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RE: Need information on Hay Bale Homes

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Dear Dennis Wish:

As you may have picked up from previous responses, you want information on 
straw-bale construction, not hay-bale; hay is for horses, straw is for 
houses.  My former professor Gary Black (UC Berkeley, Department of 
Architecture) advised me of the distinction: hay contains nutritional 
matter, whereas straw is chaff.  He has built some houses in Sonoma County 
using straw bale with shotcrete on the exterior and plaster on the 
interior.  He also did some out-of-plane wall tests on the assembly, which 
performed well, although I'm not sure whether displacements corresponded to 
the UBC or to the Big Bad Earthquake.

I hope you have fun.  It's always good to stretch your bounds; a good 
engineer's abilities should span from alfalfa to omega.

Yours,

Rafael Sabelli