[Strawbale] Futility of quantifying properties of natural materials (was Re: compressing or not

Menno Houtstra mennohoutstra at yahoo.com
Fri Mar 14 18:43:37 CET 2014


concerning measurements of natural materials: I have searched a long time for fire tests of strawbales or strawbale walls, with or preferably without plastering,

I prefer `NOT to plaster my wall, as it is inside a building, and i dont need a lot of structural strength.

the fire department in my place,  amsterdam, objected against such an unplastered wall because of little straws falling on the ground that might catch fire!

now my project is in a village not far from here, at least i would like to comfort them with some testing literature back-up :)

but all i have found is an austrian test, 

although i have  heard that on european level fire tests were made.

anyone seen an online test report , scientific, or even better of a official fire prevention/fighter department ??

thanks so much!

Menno Houtstra

" Faire de la philosophie c'est constituer des problèmes qui ont un sens et créer les concepts qui nous font avancer dans la compréhension et la solution des problèmes de notre époque."

On Wednesday, March 12, 2014 6:59 PM, RT <archilogic at yahoo.ca> wrote:
On Wed, 12 Mar 2014 06:27:43 -0400, permacultura la boa  
><casadipaglia at hotmail.com> wrote:
>> Tests many times are contradictory and often fail when they want to put  
>> natural materials into a table...
>I have to disagree with Stefano's statement (above) because it implies  
>that the properties of natural materials cannot be quantified to any  
>useful degree.
>While it is true that often, testing will yield different values for the  
>same properties of the same natural material, one understands that it is  
>due to the fact that natural materials aren't produced in a factory where  
>quality control procedures would ensure a degree of uniformity.
>However, so long as the testing procedure is well-defined and the  
>characteristics of the samples being tested are properly measured and  
>identified alongside the test results data, the properties of natural  
>materials can be put into charts and tables that will provide accurate  
>information that can be useful for the purposes of design and analysis.
>As an example, I would simply point to Dr. Minke's table that lists the  
>thermal conductivity values for wide range of different densities of  
>straw/clay mixes.
>Without such testing and accompanying data,  we would see much more of the  
>nonsensical mythology that often surrounds natural materials which, when  
>taken to heart by natural building novices, more often than not, leads to  
>disappointment and/or poorly-performing buildings and/or building failures  
>when those myths confront the real world.
>As to the question of whether or not to pre-compress non-loadbearing SB  
>walls, I would argue that precompression is always beneficial from a  
>structural perspective.
>If the tensile elements used to provide the precompression are properly  
>attached to the frame & foundation, even non-loadbearing SB wall panels  
>can provide substantial, useful resistance to live loads and that only  
>helps to improve the serviceabilty and durability of the building overall.
>=== * ===
>Rob Tom                    AOD257
>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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