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Thread: House built with wood and straw

  1. #1
    Regular Member Jack House's Avatar
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    House built with wood and straw

    http://gaia-health.com/gaia-blog/201...for-only-3000/

    Includes the all important fireplace! What could possibly go wrong?

    Posted using my HTC Evo

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    Founder's Club Member thebigsd's Avatar
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    I think it's pretty cool! And I also think some folks have too much time...
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    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    Lord of the Rings? A wee little place located in the Shire.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack House View Post
    Includes the all important fireplace! What could possibly go wrong?
    Since all the straw is fully encapsulated in plaster, it's more fire-safe than a conventional stick-built American home.

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    It's very charming, but I would personally like to blend it with some sturdier materials.

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    Regular Member MKEgal's Avatar
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    Sounds like he combined sod, straw-bale, & seat of the pants. Wonder how building codes work over there?

    Straw-bale homes are awesome! (Earth-sheltered are too.)
    Some day, I hope to have one, hopefully that I've helped build, maybe with solar & wind power so it's independant.
    Straw-bale homes are super-insulated [IIRC, something like R50!], which means exceptionally warm in winter & cool in summer, plus being quiet.
    This isn't a new building method, having been used on the plains where there weren't many trees, sort of like sod houses.

    They're relatively inexpensive, though the stucco / plaster may need closer attention in some climates.
    The only oddity is that you have to plan ahead for hanging cabinets, pictures, etc. & install wood framing under the plaster, to have something to attach them to.
    Here's an informative site: http://www.strawbale.com/

    KBCraig is right - as long as the plaster is intact the house is fireproof for all intents & purposes. And even if there's a crack or flake, the straw is so compressed that it would smoulder & (probably) go out rather than actually burn. That being said, insulating around the flue/chimney is important.

    PPM - part of the framework for most straw-bale houses is a sill & cap (I don't know the right term for it - the anti-sill on the top of a wall) plus rebar vertically to pin the bales together. Then cable is run around the sill, bales, & cap all along the wall & tightened down to compress the bales vertically. The pictures I've seen show the builders hanging their body weight on the cables, but I think a more even & predictable load can be had by using a winch or comealong. Pre-compression is important because with a roof full of snow the bales will compress, & if that's done after the stucco sets you've got problems.
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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KBCraig View Post
    Since all the straw is fully encapsulated in plaster, it's more fire-safe than a conventional stick-built American home.
    AS long as no moisture gets inside.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sudden valley gunner View Post
    AS long as no moisture gets inside.
    Spontaneous combustion occurs from drying the plant's natural oils in an anaerobic environment, not rainwater getting inside. Mold would be the side effect of moisture. Spontaneous combustion occurs with improperly dried hay, not straw (they're not the same).

    There are thousands of straw bale structures, dating back decades. I've never heard of spontaneous combustion from water intrusion.

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    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    I love it! Except for the hay. Not a big fan of breathing the fumes from hay...

    If there's a way to use the hay, such as in a mixture of properly-stabilized clay, I'm all for it.

    And yes, the fireplace extending inside the structure is pretty cool.
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    Looks fine. Until the bugs move in.

    And, after about the third year when it comes time to dust all those crooked architectural features.

    And, better practice up on your swearing so you're ready when you brush up against those hand rails or balusters in your jockey shorts at night.

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    Cord wood masonry, is another great building alternative.
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    Quote Originally Posted by since9 View Post
    I love it! Except for the hay. Not a big fan of breathing the fumes from hay...
    Straw is not hay.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sudden valley gunner View Post
    AS long as no moisture gets inside.
    That is the same for any modern house, sheetrock and interior paints don't do well with water.
    Don't believe any facts that I say! This is the internet and it is filled with lies and untruth. I invite you to look up for yourself the basic facts that my arguments might be based upon. This way we can have a discussion where logic and hints on where to find information are what is brought to the forum and people look up and verify facts for themselves.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    Looks fine. Until the bugs move in.

    And, after about the third year when it comes time to dust all those crooked architectural features.

    And, better practice up on your swearing so you're ready when you brush up against those hand rails or balusters in your jockey shorts at night.
    He'll have as much trouble as any slab house, in regard to bugs. If he built it himself and is a good carpenter (not professional housebuilder) there is a good chance he'll have far fewer bugs than in a normal house.
    Don't believe any facts that I say! This is the internet and it is filled with lies and untruth. I invite you to look up for yourself the basic facts that my arguments might be based upon. This way we can have a discussion where logic and hints on where to find information are what is brought to the forum and people look up and verify facts for themselves.

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    I thought there was a house built of straw in SD or NE. Think I read it somewhere.

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    What about plumbing?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Polynikes View Post
    What about plumbing?
    Probably a hobbit hole. To picture this find a picture of a Japanese toilet.
    Don't believe any facts that I say! This is the internet and it is filled with lies and untruth. I invite you to look up for yourself the basic facts that my arguments might be based upon. This way we can have a discussion where logic and hints on where to find information are what is brought to the forum and people look up and verify facts for themselves.

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