This part of the world has a disproportionate number of exceptional folks, and about 30 of them came to the second meeting of the Brattleboro Area Natural-building Group—a dozen more than the first. While it was kind of fun to cram so many people into the small community room at the co-op, a change of venue is clearly in order. The group agreed to have the next meeting at the Common Ground, 25 Elliot Street
in downtown Brattleboro (above Everyone's Books), on May 8 at 4:00 p.m.; that's Mother's Day. The Common Ground is a worker-owned vegetarian restaurant / performance space with a colorful 30-year history. We'll pass a hat at the meeting; if you have a buck or two to thank the place, that will be great.
The meeting ran for a couple hours, principally covering strawbale and cordwood, and stemming into related issues including mass vs. insulation; the use and misuse of vapor barriers; some foundation options; how house size affects everything; the embodied energy of materials (natural and otherwise); considerations about heating and space conditioning; and others—in plain English. There seems to be at least four people very interested in co-housing and intentional communities, which may lead to a subgroup; it would be a good topic at some future meeting. Alternative septic systems also seem to want to be discussed at some point.
The next meeting is slated to introduce straw-clay (called leichthlem
in the German tradition—literally, "light loam," which also includes woodchip-clay and sawdust-clay), as well as papercrete and its variants, and cellulose insulation. What we actually end up talking about remains to be seen.
Sunday, May 8, Common Ground, 25 Elliot Street
in downtown Brattleboro (above Everyone's Books), 4:00 p.m.—see you there!
I am happy to read aboutthe recenlty formed BRATTLEBORO AREA NATURAL-BUILDING GROUP. Although my husband, Henry, and are reside in India, we have property in Brattleboro and hope to build a straw bale home. We will be in Brat end of June and through July. If there is a meeting during our stay, we would love to attend. In the meantime, we would love it if you could include us in your emails.
— Lauren Alderfer,
Apr 7, '05; 5:56 AM
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— Mark Piepkorn,
Feb 28, '06; 6:11 PM