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Podcast Idea: lessons learned so far with WOFATIs  RSS feed

 
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Hey Paul, wasn't sure where to put this- when I visited last fall you asked about any suggestions for a podcast, and I was wondering if there would be enough material to base one around "lessons learned" for wofatis so far. I watched the wofati microdoc the other night and you commented about certain features not being ideal, or that you would have done some things differently. Obviously there's still more to learn about these first two as they have yet to go through the annualized thermal inertia part of testing. Any thoughts on having boots/ants stay in Allerton Abbey in between rentals now that it has the umbrella properly installed, to help charge up the mass through the year? Other items that might have input:

The gable area of Cooper Cabin, I believe someone asked about a loft and I believe this is where you mentioned designing the roof differently-what changes would you make or want to try;

The various (exposed, not earth berm) wall designs in version 1-2 (perhaps mentioning how the umbrella extends out underground in the front and back, and if/how it ties into the strawbale/cob walls;

Building the walls where in contact with earth- full junk poles/small logs vs on-site milled slabs vs cost of dimensional lumber, and use of cob to fill gaps before backfilling;

Any info on the natural insulation layer condition in Allerton Abbey when the roof was redone last October? Perhaps a comparison to bringing in strawbales and using flakes to create the insulation gap between the waterproof layers, and the up/down side to sheets of extruded insulation?

Thoughts on implementing plumbing in the existing buildings or future ones, when a well is installed in the lab? Thoughts on integrating that and graywater output , especially in the colder zones and winter freezing issues?

Comments of the current flooring versus a cob/adobe floor, and implementing insulation X inches underneath the finished surface, if you would at all?

Various methods for protecting the posts where they are buried- the DE/ash/borax mix vs wrapping vs tamped gravel vs combinations of all? (I'm leaning towards wrapping the pole in plastic, but not the bottom just the sides. Then the tamped hole has landscape fabric inserted to hold 6" of road base, which is tamped down as well, then some landscape fabric on top which would hold the DE/ash/borax mix so it can't settle into the gravel, and will help counter and damage as remaining sap/moisture from the log drains out once in place, since most builders aren't waiting 1-2 years after cutting logs before they build)

Any options for tying in "rocket appliances" within a wofati - RMH, rocket oven, rocket water heater?

Any comments on the wofati in relation to the Better World book?

*******************

If anyone else has questions or ideas for a wofati podcast please reply, and maybe this could become a future podcast.

Thanks!
 
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Listened to the latest podcasts, parts 1 & 2; and it brought up two questions for me....

First, how much grade is enough?  I do live on forested land with a gentle grade, but is it too gentle?  How would I know?

And second, what about cutting standing timber off at about 10 feet from grade, and using the standing stumps as all or part of your internal support posts?  If I were to lay down a few inches of  pea gravel as a "floor" over the root systems could I just leave it like this?  Or is there some reason that a deliberately set post must be several feet into the ground?
 
Mark Brunnr
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If existing trees were at the exact right spacing you could use them but the roots would be exposed to a lot of soil which may increase decomposition down the road.

Flat land is fine so long as the water table isn’t too high and it’s not a flood zone. Mike Oehler built one of his buildings on a totally flat spot on his property and called it the garden house I think, it’s shown in his instructional video. My own place will be on pretty level ground and the excavated soil will be what goes on the roof and sides. I would dig a French drain all the way around where the umbrella ends at the interior floor level and run that drain out and towards the lowest part of the property, ideally to sunlight. Just in case this will help keep all water far away in case lots of rain starts to soak the area.
 
Creighton Samuels
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I'm also considering making the "front" or uphill entrance way a small greenhouse, and the doors out of a reclaimed 6' wooden reel, formerly used to hold a *lot* of telephone cable.  This wouldn't be a home, but more of an outbuilding attached to the northern exposure of the greenhouse.  I would probably end up using it mostly for storage, with wooden pallets of gear sitting directly on the pea gravel "floor" to garantee that the gear stays above any water line.  Bonus, my floor is a permeable drain across it's entire surface!  I'm dreaming of a Hobbit-house kind of feel.
 
