Was that irrigated or dry land farming? what was the growing season?
Up here in Saskatchewan, I can't picture that scenario. If the alfalfa
isn't growing, it's probably 'cause there's no water for anything.
Irrigated farming near Denver, Colorado. Growing season is relatively
short, 90 day corn is pretty solid, 120 day corn can be dicey depending
upon the year. Cool nights kept the alfalfa from growing fast, but the
oats or barley would grow quick enough to mature before being overtaken.
If you're going to be dumb, you better be tough
AAMOF, I used a newer form of Icynene on the interior of the traditional
frame walls, as well as the underside of the ceiling and the crawlspace.
I convinced the owner that there was little sense in having walls of R48
and the rest of the envelope at R16/32, and the attic in this house is
in the thermal building envelope also:
The cost for this "icynene" type insulation was about three times the
cost of traditional batting or blown in cellulose.
We contemplated going for LEEDS certification on this particular house,
but although I'm absolutely certain it would qualify as it now stands,
the owner left the original planning in the hands of an unqualified
"builder/designer" and much of LEEDS certification is based on Energy
Star rating requirements, which have to be taken into consideration in
the planning stage and require third party participation, which the
original "builder/designer" failed to apply to.
It's a shame, as I would like to have had a LEEDS house under my belt
and this was an excellent opportunity to do so.
A few years ago, PBS covered the total construction of a "straw bale
Can't remember the details, but based on costs at the time, the cost
differential was recovered in something like 5-8 years.
If I were to build today, fabrication of complete panels in a
production shop, assembled on the jobsite with a crane and crew, ala
the This Old House program, would get a very close look.
I like the way you think! :)
With R-48 insulation, it wouldn't take much panel area to keep the place
cozy all through the winter - and since the panels operate in the 110F
temperature range (slightly higher temperatures at higher altitudes - to
a max operating temperature of 125F at 5,000 feet) there'd be no fire
hazard from the heating system.
A strawbale house built in the right place to tested and proven standards
(they've been doing it for roughly a hundred years) will show your concerns
to be completely baseless. If it's built incorrectly i'm sure it will fail,
much like any other construction.
What show did you see this on?
I've spent 35 years so far visiting an eccentric aunts bale house and it's
never had a single issue. I've been through, over and around another bale
house that is solid and intact at 60 years old.
I'm not trying to convince you to build one, in fact i'd prefer you didn't,
just giving you another point of view.
I gotta tell you, it's a slippery slope. I got the CT22 Festool Vac with
the Domino, it was recommended by Festool dealer, LOL. Then on Robatoy's
recommendation on the Festool Rotex Sander I got one to replace my 20 year
old PC right angle ROS. When I saw how much dust "there wasn't" after
sanding I naturally had to replace my PC SpeedBloc sander also I was/am
threw with sanding dust. It takes some getting used to, not seeing any
dust on the work and the paper looking brand new when it is worn out.
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