Straw bale structure inside a post and beam steel building

Straw bale, adobe - heck, even car tires can be used to construct a solid, earth friendly, energy efficient house! Share your alternative building experiences and ask for advice here

Straw bale structure inside a post and beam steel building

Postby brunsonl » Tue Sep 25, 2012 1:47 am

I am wondering how it would work to build a straw bale home "inside" of a wood frame, post and beam steel building? Start with a 60x80 post and beam steel building, and build inside of it.

Would I have moisture problems if I placed the bales directly against the steel siding, cover bales on interior walls with lathe, and plaster from top to bottom inside, but not the side facing the steel skin? Three walls would be right against the steel, the fourth wall would be 15 feet or so inside, to allow a garage type entry in front of the house.


I could always move outside bale walls in, and plaster all sides, but doing this I'm going to give up a lot of square footage to give myself a few feet all the way around the bales.

Maybe Tyvek or some similar placed along the exterior between the bales and the steel?

It's just something I've been thinking about lately. Doing it this way, I could get the steel building built, no concrete floor, go in, rough in the plumbing, etc. come back in pour the floor, get my bales, and build at my leisure from that point on.

I don't have the time to dedicate to building it all in one time, single and job just doesn't allow that time off work (recently changed career to the rail road, and they don't care much about my schedule, this way I could do what I could when I could.
brunsonl
Solar Supporter
Solar Supporter
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 1:45 am

Re: Straw bale structure inside a post and beam steel building

Postby Gordon-Loomberah » Tue Sep 25, 2012 8:25 am

You should have no problems at all with a steel frame, once the steel is sealed inside the render it is only going to be exposed to whatever moisture is in the bales, which should be very dry. The water will only condense on the steel if the steel temperature falls below the dew point of the sealed-in air. In any case, with that type of straw bale contstruction (known as infill or non load-bearing) you often use sheets of reo between the steel frames to tie the bales to.
The walls need to be completely sealed all over with render, which does breathe a bit, I dont think it would be a good idea to have steel sheeting on the outside of the bales. Save your money and buy lime and sand instead of the steel cladding ;)

As long as you keep the rain mostly off the bales during construction with the roof and or tarps, you wont need the steel cladding. We're building a load-bearing straw bale chook shed and the walls were exposed for many months with no render, with minimal deterioration of the straw before we got them sealed, and the tarps didn't always keep the rain off.
User avatar
Gordon-Loomberah
Community Moderator
 
Posts: 5359
Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:41 pm
Location: Loomberah NSW Australia

Re: Straw bale structure inside a post and beam steel building

Postby brunsonl » Tue Sep 25, 2012 8:50 am

steel cladding was what I was kind of getting at, it would be wood framed, post and beam structure, with metal siding. The reason I thought this might be a way to do it is then I have a nice dry safe place to store my bails, then just move and stack them along the walls.

I don't know maybe stupid thinking on my part. I just thought that would allow me to work at my own pace, take as much time as I need, never have to worry about my bails getting rained on.

maybe best to just go back to post and beam structure with non loadbearing walls like your talking about, working by myself, it's just overwhelming to think about trying to get walls stacked, lathe put up, and plastered or shotcreted whatever method would be best and easiest, all in a timely fashion since the bales would be unprotected till finished.
brunsonl
Solar Supporter
Solar Supporter
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 1:45 am

Re: Straw bale structure inside a post and beam steel building

Postby Gordon-Loomberah » Tue Sep 25, 2012 9:38 am

Our chook shed has load-bearing walls, and once the bales were in it was a bit of a rush to get the roof on, and lots of wet weather at the time meant we had to use tarps to protect it in between work, which became quite a chore. If I do another straw bale shed, it will be non-load bearing, so I can get the roof up and not have to worry so much about keeping the walls dry from all angles- just the outside will need protecting if it is windy and raining. If you did it that way, you could just take on small sections at a time, and 1st coat render them as you go, that way you dont have to keep the whole lot dry until it's all rendered.

The walls go up very quickly, but tying them down and persuading them into the right shape, and tying on the wire netting prior to rendering can take a bit of effort- you really do need at least 2 people to get all that done.
User avatar
Gordon-Loomberah
Community Moderator
 
Posts: 5359
Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:41 pm
Location: Loomberah NSW Australia

Re: Straw bale structure inside a post and beam steel building

Postby brunsonl » Tue Sep 25, 2012 10:29 am

yea, I went down and helped build a non load bearing post and beam in Terlingua TX several... no many years ago, I know it's not quite as easy as stacking blocks and being done that's why I was trying to figure out a way to cheat and give me all the time I'd need. I was thinking do it in a metal skin building, rough in the plumbing, pour the concrete slab, stack the walls, finish them, come back in put in a suspended ceiling off the frame of the metal building to seal it all up, but not even make the ceiling bear on the walls. Moisture between the bales and metal skin is where i get stuck though.
brunsonl
Solar Supporter
Solar Supporter
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 1:45 am

Re: Straw bale structure inside a post and beam steel building

Postby solar? » Sat Oct 06, 2012 6:35 pm

Hi, I came across this article about a fire proof straw bale house in a steel frame. I thought it might be of interest.

http://sciencealert.com.au/news/20120410-23780.html

Cheers.
solar?
Solar Supporter
Solar Supporter
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2012 5:13 pm

Re: Straw bale structure inside a post and beam steel building

Postby bashworth » Sun Oct 07, 2012 8:20 am

If you go for the bales stacked against a steel external sheet you could have moisture problems in the bales and on the steel unless you have an internal vapour barrier. This will be due to moisture from vapour inside the building

This link will explain vapour barriers: http://www.anewhouse.com.au/?p=697.
bashworth
Solar Evangelist
Solar Evangelist
 
Posts: 57
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2011 3:59 pm
Location: Footscray


Return to Alternative Building

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

new solar power specials