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Greenhouse Design Questions

 
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I've been looking at a lot of Earthship designs and layouts, and I have a question I'm hoping someone can help me answer. Mainly about the separation/integration of the greenhouse portion with the rest of the living space.

How much of a difference, if any, is there between the classic Earthship design with the "long hallway" type greenhouse divided from the living space vs. the style of greenhouse that is simply part of the living space? Does it affect the overall temp of the space? By how much? Does it alter the effectiveness of the greenhouse? Is there any major benefit of one over the other?

Any info would be super helpful! Thanks!
 
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Location: Wilderness, South Africa
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Hi Jen,

Let me start by saying I have no practical experience in the matter, only knowledge I have gained through reading miles and miles of literature on heating spaces passively.

I would imagine heating the "long hallway" would be easier and more effective if oriented correctly. Heating a small skinny space would be easier than heating a deep, chunky space due to exposure to sunlight.

In my future greenhouse, the living space (workshop for my partner and I) will be separated by a wall (glass or otherwise). There will be operable windows/doors/vents on said wall so that we can choose to circulate the warm greenhouse air through the living space when needed and choose to keep it separate when needed. I might even try to work in some sort of vent for the warm air to draw fresh air into the living space via Bernoulli's principle to aid in passive cooling of the living space. The possibility of isolating the warm air in the greenhouse is important for my climate as it gets quite hot where I am.

I hope this helps in some way.

 
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Location: New Mexico
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Hi Jen,

The first Earthships didn't have a wall separating the living space from the greenhouse.  My understanding is that the wall was added because the living space was uncomfortable when they were one big space.
 
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Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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I don't have first hand experience, either, but lots of research on earthship and passive solar. I plan to start building next year.

The separate spaces make it MUCH easier to control the temp in the living space, especially to keep it cool.  The way the separate spaces act, the greenhouse portion will pull air through the house, enhancing the stack effect airflow.
 
Jen Maddison
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Thanks for all the information. I suspected it would change the temp between the two but I wasn't sure if it was a big enough difference to make a noticeable impact. Good to know that it's an area I need to be more aware of.
 
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