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Reference thread for materials testing

 
Posts: 75
Location: North Idaho at 975m elevation on steep western slope, 60cm annual precipitation, zone 4
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Can we get a conglomeration of data people may have found reliable for certain natural building materials? This might be useful for a reference thread for builders who want to check against some peer-reviewed permies data (since we're into more unconventional building practices on average.)

For example, I'm looking for reliable round wood beam spans, how much posts of various tree species can hold based on diameter, soil composition categorized by mass/volume, etc. even if only based on our own sites it gives us a good idea. This might be a one stop shop for many an engineering quandary eventually (hopefully!)

I've found so much conflicting data I don't even want to post any of it here quite yet until I test it for myself.
 
Posts: 7345
Location: Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep clay/loam with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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bump!
 
gardener
Posts: 1508
Location: Virginia (zone 7)
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[quotereliable round wood beam spans..... even if only based on our own sites ]
The wood we have used for the foundation in our barn and for making our raised beds is locust. It is very sturdy ( can't tell you psi or anything) and, even in direct contact with the ground, it out lasts anything else we've tried. We walk our land looking for the perfect one for the job. Putting in one more raised bed this spring. Hope to work on building a new garden shed (tornado flattened other one). Lots of locust post needed!
 
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From what I gathered by research and talking to American Forest and Paper Association now the American Wood Council, is Heavy Type 4 construction denoted to that points to them for code data was removed due to all the tree farming and hybrid species that varied the mechanical properties beyond tabulation. Why that would only apply to heavy and not light construction is beyond me. I was told to get a hold of the Western Wood Association to see if they have a code: http://www.wwpa.org/ which I have not got around to yet since my current design is light. Heavy is to complex and costly for me. I want to migrate over to heavy but I don't see a code path I can take to an inspection office that yes gives, wall, roof, floor spans. AF&PA has some limted joinery based on metal plating, none traditional. The only Timberight in my parts wants $50,000 more than light construction. Nuts! I can put large ceiling beams in for a fraction of that and get the look of large timber. It is price jacking, the ones with the skill set, low supply high demand. Even the lumber yards here want ridiculous prices, even more so for round, that is why I don't see heavy replacing light hidden in walls anytime soon. I plan on finding a miller and direct supply when I have time, then finding a Timberight. I'll probably start talking to the Amish.

As far as material properties I have alot in my head, it take a book to write. The latest one of interest is zeolite when I get more time to develop it.

Thanks for starting, yes, it would be nice to have a place with material properties. That is the biggest cause of building failure today, or a lack of understanding what happens chemically and physically when they are mated. Most industry leave that to chemist or material technologist. It is a science in itself, and I agree natural building is more complex in that regard. I get a chuckle or more like headache when the mainstream builders come to this site trying to assign simple r-values or perm ratings.
 
Posts: 618
Location: Volant, PA
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The reason for the conflicting data is that we are working with a natural resource, milled and kilned wood is inspected and sorted by its quality, pole wood in any form comes with the strengths and weaknesses inherent in each piece.

A 14" red oak that was grown in canopy will have a higher load rating than one grown in pasture, etc
 
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