Published: Journal of Green Building, 2006
Experimental studies on full-scale straw-bale walls have demonstrated the adequacy of straw-bale wall systems for resisting lateral loads from wind or seismic actions. Critical to the performance of the wall system is the anchorage of mesh reinforcement to the bottom plate and to the roof bearing assembly or top plate. Reported in this paper are the results of experiments examining mesh strength, anchorage strength, and failure mode for a variety of reinforcement meshes (steel, plastic, and hemp) and anchorage details. Because of the potential for new wood preservative pressure treatments tocause corrosion, stainless steel staples driven pneumatically into pressure-treated sill plates were tested in addition to electro-galvanized staples driven pneumatically into untreated sill plates and a heavier gauge staple driven manually into an untreated sill plate. Recommended anchorage details are identified, considering not only the test results but also the many other factors that must be considered in developing reliable, economical, and constructible details.