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Scott King

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Sustainable housing using straw bale housing, large scale.

The idea is simple, because cereals are abudant and relatively easy to grow. the left over from clearing a plot of hay or cereal is straw, bio-refuse with almost no value. But, a new form of building using these bales has been gaining popularity, mainly because it is both a structural and insulating material, so walls can be erected with a higher degree of ease then traditional building techniques. If we put incentive out for laborers to learn these new, more efficient methods, so they could in turn produce a large scale usage of something that usually only sees uses in isolated examples. things that produce straw grow almost anywhere, making the tranport, acquisition and implimentation much more economical then most other methods. thoughts?

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    Feb 10 2012: This is a fantastic idea, I read up a little on the straw building concept and its got a lot of good work behind it, what needs to be done is to make the use of straw easy and compatible with the existing materials. Thank you for this idea and I hope you get more feed back on it when you repost tit on a dedicated new building page,
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    Jan 17 2012: what about something like particle board made out of straw and glue pressed onto a wire mesh? giving you the benefits of your idea and the ability to manufacture material that would fit current construction standards.
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    Jan 11 2012: Status Quo guards against improvement. Paradigms at rest tend to stay at rest. If those two strikes scare you into stepping away from the plate, then its 2 strikes and no balls. Hang in there Scott.Swing for the fence!
  • Jan 11 2012: And, what size house?

    Here's my launchpad for straw-bale knowledge:
    http://www.osbbc.ca
    Ontario Straw Bale Building Coalition.
  • Jan 11 2012: It's extremely easy, when compared to traditional building. Think of laying brick work, the staggering pattern, that's how you lay them, with the option of reinforcing the walls by adding vertical re-bar on whatever pad you use (concrete, dirt etc.). Then, using a frame on the sides of the walls, you cover the entire surface area of the walls with tightly strung chicken wire. After that, you earth-plaster over-top the wire and straw, to make a stucco like finish. For openings, you need to reinforce the section above using angle iron or large studs. From there, you could make regular walls on the inside, or incorporate the straw again into thicker walls or support Beams, though it would likely need to be 3 units wide to allow for the stagger pattern (a fair contributor to the overall lateral strength of the wall.)
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    Jan 11 2012: How many people does it take to construct a straw bale building? How many days? What other materials are involved? What sort of machinery is required? I'm looking for the best method of constructing a community with the least amount of the aforementioned. It's for The Joie de Vivre Independence Project, working to establish self-sustaining colonies of veterans interested in finding workable ways to live.