Now is the time to plan an upgrade for 0.7 to test the ATI.
The mission is to be SUPER certain that the uphill wall and the downhill wall are sealed and insulated. Without sacrificing livability aesthetic.
My first thought was to add a second wall about three feet out. The overhang is about five feet, so the outer wall could get wet - but I am okay with that. Then, next winter, we could move bee hives into that space. Bees like to keep their hives at about 96 degrees, so they would, effectively, heat that small space. We could then say that this is a bee-heated house which would be fun to say.
Ernie and Erica are here now. Yesterday we went up there and I presented my idea. Ernie felt that we should do something solarium-esque. Maybe it would go about a foot or two outside of the overhang. The bee hive thing would still be a possibility for the future, but this would make the space far more usable while meeting my requirements. Further, the inside wall could then be a light colored cob - thus insuring a good seal. He also made several points about how it would improve the beauty and the livability.
All of these ideas are being bounced around as a suggestion for the larger wall on the uphill side - pictured above. But all of these ideas would be carb-copied to the other side.
A proper solarium faces south. Since neither of these sides faces south, then this would not be a real solarium. But it would be something resembling a porch with a lot of light.
I like the idea of the solarium. I was thinking of something similar for my structure in the Ant village. Not only is it a buffer between the cold winter air and the warm air inside the house, but it is just a pleasant place to be. I once lived in a condo where the bottom floor was just one big living room and a kitchen, with no windows on 3 sides. Thankfully, on the north side of the room, the sliding patio doors had been removed and the patio enclosed with a glass solarium. It made the place seem huge and let a lot of nice natural light into the space, plus my sister was able to grow about 100 orchids inside our living room. This was in southern California, so it was probably a good thing that the solarium faced north, as it never got direct sun which would heat up the house too much.
In this application, with below freezing temps, the inside wall is definitely needed. Not being south facing, I don't think there will be much of a heating effect for the house, but it will be an insulative buffer so you may be able to get away with larger windows on the inside wall, letting more light into the house. On top of that, it will also be a nice "mud room" where people can take off their boots and shake out their jackets before entering the house.
I seem to remember something in John Hait's book about a convection current that can develop in some air spaces, like if you put a 6 inch gap between window panes, thinking that the air will act as insulation. The heat from inside the house will start a convection loop within the air space, effectively pulling heat out of the inside glass and transferring it to the outside glass. I'm not sure if this effect would happen in a larger room such as this one, but it is sure something to look into.
It looks like it would be easy enough to tuck a slanted section up under the overhang, connected to a vertical wall a couple feet out from there. You could frame in proper windows or just use polycarbonate. Glass is probably more fitting, but you'd need to find a lot of salvaged windows. It doesn't seem like you would need to worry about sealing it up too much water wise, as it is effectively an outside space.
I'm curious if you extended the watershed insulation umbrella out in front of this wall. if not, then you've got a short cut for heat to travel out of your insulated mass. This would be a great time to install one if it's not there You could even extend a deck out over it, making a nice outside space for the summer time and less mud/ice in the winter.
I'm definitely looking to collect on some bounties once I arrive at the lab. This is one project I would love to work on.
I think there would be a convection current. But that's no big deal. The important thing is that it assists in the insulation of the wofati core. So when the outside temp is 20 below, the temp in the "glass room" is, maybe, 20. Inside the wofati, it is as if the outside temp never drops below 20.
I think it might be good to set up a two foot tall, well insulated wall that will define the bottom of the glass, and then set up some sort of large doorway. It might be wise to do some sketchup stuff.
A Yaranga is a tent-like traditional mobile home of some nomadic Northern indigenous peoples of Russia, such as Chukchi and Siberian Yupik.
A Yaranga is a cone-shaped or rounded reindeer-hide tent. It is built of a light wooden frame covered with reindeer skins or canvas sewn together."
The word yaranga comes from the Chukchi language. In Russian use, the terms chum, yurt and yaranga may be used interchangeably
" built of a light wooden frame covered with reindeer skins sewn together. A medium-size yaranga requires about 50 skins.
A large yaranga is hard to heat completely up. There is a smaller cabin called a polog built inside it, that can be kept warm and cosy"
I think it was a NOVA special
that I saw about this guy
who was tracing the genetics of the Native Americans
and was trying to trace them back to Asia.
This lead him to try and find this group of "reindeer people" in northern Siberia.
anyway to get to the point
He found a group who lived in these yarangas
it was 40 F below outside
inside the first layer was above zero
but inside the inner tent, heated only by body heat and oil lamps
it was about + 50-60F
these were mobile and they were moved almost everyday
because there was little for the reindeer herd to eat
and the herd had to keep moving
so it would seem a house within a house
if properly done
would make sense
One of Paul's priorities this summer is to get wofati 0.7, hereafter referred to as Allerton Abbey, completely finished in a correct manner so the annualized thermal inertia concept can be properly tested this coming winter. In order to do this, the uphill and downhill walls need to be re-done, well sealed and insulated, so that the winter wind will not pass right through them as is currently does. This is going to be done with straw bale walls, and some very thick doors. Ernie and Erica are coming out this coming super week to lend their natural building wisdom to this part of the project. In addition to the walls, we will also be installing a watershed/insulation umbrella out from the new walls, and building a deck over each of these. This will be tied into the straw bale wall and the wing walls, which are also going to get some insulation added, completing the insulation/watershed umbrella for the structure as a whole, and keeping the thermal mass nicely dry and insulated. There is also going to be a ton of cob work done on the inside and outside of the building, and everyone is welcome to come get their hands and feet into some cob during the super week. I have taken on this big project, and will be documenting the progress her in this thread. We got started a couple of days ago, so here we go:
First things first, I uncovered the outside of the downhill wall, which had been buried in dirt.
Next I removed the facade.
The we took out the old windows. The structure had settled on top of them, so we had to remove most of the framing just to get them out.
The old windows, in bad shape.
Next we removed all the old framing. This was the small mountain of screws that was holding this wall together.
Today we did some earthworks with the tractor and shovels, to remove the excess dirt that had been covering the downhill side of the structure. It had been filled in incorrectly, and was actually sloping towards the house in spots, bad idea. We removed a lot of dirt, and reshaped it all to slope away from the walls and out. There is still some shaping to be done to make a final bed for the insulation/watershed umbrella to sit on, and then that will be covered with soil, and then a deck. For now, we just left it roughly shaped until we can get the straw bale wall built, and work out how to tie the insulation umbrella into that.
The work close to the wall was done with shovels. The tractor bucket makes a very nice wheelbarrow.
Here's the slope when we were finished. It was hard to get a picture of the whole area with the contrasting light, but here you can see the new slope, as well as the old line of the dirt on the posts, sloping back towards the wall we removed.
Paul's plan is to set the straw bale wall right on the dirt, relying on the idea that once the new umbrella is in place, water will have to wick down 4 feet, then over 6 feet, then up another 4 feet in order to reach the straw bale. I leveled and packed the dirt where the wall will go in preparation for this, but I am waiting until Ernie and Erica get here to start on the wall. In the meantime I have been gathering up materials, and today I made a few test balls of different cob mixes.
I believe you are a bit off if you think these bales will be out of moisture hazards. Just being under the "umbrella" doesn't keep blowing snow and rain away. I would build up a stone and gravel base under the bales to give added security. Straw bales and cob have zero tolerance for moisture.