• Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Straw bale greenhouse

 
                                
Posts: 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hello all!

I was asked to advise a small independent film production on some renewable/regenerative elements they could put in their film and they decided to go with the straw bale greenhouse idea. As a result, we end up with the greenhouse! We partially built it as a set piece and now need to rebuild at our site.

I originally designed the gh to be 16 x 6 post and beam because 1. city codes 2. I have 8 panes of glass that are roughly 2.5 ' by 7'. I figured I would lay the glass pieces on their sides and have four double paned windows set in two rows, one row of two above the other for a front wall about 6.5ft high and 16 ft long. I also need a door and want to put it on the East wall, which would take away a fair amount of insulation on that wall.

The problem is how shallow the building would be. Great for solar gain, but lousy for strength. At least, that's what the fellow who led the first build said, so he insisted we do a load bearing 9 x 11 configuration. The problem there is it doesn't fit the glass nor the shape of the yard.

My questions are:

1. If we use 4x4x10(or 12) beams at the corners and one mid-wall at the back, will we get the strength we need?

2. Do I need to put the door in the back (North) wall, if we go 6 x 16 instead of 9 x 11? (The gh would be within about 1.5 yards of the house, so well-protected from wind/rain with proper overhang.)

Cheers!
 
Mekka Pakanohida
Posts: 383
Location: Zone 9 - Coastal Oregon
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Have you seen this?

http://www.appropedia.org/Kiva%27s_straw_bale_greenhouse

I have known of this greenhouse for a few years now.  Inspiring.
 
                                
Posts: 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Pakanohida wrote:
Have you seen this?

http://www.appropedia.org/Kiva%27s_straw_bale_greenhouse

I have known of this greenhouse for a few years now.  Inspiring.


Thanks. That doesn't get to my question, tho, about the depth of the building being too narrow. We already build nearly-square 9 x 11 version, but I would like to have more linear feet for more direct sun and to avoid cutting the glass.

Cheers
 
                        
Posts: 508
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
no expert but would seem to me that the most value would be to get as much as is possible/practical as close to the front  (direst sun) of the greenhouse and long and shallowish would be better than square by quite a lot.

I wonder how much work your builder has ever done with straw bales? If they are tightly baled and then  pinned so they don't move they will carry a LOT. People have built houses that are load bearing and have happilly lived in them for years. If the bales are loose and sloppy then he might have a point. What exactly does he mean lousy for strength?

A long skinny form doesn't have the stability of a squarer shape but it isn't as though you are looking to span 20 feet with a single wall or something.  Maybe you could do two things to make him happier; 1) put a reinforcing rafter front to back in the middle of the thing and 2) put a buttress on the back.  It would help to know exactly what problem he foresaw.
 
I am mighty! And this is a mighty small ad:
Got Permaculture games? Yes! 66 cards, infinite possibilities::
www.FoodForestCardGame
  • Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic