Rethink Your Life!
Finance, health, lifestyle, environment, philosophy
The Work of Art and The Art of Work
Kiko Denzer on Art
Cob do it yourself building codesJohn Schinnerer jschinnerer at seattle.usweb.com
Wed Oct 15 13:28:18 PDT 1997
------ =_NextPart_000_01BCD96E.33EC85E0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable Aloha, -----Original Message----- From: Robert Bolman [SMTP:robtb at efn.org] As chairman of the Eugene, Oregon chapter of the Northwest Ecobuilding Guild, I wish to form a subcommittee to change the Oregon building codes = to allow people to build environmentally appropriate housing. =20 Hear, hear!! And Washington (I'm in Seattle for a while...), and all = those other states too! It can be helpful to realize that the majority = of the world is with us - because the majority of people in the world = have no building codes or inspectors or fees to pay for such a = "service." Their freedom to provide their own shelter is not restricted = as ours in North America and Europe and a few other places is. One caveat - code approval is a two-edged sword. If one looks at states = (CA, NM, ??) where straw bale construction has been included in codes = recently, it is of limited use. One can use straw bales, but one MUST = use concrete stucco over kraft and mesh; earth plasters not allowed! = Foundations must still be "status-quo" methods - no rubble-trench, FPSF, = etc.. Debates are raging over forced use of Tyvek and similar = materials. In other words, so far getting strawbale into codes has = resulted in one specific (industrial) solution only being allowed. Any = increase in sustainability is negligible (especially with straw bale). = I am interested in broader results. There is apparently a woman who plans to go through the process of = building a fully permitted cob dwelling on Whidbey Island. CCC has her = contact info - I am intending to get in touch with her - she lives quite = near me in Seattle. Apparently the local inspector on Whidbey is = supportive. Her eventual success will not address the issue of paying = intrusive government bureaucrats fees in order to build one's own = shelter, however...not to mention greywater, catchment, composting = privvies, etc. etc. A cob building that I worked on in a workshop last summer was permitted = as a "gazebo" (on a farm on Vancouver island) - before the cob walls = were built up, that is. It was a post-and-roof structure with stone = foundation at the time of approval. I have heard of similar tactics = being used elsewhere but don't have details. There are some areas in = some states where there are no codes (usually very rural), or only parts = of codes apply (for example, a plumbing and electrical permit is = required but no structural inspection, etc. etc.). Some counties are = flexible through the use of "owner-builder" permits and "experimental = structure" permits (Humboldt County in N. CA is apparently one such...). Besides protecting the industrial building industry and related unions, = manufacturers, contractors, etc., and providing government with another = way to tax citizens, codes and permit processes are also about = liability. The county, state, etc. needs to know who to blame. For = example, some counties will approve most anything that has the stamp of = a state-licensed architect or structural engineer. That transfers the = presumed liability from them to that person should there be any = lawsuits. Without the stamp, they (the government) feel liable for = anything they approve. One simple suggestion I have for this problem is a simple waiver and = associated "owner-builder exemption" permit. The waiver would simply = release the county, state, etc. from any and all liability for my = actions and enable the permit to be granted. I never asked them to be = liable in the first place... As for the UN declaration of what, 1948? Well, we can see how much = action has been taken on that in the last 50 years...the UN declares all = sorts of stuff. Declarations are not actions. I feel that local = actions, such as working towards the design of new forms of "building = codes," as well as building more structures to provide more examples, = are more effective. They establish precedents, which opens the way for = broader action, and so on. OK, end of rant...:-) Let me know if I can be of service. Thanks, John S. ------ =_NextPart_000_01BCD96E.33EC85E0 MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit A non-text attachment was scrubbed... Name: not available Type: application/ms-tnef Size: 4249 bytes Desc: not available URL: <http://www.deatech.com/pipermail/coblist/attachments/19971015/9a626c65/attachment.bin> ------ =_NextPart_000_01BCD96E.33EC85E0--
Solar powered hosting (from our cob office building) provided by: DeaTech Research Inc. using Debian Linux based servers. We highly recommend, use, and provide support services for Debian Linux.
If you should have any problems with this page or website, please send email describing the problem(s) to: email@example.com
Last Modified: Wednesday, 09-Dec-2009 17:30:52 PST
If you wish to be permanently blocked from ever being able to send email to this domain, send your SPAM messages to: firstname.lastname@example.org