Does anyone have any information on strawbale construction in the
tropics? All the info I have seen pertains to dry, temperate
climates. I would like to know if anyone has attempted it and how
durable it is in very humid areas. Another concern is a type of
termite we have that eats books. Is it possible to keep these insects
from destroying rice or wheat straw?
Bullet Tree Falls, Belize
I'm a building designer (among other things) in the tropics of Northern
Australia, Haven't seen any straw bale construction up here. For dwellings,
it would not meet the Code for termite resistance. Cyclonic design would
often require 61 m/sec under limit-state method. Would need to meet
requirements for water penetration. There would also be a fire resistance
issue in some cases. Mud brick doesn't do well either, even though there is
no shortage of 'old alluvial' clays.
The only examples I have heard of here are in temperate and alpine regions.
Termites here will have a go at anything except metals and concrete.
In PNG we found a way of getting reasonable fire resistance for palm frond
roofing and panels using a Dulux product, which also deterred insects and
mould. That was years ago - probably been banned now.
Maybe soak the stuff in LOSP - light organic solvent preservative - mixture
of Pyrethrum (sp?) and kerosene. Keeps bugs and building inspectors away.
Would cost a bit, and will irritate eyes and skin.
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