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! the first wofati - allerton abbey- version 0.7

 
pollinator
Posts: 165
Location: E Washington steppe
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Bill, I thought your place was drier than that!

Please tell me more about this pic!



Yup, much drier at my place.
This earth sheltered (pit) house was built by my friend Kyle somewhat north of Colville, WA a couple of years ago.

Here are the build sequences and a gallery of pit houses from around the world from whence Kyle got inspiration:

Pit House Gallery

Initial Pit House Work

More Pit House Construction

Getting Close - Moving Into the Pit House

Completely covered up (in the background):
 
pollinator
Posts: 1479
Location: Vancouver Island
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Bill Kearns wrote:
This earth sheltered (pit) house was built by my friend Kyle somewhat north of Colville, WA a couple of years ago.



A nice read, really enjoyed it. I really liked what he had to say about finding out what kind of shelter was used in the area you are building in. He shows variations from all over the world, picks ideas from all of them, builds.... and then in the end finds that he would have been best to stick with the style native to his own area which is both climate and available material specific. The idea that these are really "high tech" dwellings that have been perfected over years of testing is great. Perhaps one of the things we need to be careful of is for me to not build a wofati on my property based on what works best on Paul's. I need to see the differences on my site and build accordingly. It is both warmer and wetter here. So while the large earth mass may work well, the earth covering may not. The plastic layers may help with that.... but then again

I am thinking more and more, to build a number of very small (10x10 or 8x12) test buildings, living in each during the winter. (even living in more than one at a time) then think about how I want to build something bigger.
 
Len Ovens
pollinator
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Location: Vancouver Island
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Wow, this thread seems to have dried up and died.

I know that wofati two is well on it's way, and the first really hasn't had a long term try out.... but, what was learned from it (so far)? Is it finished? what will it be used for now? Will it be monitored at all?

What was/is it like living in it? It must have worked reasonably well if a second is being built. Aside from size, were there other downsides?

It has been occupied through at least three seasons now. Winter comments? (understanding that the surrounding earth may not have reached terminal temperature) Spring comments? Summer comments? (cool?) I am most interested in the Mass temperature buffering effectiveness.
 
steward
Posts: 5990
Location: Missoula, MT
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The earthen berm on the first wofati was not fully in place for the first winter, so it has not yet been tested over a winter in those terms, despite Tim's family living there over winter.

We plan/planned to finish the earthen berm this July - August on both the first and second wofati. Though we have been delayed by the dump truck being out of commission for 3 months, and the track hoe needing some attention, as well.
 
Posts: 113
Location: Taylorsville Kentucky
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Has there been any updates on this lately? I'm interested in seeing how it has finished out, if at all. Thanks
 
master steward
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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We wanted to finish with the umbrella in july.

One of the things we learned about the site was that while it is sloped, it has a gentle slope. And, in order to be a wofati, it MUST be an above ground structure. So the wofati was built on the ground, but that leaves not enough dirt for three feet of dirt to cover it. So we will need to bring the dirt from a little ways away. Maybe 200 feet away. Fortunately, we have a dump truck.

(if the wofati were built on a slope of more significance, the excavator alone would have been able to provide dirt)

In april, our dump truck went to the dump truck doctor. The doctor said it would be three days. At three days they said "tomorrow" and on that day they said "tuesday" and on tuesday they said "thursday" and .... After three and a half months they returned it in a condition that was even worse. Our own research found something we could try ourselves. That didn't fix it. So then it went to another dump truck doctor. And we are still waiting to hear from them. In the meantime, we have picked up a smaller truck to do the dump truck thing.

The excavator needed to have the bucket repaired, so it was brought to basecamp. Repairs are complete. To get back to the lab, the excavator needs to get on its trailer and be pulled to the lab. But the new truck does not have the correct hitch type. So it has been ordered and will be welded on this week. Once the hitch is on, the excavator and dump truck will immediately go to the lab and bury wofati 0.7.

 
Ray Cecil
Posts: 113
Location: Taylorsville Kentucky
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Thanks for the update Paul. Man...if I was only there I would have fixed that truck. I am a machine designer. I design machines that put together big trucks like that. SOme of our machines go to Caterpillar, John Deere and Case. We also make stuff for Peterbuilt and Frieghtliner trucks.

Now, all I have to do is get my wife, mom and dad and my friends to move to Montana! lol. That will never happen. Mom and Dad are stuck in their ways here in Kentucky.

Some friends of mine and I are planning our "laboratory" here in Kentucky. There seems to be very few permies around here. Salamander Springs near Berea has a great example of a permaculture for profit farm. You should check them out. We are about 2 hours from them. We are visiting in October to observe their practice to form our business model.

My wife and I are considering the WOFATI. However, she cannot get over that "underground" idea. And to be plain honest, its cool, but doesn't have much curb appeal. Which I know isn't the point. But nevertheless it has to have some refinement for my wife to approve.

Paul, I design using Solidworks and Inventor. If you ever need anything modeled up, or construction prints made let me know and I will try to give you a hand.

Ray
 
paul wheaton
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Posts: 28610
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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Just to be clear, a wofati is an ABOVE GROUND structure. It is part of the definition.

As for design stuff, I think we have standardized on sketchup for everything.

Yes, Ray, it would have been grand to have you here. The mission was to replace the injectors. The new truck is a different style - something that folks here could probably mend. Whereas the kenworth is something that is too big for us.

 
Ray Cecil
Posts: 113
Location: Taylorsville Kentucky
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paul wheaton wrote:Just to be clear, a wofati is an ABOVE GROUND structure. It is part of the definition.

As for design stuff, I think we have standardized on sketchup for everything.

Yes, Ray, it would have been grand to have you here. The mission was to replace the injectors. The new truck is a different style - something that folks here could probably mend. Whereas the kenworth is something that is too big for us.



Yes, I understand and have read the definition. However my wife still thinks of it as an underground structure. I am worried about water penetration still. How will you keep roots from poking holes into the tarp layers over time? What happens if you do get a hole someplace and you have to repair the membrane? Do you have to get an excavator in there again to dig out around the leak to patch it?

THis may be a wild idea, but has anyone ever throw in the idea of adding a second wall to allow access behind the interior walls for membrane repair? Or is it crucial for the outside earth to be in close contact with the interior walls?

Thanks
 
Posts: 8
Location: Provo, UT
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Roots only go where there is moisture. As soon as it hits a surface that is dry the plant won't waste any energy trying to penetrate through it. So when roots come into contact with pond liner or polyethylene it will detect that no water is in that material and so it will begin to try to find away around it. It's kind of like what happens when you take mature plant out of a flower pot and all the roots are tangles up but retain the shape of the inside of the pot. It's the same principle.
 
Doody calls. I would really rather that it didn't. Comfort me wise and sterile tiny ad:
dry stack retaining wall
https://permies.com/t/85178/dry-stack-retaining-wall
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