26 April 2013

Practical Strawbale Specifics: WALL SECTION

I wanted to start sharing some practical nuts-and-bolts information on natural building.  Starting here with some wall sections that describe the construction of a strawbale wall for an actual project.  A wall section is simply an architectural drawing that shows the construction -- bottom to top -- of a wall system.  The notes in this example are somewhat generic, though some are project-specific.  If you click the image you should link to the full size version of this drawing.  WARNING: it's a really large file, so may take some time to load (depending on your internet speed).  Or feel free to download so you can zoom at will.  But please note that this is copyright protected, so do not share or use without express written permission.

This particular project features rubble trench foundations, shown at the base of the wall, and strawbale exterior walls with lime plaster outside and clay plaster inside.  Also shown are roof tie-in, second floor framing, and a lower porch roof where it meets the strawbale wall.  This project (as all of my strawbale buildings) received a standard building permit for construction.

Please feel free to post questions!!

7 comments:

  1. Great information. Thanks for all your help Sigi!

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  2. I was wondering how you attach the strawbales to the foundation? Also how the plaster extends to the foundation on the outside to seal the joint between the insulation , strawbales and cement.
    Thanks for all your posts they are great!

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  3. I was wondering how you attach the strawbales to the foundation? Also how the plaster extends to the foundation on the outside to seal the joint between the insulation , strawbales and cement.
    Thanks for all your posts they are great!

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    1. you only need to attach the strawbales to the foundation if you are building your strawbales to support the roof (ie, loadbearing construction). I only do infill strawbales (with a separate structural system that is attached to the foundation)...and that does not need a physical connection between straw & foundation. As for the second question...exact detailing depends on a) what type of foundation you have, b) your exterior finishes (lime plaster vs. siding), and c) what look you are going for.

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  4. Thanks so much! That does make sense, and that was my plan was to do just infill. I was hoping to do lime poster, but have yet to perfect a recipe:} I am having issues finding out exactly the type of lime that i should be slaking? There seems to be a lot of conflicting information online, its hard to sort through sometimes:} Thanks for the info, your blog is the best!

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    1. Where are you located? If in the US or Canada, I use a pure calcium hydroxide project from Mississippi Lime. You purchase through a distributor as a dry powder and then immediately hydrate it (in buckets or a pool or something you can cover and monitor). I soak for a minimum of 6 weeks until it's creamy...but longer soaking is better. Then use 1 part of that lime putty to 3 parts construction sand (like concrete sand). Works well every time. I also highly recommend getting and reading the book Building with Lime by Wingate & Holmes. You will learn everything you need to know about lime from that book.

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