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      AIR TIGHTNESS OF STRAW BALE CONSTRUCTION

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          Abstract

          Straw bale construction offers a renewable, sustainable and proven alternative to mainstream building methods; still, little is known about its airflow characteristics. To this end, the intent of this paper is to evaluate airtightness of fully constructed and plastered straw bale walls as well as individual plain straw bales. The first experiment entailed measuring the influence of straw bale orientation on airflow characteristics with the finding that straw bale considered alone has poor air flow-retarding characteristics and that plaster is the primary air barrier. A second experiment involved thirty plastered straw bale specimens using three different plaster types. From this experiment, a crack grading system was developed and is herein proposed as a tool to evaluate plaster performance as an air barrier. A third experiment validated the crack grade system through application on four fully constructed straw bale walls. Practical use of the crack grading system was demonstrated on a case study straw bale house in Radomlje, Slovenia, where the predicted air tightness results were validated through comparison to results of blower door tests.

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          Most cited references 21

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          “Performance of straw bale wall: A case of study”

           T. Ashour,  H Georg,  W. WU (2011)
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            “Modern look a straw bale construction”

             A. Morrison,  C. Kefee (2012)
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              “Load-bearing Straw Bale Construction”

               B. King (2003)
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                jgrb
                Journal of Green Building
                College Publishing
                1552-6100
                1943-4618
                1943-4618
                Winter 2015
                : 10
                : 1
                : 99-113
                Author notes

                1. PhD student at University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Architecture, Zoisova 12, SI-1000 Ljubljana

                2. Assistant Professor, Dept. of Environmental Conservation, University of Massachusetts, Amherst MA 01003.

                3. Associate Professor, Dept. of Environmental Conservation, University of Massachusetts, Amherst MA 01003.

                Article
                jgb.10.1.99
                10.3992/jgb.10.1.99
                ©2015 by College Publishing. All rights reserved.
                Page count
                Pages: 15
                Product
                Categories
                RESEARCH ARTICLES

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