Keller, Rikki Nitzkin,
Dirk Scharmer, Tom Rijven, Barbara Jones, Bee Rowan, Herwig van Soom, Steen
Møller, Harald Wedig, Rolf Jacobson, Gernot Minke, Werner Schmidt, Pascal
Thepaut, Axel Linde and you Jenik..., who mostly just retired from those
lists to let the younger ones shout and do their own experiences, but are
still watching whats going on, building, researching, keeping the European
strawbale-truck rolling.

Sometimes I'm a little bit sad, that there is so little exchange of
experiences with these "giants", their knowhow in techniques, building
physics and efficient strawbale tricks and ideas.

Yes, some of us do Leonardo projects to share experiences, but always
limited to those, who get fundings (in our actual project just 7 from 14
countries got the funding); and yes we do international workshops and
sometimes meet again on some place in Europe or anywhere else.

What I really miss, is a recurring gathering of those experienced people, a
share of knowhow on a higher level. This was the old idea of ESBG or ISBBC
(which is still a highly professional gathering, but mostly American).
Workshops and presentations for unskilled but interested students are
wonderful things, and I do them often, not just in my country (I just did
one in Moscow), but when we try to extend the possibilities of strawbale
building as solutions for CO2-reduction, energy-saving passive houses,
public and office buildings, affordable housing-projects and eco-villages,
we need our brightest and best ideas and solutions, discussions about
details and faults, tests and research ­ we need experience and lifelong
learning - and we need to make the results public and available to everyone
(in a variety of languages).

US-baleheads have the big advantage of a common (native) language, while we
Europeans always try to explain sometimes complicated contexts in english as
the common conference-language (and whoever made international seminars or
workshops or presentations about e.g. building physics knows what I mean).
Sometimes they are translated by non-builders, sometimes visitors just
understand the half.

I think its time to think about other forms of sharing those experiences,
maybe off the ESBG, maybe included as a seperate specialized exchange within
on higher level, where we can presuppose, that others understand even more
complicated coherences.
ESBG has been modified by the great interest of many people and it started
in Belgium, where I ­ and many other more experienced strawbalers - had to
run the same presentation on low technical level 7times a day, that everyone
of the nearly 200 people could participate and understand... The program is
densely packed and often there is no possibility, to visit other
presentations, when you do your own.

I think European Straw Bale Building Techniques and Solutions are on a
really high level but we often forfeit the chance to show that to the

Therefore I think its time for a change and adjustment.
Its time to show what we Europeans can.
And to learn from each other.

It would be ridiculous, if we are not going to make it.
Bale on, European baleheads...
Mit lieben Grüßen
Herbert Gruber
asbn - austrian strawbale network
Österreichisches Netzwerk für Strohballenbau
3720 Ravelsbach, Baierdorf 6
Email: asbn at baubiologie.at

> Dear 599 strawbale at amper list members,
> thank you for your tolerance with the current flood of letters tackling
> somehow such a "SB problem" what somebody had said and what injustice has
> been done.
> Our list has a public archive, which I believe to be a good source of
> information for everybody in the world.
> Mixing personal quarrels into it means poisoning it. Nobody will ever be
> interested in them or discussions about some past meeting. They don't
> promote straw as a material to be applied in civil engineering.
> Max has his own space to put his views and defence, permalot.org -- our
> list is not the proper place for such things. Past ESBG meeting is a
> central issue there, let it remains there, only there.
> As for Herbert's legitimity, I think that viewing his site
> http://www.baubiologie.at reveals it: this is a real resource for the
> world, since a decade. He was not elected to run it. He just made it (as I
> established this mailinglist).
> Last, my old beg, once again: please don't copy a sequence of past
> messages to your postings. Anybody can find them in the archive. If you
> need to comment on a specific sentence or a paragraph, insert the
> necessary quotation into the body of your writings. (Of course, the
> quotation should concern SB or related technology, as this may be
> potentially interesting for everybody.) Copying vast old texts asks the
> readers to go through them, seeking if there is perhaps something new at
> last. No, it's but a spam.
> yours,
>   Jenik, strawbale list owner, Brno, Czechia
> PS
>     A case for my country: there are some widely respected people here too,
> with many excellent buildings behind them, like those from Ekodum group.
> However, as they are mostly no fluent English speakers, they don't post to
> our list. And of course, they aren't represented by Max. There is far more
> to Czech expertise then just the past ESBG. But, let's not discuss it any
> more.
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