ProVillage


ECO-BUILDING – PART 12 – Electrics in a Straw Bale House

When having electrics in a straw bale home, one will need to know how to install it, as it might might be so that electricians will not necessarily have earlier experience with straw bale structures.

All of the wiring is to be hidden behind the plastered wall, or made to run in required places behind a special panel, so it is better to get it done right the first time. The panel solution also makes it easier to fix faulty wiring, if the need arises.

The wiring can also be placed to run in a tube which makes the installation easier.
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The idea in a nutshell

village layout sample

A description of the project in a nutshell can be downloaded from the following address:
https://provillage.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/concept-description-eng.pdf
The material has also been presented to some local decision-makers, and is pending for a decision.
We are naturally also interested in having cooperation with people and instances interested in similar ventures and ideas.
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Projektin kuvaus pähkinäkuoressa löytyy allaolevasta linkistä:
https://provillage.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/konseptin-kuvaus-20100112.pdf
Materiaali on myös lähetetty joillekin kunnallisille päättäjille, odotellessamme päätöksiä.
Olemme luonnollisesti myös kiinnostuneita yhteistyöstä eri ihmisten ja osapuolten kanssa, jotka ovat kiinnostuneita samanlaisista hankkeista ja ideoista.

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Our role models

The video posted here is one of our sources of inspiration:

  • created through ones own labor, a truly cost-effective and decent form of housing.
  • learning through labor to create satisfactory solutions, even under very hard conditions.

This video is really worthwhile to see!

Clip: Dick Proenneke, building his house in arctic conditions, in Alaska.
Klippi: Dick Proenneke, rakentaa taloaan arktisissa olosuhteissa Alaskassa.
短影片: 低棵普揉呢可 (Dick Proenneke) ,在北极区条件中搞他的一坐木头房子。

Oheinen video on eräs inspiraatiomme lähde:

  • omalla työllä luotu, erittäin edullinen ja asianmukainen asumus.
  • oppiminen työn kautta luomaan tyydyttäviä ratkaisuja, kovissakin olosuhteissa.

Video on todellakin katsomisen arvoinen!

Chinese 此影片是我们的灵感来源之一:

  • 通过自己的努力造成一坐特便宜适当的建筑。
  • 通过工作学习建成适当的解决方式, 包括在猛烈的气候情况中。

这片短影片真值得观看!

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ECO-BUILDING – PART 11 – Preparations for Plastering a Straw Bale House

A job well planned and prepared is a job half done. A quality plaster job starts before the plaster is brought to the site. The condition of the substrate, or the base surface to be worked with, is very important – as the plaster can only be as strong as the substrate it is attached to. Straw generally makes a great substrate for a plaster, as so does a mesh – if any mesh is to be used.

The transition points of bale to wood must also be detailed, because they have their own rate of expansion. Because these two materials expand and contract at a varying rate, many cracks will appear if the transition points are not properly detailed with a plaster lath.
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plaster and wood transition points

One method is to cover all wood with roofing felt to isolate the wood from the plaster. One can also use a plaster lath to give the plaster something to hang on to. The plaster should always have some surface to hang onto, and hang on its own without any structural support. This is even more important around doors and windows as well as at the intersections with the ceiling.

burlapOn exterior surfaces, all wood needs to be covered as described above and any large gaps need to be filled.
Materials used for doing the filling are cob, light straw clay, burlap, spray foam (PU-foam) or other suitable materials.

When the plaster is to be applied, the walls should be tight and solid. All wooden parts should be covered and the mesh should be attached firmly to the wood structures and/or sewn through the straw bale walls.

All holes and gaps should be filled firmly so that no deflation occurs. It is also good to keep the site clean of straw and other debris, so one can walk safely around the structure.

The floors should also be covered so that dropped plaster will not have the possibility to mar it.

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A Stone Age Sauna

Frame of a sauna

The pictures are of a reconstruction of a stone-age sauna, re-built according to archeological findings.

The method of bathing in a sauna, such as pictured here, was presumably the following:

– A wooden frame was made to a size of taking in a couple of people.

– The frame was then covered with animal hides to keep in the hot steam.

– Stones were then heated up gleaming hot in a fire outside this ‘sauna’, after which they were placed inside this tent and only then could the bathing have begun.

Frame of the sauna covered with animal hides

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ECO-BUILDING – PART 10 – Working the Bales into Shape (continued…)

As an addition to the previous post: The nooks and niches in the walls can be made into various forms and for various purposes.

Nooks and niches are possibilities to remember, when you build straw bale houses

In this case too, only the imagination sets the limit.

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ECO-BUILDING – PART 10 – Working the Bales into Shape

Cats loves to live in straw bale houses with smooth and beautifully curved windows and elements

A straw bale house is commonly equipped with soft curves. The advantage of having softer curves around the windows is that they allow more direct light to filter into the rooms while also acting as reflectors for indirect light. These curves are easy to make and have an additional effect on the aesthetics of the house.

Mesh

When a mesh is used for the engineering of a building, the creation of curves becomes quite easy. The mesh provides a form for the straw. The desired shape is created when the loose straw is placed behind the mesh, which is then nailed to the framing. For some shapes, such as curve around a window or door, additional plaster may be needed.

When using a metal mesh however, there is always the risk of creating a Faraday’s cage.

Niches and nooks

The characteristic of the walls being relatively thick makes it possible to create niches and/or nooks, if one desires. The spaces can be carved into the walls after the bales of straw have been stacked. They act as a decorative addition to on the walls, and can also be used to highlight an item in your home. These nooks can also be made into an ideal feature if a light fixture is attached to them.

These are a number of different options available as for the mesh – welded wire mesh, plastic mesh, chicken wire. It is worthwhile to experiment with various methods regarding to various usages.

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