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Thread: Slipstraw insulation? Pallet houses? "Natural" Building?

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    United States Avalon Member nosi's Avatar
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    Default Slipstraw insulation? Pallet houses? "Natural" Building?

    Howdy. I'm new to this forum; I would have posted this in the "living off the grid" section but it wouldn't let me.

    I'm building a couple 12' by 12' cabins (my local building code allows anything under that size without a permit) for my son and myself on a friend's land and I'm planning to use slipstraw infill as my insulation.

    For those that haven't heard of it, it's basically straw, coated with a thin water/clay mixture, then stuffed into a wall cavity. After a short time, the forms (plywood, usually) is removed and the slipstraw is allowed to dry in place between the studs. It's a very cheap, environmentally sound insulation that can be installed without much skill or expensive tools.

    I'll finish the exterior with earth plaster (clay, sand, lime) and the inside with either drywall or this free plywood I've been scoring off shipping crates.

    Has anyone done this? Do you have tips? My studs are spaced at 20 5/8" or 23 5/8" centers - do I need horizontal supports? Or can I just use old nails and screws?

    Also, I'm thinking of building the walls of the 2nd cabin out of pallets. Some natural building folks in Austin have been working on a system that seems pretty rad as long as you can get enough of them at the same size. If anyone knows about this (or other free or low cost building methods), I'd love to hear about it.

    And if any of you don't know anything about this and would like to learn or be kept posted, well, I spend way too much time on the net and I like to share knowledge.

    Thanks y'all

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    New Zealand Avalon Member Carmen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Slipstraw insulation? Pallet houses? "Natural" Building?

    Sounds good nosi, keep us posted. Using what is available in your area is logical. I have sheep so I have used wool insulation in the walls of a tree house that's nearly completed.

    I'm also interested in building a yurt as temporary or semi permanent housing. I have to learn about putting up the structural part. The walls and roof are made of felted wool. Be sensible to have a more rain proof roof in a rainy area. Watched the Mongolians making the felted wool on utube and that look pretty simple. Just have to utilize a couple of my horses to roll it into felt.

    Those Biolite stoves look to me to be really good for the sort of building you are
    planning

    Dang! It's a llama, not a horse!!

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    United States Avalon Member nosi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Slipstraw insulation? Pallet houses? "Natural" Building?

    Cool, I just checked out the Biostove site. I want one. We have coldish winters here in the mountains of southern appalachia and I'll end up either buying a woodstove or building one out of cob, bricks, etc., for the cabin though. And they're near a house with a shower/kitchen/etc., so I won't need to worry about cooking in the near future.

    Are you familiar with "yomes"? like a yurt, with sort of geodesic dome walls. On smaller (10-20 foot or so) ones, the framework is all out of 2"x2" sticks with big eyescrews drilled into them at the ends. A bolt then goes into all 3 of the eyes at the floor or all 4 at the top, with the rafter. The eyescrews may have to be bent. Very quick and easy though - I think it took 3 of us about an hour to set up a 12' one a couple months ago, then maybe 40 minutes to take it down.

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    New Zealand Avalon Member Carmen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Slipstraw insulation? Pallet houses? "Natural" Building?

    That sounds interesting nose. Do you have a picture? So, what do you cover it with? Go to utube and see the Mongolians making felt for yurts. Its great and looks relatively easy. Felted wool great for carpeting floors, walls etc. I want to felt wool to make saddle pads for under the saddle.

    Yes, dont those Biolite Stoves look great!! Need to find where they are sold though. Going by the web site, they havent got a patent for them yet.

    A few houses round here are made of earth. One is rammed earth and one is mud bricks. Also straw bales, which I think is my favourite as far as looks go, and insuluation.

    The 'Yomes" sound great. I shall google and see what comes up.

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    Default Re: Slipstraw insulation? Pallet houses? "Natural" Building?

    Quote Posted by nosi (here)
    Howdy. I'm new to this forum; I would have posted this in the "living off the grid" section but it wouldn't let me.
    Welcome!

    I moved the thread for ya'.

    May your stay here be long and rewarding.

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    United States Avalon Member joeboxerchick4's Avatar
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    Default Re: Slipstraw insulation? Pallet houses? "Natural" Building?

    I love pallets. I have been using them for a while.built a rabit house and coops and mini barn house for animals. I think your Idea is wonderfull. I reuse nails and screws if not damaged. For the house I have seen them done using bolts. I also havent seen them use supports either. Pallets are made out of some good thick wood and is very sturdy. Its great your thinking of building one. I want to build one also. In my area I wouldnt need a permit because it wont be of under size also. So Ill call it a live in shed....lol to pass it. I think this will be a fun and learning time for you. keep us posted .~christina~

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