Join us on Saturday, March 9, 10am – 4pm!
In a repeat performance of crane work and team work, the Endeavour crew installed the prefabricated straw bale wall panels on the second story of the home.
Once the panels and framed window openings are linked and plumbed, we’ll be ready for the roof trusses and the site built straw bale walls.
The team is taking a break for a few days, so posts will resume again next week…
Upward progress on Canada’s Greenest Home was marked by the arrival this week of our prefabricated straw bale wall panels from NatureBuilt Walls. The class had previously traveled to the NatureBuilt facility to assist in the construction of the panels, and it was great to see them arrive!
We hired a crane to lift the panels from the delivery truck and onto the foundation. The site of the home this year offered some challenges… between low power lines at the front edge of the property and a long, skinny lot and home design, the usual boom truck used to move the panels was unable to do the lift. So it was Peterborough Crane to the rescue!
The placement of the walls went very quickly and smoothly, and showed why this form of straw bale building is so attractive. Within a couple of hours, we had a full compliment of pre-plastered straw bale walls standing on our foundation. There is no other form of sustainable building that brings such a combination of ease and speed of installation with such a simple, naturally- and locally-based form of construction. We will also be building our north wall in the “conventional” site-built manner, which will offer the class a great comparison of the two methods.
Soon, the second floor will be ready to receive the next round of prefab walls…
This week the Endeavour class spent a day at the facilities of NatureBuilt Wall Systems, where we assisted with the construction of some of the Bio-SIP walls that will be used in Canada’s Greenest Home.
The Bio-SIPs are largely identical to the load-bearing straw bale walls that have been used since the first straw bale buildings were constructed in the late 1800s. But rather than building them by stacking bales vertically and plastering in several coats, they are built in a shop space and plastered while lying horizontally. This greatly reduces the amount of labour time involved and ensures walls of consistent strength and size.
We have chosen to use the Bio-SIPs because they meet so many of the criteria we have for Canada’s Greenest Home:
Many straw bale buildings use an extensive wooden framework to create a structure to support a roof so the straw bale and plastering work can be done under protection from weather. The Bio-SIPs use the simplicity and low lumber count of load-bearing walls without the need for excessive wooden framing, capturing the benefits of the load-bearing capacity of straw bale walls.
NatureBuilt takes environmental responsibility seriously, right down to the use of used fryer oil as a release agent in their forms. It was great to be in a workplace where our ethics at Endeavour are so closely matched.
The class got to experience the entire construction process for the panels, including assembling and leveling the wooden frames, selecting and sizing bales, mixing and placing plaster and assembling the bales in the frames. In one short working day, we were able to help build nine of the 24 panels for our project.
The walls will be delivered to our construction site when the first floor framing is ready to receive them.
Our thanks to Ian Weir of NatureBuilt Wall Systems for giving us the opportunity to be part of the production of the Bio-SIPs!