Building Size and Complexity

Both styles of bale building can be successfully employed on most residential projects, but really large buildings or those with multiple floors or levels are sometimes easier to complete under protection of a roof in a post and beam context. Larger load-bearing structures are best tackled in sections, building and plastering the walls and raising the roof in manageable stages.

For buildings with curved walls and/or lots of jogs and changes in wall direction, load-bearing walls will be easier to construct, as framing materials are much more cumbersome to employ in such designs. However, it is possible to form these creative walls under a straight and square roof in a post and beam context.

Nobody has tested the strength of load-bearing walls over 12 feet high, but regardless of whether or not they are strong enough (which they very likely are!), it does get difficult to build load-bearing over this height. Keeping the walls plumb, installing top plates, and pre-compress-ing all become cumbersome at these heights, and infill might be a better solution.

Larger and more complex buildings always use more materials and take more time than smaller, simpler ones. If size or complexity is starting to inform your decision toward either style, it might be wise to reconsider the parameters of the design, rather than the building method!

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