1. I see quite a bit about floors, but not foundations and floors. I want to do a rocket stove, with the pipe in the floor for heat. (I have bad feet and cold floors are painful) I have searched but have only seen mention of this, not examples. I should be able to put the foundation on solid rock, then 6 inches of Gravel for drainage, then some kind of vapor barrier… Then what for the pipes, and the cement and rocks (I want a rock floor) Question: Hard to find resources online, what books can I get for both the heat, and the rock floor?
2. (Details to follow) I am constrained by time. I’ll be cutting the trees shortly, and then the trees can dry over winter, and spring (I’ll be laying the floor in the spring) , late summer I’ll be building, I know this is not enough time to thoroughly dry them… Best I can do. I’ll patch in a little concrete to chink any cracks. May not look that great, I can live with that. Issues? Question: Which cordwood books should I buy? (Most of my research till I found the land was more towards earthen builds)
My situation: I’m medically retired from the Marines and back in school. Starting in January school is all online, and I have until Dec. (Although I may take a 10 week internship over the summer) I might as well do something useful in the mean time. I’m about to buy 80 acres in the Ozarks, and will be building as much as possible off what is on site. The build site does not lend itself to any machinery etc… I’m no ‘greenie’ but consider myself a ‘Rooseveltian conservationist’ meaning I’ll keep my 4x4, but try to do what I can. Cost is a consideration, but I may spend the extra couple bux if it’s better for the earth, or if it’s easier for me (Could go either way) I have no debt and few bills.
Land has no dirt relatively speaking (Which was my first building plan) so I’m stuck with Scrub oak and rock, which is why I’m looking at a rock foundation and Cordwood walls. I plan on somewhere between a 20x20 and a 30x30 structure (With a ½ loft), entirely off grid. Call it a ‘hunting cabin’ or something of the sort.
There is a Spring/stream I can use for a water source nearby. (I plan on a solarpump bringing water to the structure)
I have physical limitations as a result of my service, but I’m good for about 3 hours a day. I hope to be able to extend this to 3 hours early and 3 hours late in the day at least part of the time. I have half a dozen friends who have promised me a week or so assistance each. One is a master carpenter, and a couple have worked construction.
This will be a fallback location if employment does not go well, a vacation spot if it does, and hopefully a place to run my consulting business from in a few years if all goes well. I was an 03 in the Corps, my version of hard living is several steps removed from most.
Thank you for any assistance you can give. (I wandered in here from the Survival Podcast… I like the ideas I’ve heard and have planned on putting in fruit and nut trees, berry bushes, as well as other self sustaining plant life.)
Welcome to the forum. Your new place seems like a good place for you. My son just left the Corp after many years and is back in school looking at his future. I don't have any direct input to your questions, but some things to consider. In your design you might want to look at the option of expansion in the future. I like your idea of in floor heat, I wish that was a better option for our place. ( we bought a century old farm house this year). I bought the RMH book a while back with the idea of using a RMH exhaust buried in the beds of the green house I will build this winter. I think that the concept of the length of exhaust piping and the mass is the key whether the piping is in a cob bench or the floor. Just my guess is that if the piping is deeper in the floor you will spread the heat to a larger area of mass rather than having it closer to the surface, this is covered in Ianto's book. One of my thoughts is the idea of insulating the perimeter of the floor to reduce heat lose. The other thing is to consider doing a post and beam structure with straw bale infill to increase the heat retension of the slab. In most of the books that I have read there is still some mystery in the idea of mass vs. insulation. I think that you can couple both into good design. You may want to add to the RMH some passive solar heat. A bank of south facing window could add as much heat that you use the RMH more for back up that the primary sourch for heat. The same passive design could help with summer cooling tool. You may alos may want to glean some ideas from other building ideas even if you do not use them directly. I think of the earthship books and the ideas that they bring . A direrse base of consideration and melding of concepts may work better than just on narrower focus, or I could just be talking out my external anal orifice. kent
One thing please, It's Corps. (No worries, it happens often)
The build site I have selected is a shelf on a south east facing slope, and everything will need to be carried a short distance by hand. (And before that a small distance by 4 wheeler, or winched down a slope.)
I do not intend on adding onto the structure although I plan on a wider footprint for a porch.
IF I am fortunate and later move out there full time I have another site selected for a house. This is an interim project and an experiment.
Because of costs, availability, and transportation, I will not be using Straw Bale (I have researched it much better then Cordwood) If necessary I will move in (A load at a time) what clay, sand, gravel etc I need. But I intend on minimizing it.
It is my intention to plan everything out before laying the first rock and to incorporate things such as high ceilings, proper alinement, the roof extending to block or let in sun depending on the time of year, light shelves, etc. Although the area should not need it I intend to build with 24 inch thick cordwood as it can't hurt and itn't that much more difficult.
I've done Call for fire and am a firm believer that 'more is better'
I've got a buddy who is an architect I'll get to run over everything with me also.
Believe me, I am sure that I will have many more specific questions as I am a compulsive incessant planner.
Although I am a computer moron I intend on doing some form of documentation and putting it online as I have not found anything out there which answers my questions. (And afterall, more is better!)
If you want to do cordwood, you really need to look into getting the books by Rob Roy. He and his wife, Jaki, have been building this way for decades and are kind of the official gurus of cordwood. This is their workshop website, if you are interested.