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Any thoughts on having boots/ants stay in Allerton Abbey in between rentals now that it has the umbrella properly installed



I'm open to the idea.  The problem I am having is filling the bootcamp program and having a waiting list.  

I think this is the perfect time to point out that YOU can make this happen while sitting at home here:  https://permies.com/wiki/90168/permaculture-projects/Biological-Reverse-Kickstarter



 
paul wheaton
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The gable area of Cooper Cabin, I believe someone asked about a loft and I believe this is where you mentioned designing the roof differently-what changes would you make or want to try;  



a bit like this:  https://permies.com/t/38413/Wofati#322764

 
paul wheaton
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The various (exposed, not earth berm) wall designs in version 1-2 (perhaps mentioning how the umbrella extends out underground in the front and back, and if/how it ties into the strawbale/cob walls;



I thought there were some pics on permies already.  Pics of the design and pics of the implementation.  But I can't seem to find them and I am now out of time.
 
Mark Brunnr
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Creighton Samuiels wrote:I'm also considering making the "front" or uphill entrance way a small greenhouse, and the doors out of a reclaimed 6' wooden reel, formerly used to hold a *lot* of telephone cable.  This wouldn't be a home, but more of an outbuilding attached to the northern exposure of the greenhouse.  I would probably end up using it mostly for storage, with wooden pallets of gear sitting directly on the pea gravel "floor" to guarantee that the gear stays above any water line.  Bonus, my floor is a permeable drain across it's entire surface!  I'm dreaming of a Hobbit-house kind of feel.



My own plans include using the south-facing wall with the roof beams extending out say 4-5 feet, as a poor man's earthship greenhouse. So having the normal door and windows in the wall, and the ground level on either side of the door is the same, but then within this greenhouse area you'll be standing between planter beds that are waist height, and at either end you take several steps up to reach outside ground level. The south-facing, outer wall of glass would be angled to best catch winter solstice sunlight. You could even place a rain gutter just above the ground along this glass wall, to catch the bit of rain that lands on this outer space and would drain down along the front edge. You could divert that rainwater back inside to water the plants in the space while also limiting water accumulation near your posts.

As far as level grade, I found one of the pictures from Mike Oehler's book hosted on another site, this is an example of one way to place a house on totally flat land:


If you level those patio areas so they slope away from the house a bit, and also put a waterproof barrier under say 6 inches of soil so light ground cover can establish while still getting that rain at least 5-6 feet away from your posts to drain it away, then that could work well. Just so long as you don't have a high water table and to be sure you aren't in a flood area.

That waterproof barrier could come up out of the ground right at the wall, and be tacked to the wall several inches or a foot up, and then a piece or siding or material is attached over it to cover it up. You can then finish the surface so no plastic is visible, but any rain blown that way would stay on the outside of the poly. For example on a straw bale wall you bring the poly up a bit and then place a little stucco mesh over it and then place your finish plaster/cob over that mesh.
 
Creighton Samuels
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Mark Brunnr wrote:
As far as level grade, I found one of the pictures from Mike Oehler's book hosted on another site, this is an example of one way to place a house on totally flat land:


If you level those patio areas so they slope away from the house a bit, and also put a waterproof barrier under say 6 inches of soil so light ground cover can establish while still getting that rain at least 5-6 feet away from your posts to drain it away, then that could work well. Just so long as you don't have a high water table and to be sure you aren't in a flood area.



That looks cool, but would never work in my area.  I live in Kentucky, and the annual rainfall is way too high for something like that.  Without a 10" drain from each of those patios, eventually there's be a spring storm cell that would put the house into 6 inches of water.  We have artificial features all over this city that look like that without the house, and their purpose is to accept the storm surge, then drain it off into the city's storm culverts over the next 3 days.
 
See ya later boys, I think I'm in love. Oh wait, she's just a tiny ad:
Soil Testing: Genius or Snapshot of the ever-changing?
https://permies.com/t/113090/Soil-Testing-Genius-Snapshot-changing
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