RE: Straw Bale?
From: Rob Sandelin (Floriferousclassic.msn.com)
Date: Wed, 29 Apr 1998 16:10:55 -0500
The long term viability of straw as a building material is not very clear. I 
am wary of straw bale enthusiasts because they consistently seem in denial 
about many of the problems of straw bale, gloss over them as if they were not 
real, and go on and on about it.  If you are in a desert climate, It might be 
a good idea. If you are in a wet, maritime climate, in my opinion, you would 
be foolish to mess with straw bales for anything other than an outbuilding.

To build a commonhouse out of straw would be to invite quite a bit of extra 
scrutiney from the building departments. Check the track record for your area 
before committing to this and especially look at permitting. Straw bale 
permits are often under the "experiemental" classification. This means you may 
have problems getting insurance for the building, and forget bank financing 
for such.

Sure, you can use straw bales to build walls. And you might even be able to 
get a permit for it. And you can also be a workshop site for a straw bale 
project and thus reduce your costs. However, I would start with something 
small, like a outbuilding first, see how it works, and then, if all the 
factors work out, design your commonhouse, based on what you learn directly, 
not on what a promoter tells you. 

Rob Sandelin
Where mold is big problem what with all the rain and all  around here, elnino 
or no.

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