Tom Connolly wrote:I know that straw is mostly insulation. Is the clay/plaster coating applied to the outside and inside of the strawbales thick enough to be a significant degree of earth mass? Earthmass will help to hold heat or cold. Insulation keeps the outside temperature from influencing the inside. Can these two work together to provide a more comfortable environment inside?
Less than 200 years ago, sawmill technology entered the North American scene, and with it, along with our vast forest resources, came the advent of light framing. Before we understood the full implications of this quick and ready, stripped down form of construction — before we had the mindset or faculty to grasp the many gross shortcomings, it became familiar and normal, and part of our social and economic fabric.
Only after stick framing was a defining part of our building culture did we begin to realize flaws. Not all at once, and this is important to note, because it explains how we incrementally backed ourselves into the current proverbial corner. One by one, we began to address issues as our ability to understand them matured; in each instance adding ‘resources— energy— man power’ to shore up what is, essentially, shack technology… and each time, backing up; adding uniquely designed products, highly manufactured composites and even language like ‘renewable’ to soothe the collective green conscience; all the while, backing up. Each instance has been marked by a discovery of some new hole in convention needing to be filled until we now actually put more into the practice of disposable building than we would building authentically and for the ages.