Chad Sentman wrote:I feel like I know just enough to be dangerous and really mess something up through my ignorance, not knowing what I don't know.
Chad Sentman wrote:I would find it really helpful if there was some sort of "recipe" book or "ingredient" list that I could refer to to know when you use which materials to build with to get the desired effect.
Chad Sentman wrote:For example, "cob is made of clay, sand, and straw." Is this ALWAYS the case? It seems to me that I've heard that it can be made without straw.
Chad Sentman wrote:I know that the function of straw is to add tensile strength, something like an internal net or web to hold it together. Under what circumstances would I NOT want this? When is a longer or shorter length of straw preferred? When is it preferred to substitute wool?
Chad Sentman wrote:What function does the sand perform? I sometimes hear people talking about "sharp sand" but what other kinds are there, what is the differences between them, and when to use which?
Chad Sentman wrote:I've heard reference to a building material with the perhaps unofficial name of "cobbish," which if I recall correctly is clay slip and perlite. When do I want to use this over regular cob?
Chad Sentman wrote:Sometimes I feel like it's a case of learning about a more "traditional" method, and then learning about a more recent innovation that makes it better (and not knowing why), AND not knowing which method is which, the traditional or the innovation, so I end up with both sets of information in my head, not knowing them from another, and then they sort of fuse together over time, giving me a mix of jumbled information. Or sometimes, the YouTube videos I watch give me "bad" information because I don't recognize that the uploader is lower on the Wheaton Eco-Scale than I am.
Chad Sentman wrote:For example, when learning about earthship houses, I see cases where someone has made a wall out of old glass bottles with some sort of cob or adobe in between. Why? Is this a cosmetic thing? Is it about letting light pass through into the house? Does the glass give some sort of structural or thermal benefit? Is this just an interesting way to take glass bottles out of the waste stream?
I've seen someone do something similar with a Rocket Mass Heater, building a wall of the thermal mass from row after row of aluminum cans as "bricks" with a sort of cob-looking mortar between them holding them together. What is the purpose of this?
Chad Sentman wrote:What I would find incredibly helpful is:
1. A list of commonly used natural building materials, including their purpose in the mix
2. A list of common recipes including rough proportions of each material in the first list
Material | Purpose (Thermal properties, structural properties, etc.)
Straw | Adds tensile strength, has good insulative value under these conditions, has good absorption properties under these other conditions, often used in these applications
Sand | ?
Perlite | ?
Clay | ?
Wool | ?
Brick | ?
Firebrick | ?
Durablanket | ?
Duraboard | ?
Lumber | ?
Cordwood | ?
Rock | ?
Bamboo | ?