I just got an email from someone who plans to install his windows and doors the following way. I think it is an interesting approach to adding openings in load bearing construction and will provide for very good compression of the bales and a very quick construction of the walls. This is in line with how additions can be added to existing straw bale homes. I always suggest that if people have specific intentions to expand later on down the line that they plan for the expansion by leaving electrical out of the area where they plan to cut in the new hallway.
Check out the idea sent in via email and let me know what you think about it.
1. The spaces required for windows and (over sized) doors are not left open but
rather the walls are built as full walls with no spaces. The lintels for the
doors and windows are however, put into place.
2. Once the walls are at roof height, wall plates are in place and the bales
have been compressed and have settled (some 2 days or longer after
compression), the door and window spaces are removed via chainsaw or other
appropriate method, from below the lintel.
3. The sides and bottom rails of the door/window spaces are immediately put
into place and the sides are attached to the bale wall by pinning through the
timber into the bales with wooden dowels. Care will be take to ensure that any
part-bale section within the space that are small enough to fall out, are kept
in place. This should not be a problem however, since once the bale compression
has taken place, the compressive force should keep the straw in place even after
4. The pre-made window can then be attached to the frame or constructed within
the frame from scratch. Doors are made to fit the space.