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Nontraditional insulation- Anyone use it?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by NurseELB, May 29, 2010.

  1. NurseELB

    NurseELB Songster

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    Oct 16, 2008
    Lacey, WA
    So I'm building a coop out of pallets, and since there is that air space between the boards, I'd like to put in insulation. CAVEAT- I don't really want to spring for traditional fiberglass or other "costly" techniques.

    Here's a link to my pallet coop thread so you can kinda see on page 2 how the pallets are installed.

    I'm in Western WA, max low temp is about Zero Deg Fahrenheit. I won't have electricity in it, so I'm not going to be able to put in a lamp in the winter. Half of the coop will be my gardening shed, and I want to be slightly warmer than outside while I'm out there- like being in the garage, or even a few deg warmer.

    I bought some windows at the restore, single paned. I'll probably insert foam sheets into those spaces at night, but I am really interested in "green" techniques-

    Has anyone used straw- NOT straw bales, but just lining the wall space with well packed straw?

    How about clay/ dirt/ straw Cob type insulation?
     

  2. nelgkel

    nelgkel Songster

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    Apr 14, 2010
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    sounds like a neat idea~look forward to seeing your completed coop
     
  3. kipoley

    kipoley In the Brooder

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    I don't see why straw wouldn't work. Some people on here don't like it for their birds because of mites. What about recycled clothing? Or sawdust like they do in cord wood construction. When landscaping your home to put evergreen trees at the north/northwest to block wind and slow heat loss. I plan to use that for my coop too.

    What will you do for the water freezing? How much solar heat can you take in? We get almost no sun all winter here. It's super lame.
    ~Kimberly
     
  4. NurseELB

    NurseELB Songster

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    Thanks! I'm unable to work on it as often as I'd like due to pain. Hubby comes home on Tuesday and can do the heavy lifting for me- I'll be able to get more done in a day then. Unfortunately he's not so handy, so I'm still the main planner/ builder. He's good at taking directions, though! [​IMG]

    I've tried to research online about packing with straw, but all I can find is straw BALE use. The whole bale is WAY too thick! That's why I started thinking clay/ straw mixed. Then it would have more of a cob building look (see old English style buildings- they look kinda like stucco) which would be fine, I have a never ending supply of dirt, but how much warmth will I really gain?

    Anyways- if anyone else has ideas or suggestions, let me know! I'll continue to post building updates on the original thread, but I'd love it if any one had insulation thoughts for me!!
     
  5. kipoley

    kipoley In the Brooder

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    Cob is cool. Getting messy is fun [​IMG]
     
  6. NurseELB

    NurseELB Songster

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    Quote:I read where they add lime to the straw (it'll be BETWEEN the walls- not near the birds) to kill the mites and other bugs. Or Borax. Curious as to what kind of R factor I'll get from a 3-4in wall space packed with straw.

    Thanks for the encouragement!

    Not sure about old clothes because it would take SO many. I guess I could post on craigslist for old bluejeans, but then it has to be treated with borax for flame retardation, and shredding all those jeans makes me shudder. And no, I don't want to pay. The idea is to do this as inexpensive as possible, and I am already in for about 200 dollars as it is. (shhh, don't tell the DH, he thinks the girls are cheap, and that my pay has weirdly gone down, hehe. He'll figure it out eventually, but hopefully not until it's mostly built!)
     
  7. kipoley

    kipoley In the Brooder

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    BFE Assyria, MI
    Cord wood R factor is 25 with the sawdust fill and 24" walls. I'm sure straw bale is close if not more. Any insulation is better than none IMO.

    ~K
     

  8. Nyrial

    Nyrial Songster

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    I used loose straw to stuff the "dead space" in my coop last winter. It worked well. Although from what I hear, last winter had some colder spells than usual. I didn't lose anyone to cold, and my coop isn't insulated at all.

    One thing to watch with straw though, is if it gets wet (like it does here), it's going to get moldy.

    Mold = bad...
     
  9. vatterpa

    vatterpa Songster

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    Indiana, PA
    I saw someone that used recyled packing peanuts (foam not chicks!) as insulation. I saw them using mud straw in a house as insulation. It was made of chopped straw, like 4 inch pieces, and mud about the consistancy of peanut butter. Looked cool. There are lots of vids and articles of earth bulding and insulating on the internet. I'm excited to see how it comes out.
     
  10. I've heard of people using cardboard from warehouses and stuff as insulation between wall boards...i was thinking of using it as insulation in my recylce coop...I haven't decided if I'm packing it up with straw or cardboard yet, which ever I can get the most of for free or dead cheap [​IMG]
     

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