Christine Forest

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since Aug 22, 2017
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Recent posts by Christine Forest

What about pitch? like how they cover birtch bark canoes
6 months ago
Thanks guys for the replies. I like the ladder truss idea.
@ S Bengi & Daniel, I love the look of straw bale, both straw bale and straw clay have their pros and cons. Straw clay is straw coted with wet clay, usually very lightly so that the straw just looks dirty and damp but is still fluffy. The benefit of this over straw bale is that the clay acts as a preservative and makes the walls more forgiving to moisture and resistant to rot. There are 800 year old straw clay houses in Germany. It however can not bear loads like straw bale. I'm willing to settle for less R value for the added rot resistance, I also hear that straw clay has more thermal mass which might make up for the lower R value. still with 12" thick walls I think it will be plenty. As for easiness of building with, Ive heard both bale and straw clay take the claim as easiest. I suspect it depends on the house being built as well as what the builder personally enjoy working with. But for example I understand that straw clay is easier to form around windows and doors because their is no cutting and retying the bales into shape, you just stuff it, so a house with lot of windows and doors might be faster/ easier with straw clay but a more simple construction  might be easier with bales where you can build them like blocks. Ive' heard of people using both methods where they use straw clay on the south and east walls where there are a lot of windows and bales on the north and west walls.

Here are some google pics for Bengi


the forms are temporary to shape it
6 months ago
Hi all. I am researching how I want to build my house once I find the right Piece of land in the UP of MI. Up front I have no experience so if some of the questions seem rudimentary, well, that's why.

My goal is to build a house that could last for 100s of years as cheaply and simply or quickly as is reasonable.
So I want to use my own timber to create a timber frame  house and I'm thinking I'll use straw clay as the infill.

My questions are:

1. Is round wood (less processing) the easiest/ least time consuming timber frame method when using your own timber or is it easier to square it so the rest of the process goes smoother?

2. Most of the pictures I see of straw clay building have the timber frame exposed to the outside, is there a way to avoid this? I like how I've seen some hempcrete construction pics showing the hempcrete completely encapsulating the wood but that uses a lime binder which is expensive. Would I be able to do that with straw clay or would that be more prone to rot?

3. I've heard you can build with green timbers, but how green. Can I start using them as soon as I chop them down and how would green timber effect straw clay?
6 months ago
Tanks RK for letting me know. It was helpful. I might be moving north after all
1 year ago
Anyone growing Sea Buckthorn in or near Arkansas? I'm in northern AR and would like to grow it. Any known cultivators tolerant of the hot, humid summers?
1 year ago
I'm moving to big island HI and am looking for an inexpensive building method that is appropriate for the humid rain forest and resistant to earthquakes and hurricanes. I've looked into earth bag building which might be an option but there are some things I don't prefer about that system. So I started looking up using gabion walls thinking they would have similar properties as earth bag with the ability to shift in an earthquake. I found some photos but not much info on it. Does anyone have any knowledge on it and the pros and cons? Why are these not more popular with green and low cost builders? I'd put plaster on the outer and interior walls. Make it look kinda like a cob house and I've heard hemp lime plaster has some insulation properties.
1 year ago