You get what you build with

I was discussing with somebody about straw bale homes and how they
don’t actually last as long as other well built homes.
It made me think that you basically get what you build
with. Hold a peice of the material in your hand and it will give you a
very good indication of how long it will last. Straw, mud, earth these
are sacrificial materials. Stone and hardwood is a totally different
story. Cement, Plastic and metal fall somewhere in between.

A smart building uses stone and hardwood as the permanent materials
and then sacrificial material as protection. If you replenish the
sacrificial material when needed then the inner core can last forever.

Straw bale houses are using one sacrificial material (mud, clay, etc)
to protect another (straw). This is not going to last as long.

HOWEVER. I don’t see anything wrong with building “disposable houses”
as long as the materials are free of embodied energy. You can build a
straw home with one season’s worth of hay. That is pretty damn good.
If it lasts a hundred years you might be way ahead of a house that is
built of wood that took 80 years to grow and only lasts 400 years.

Obviously my definition of a disposable house makes the current houses
look more disposable than toilet paper. I’m thinking in the hundreds of
years when building a house so a disposable house might be between
50-100 years.

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