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Would this work as insulation?  RSS feed

 
Posts: 8
Location: Missouri
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I love the Earthbag homes but we live in Missouri. Our weather fluctuates all the time and we will desperately need insulation. Wanting to recycle as much as possible, would it be possible to build the earth bag walls then add a second 'wall' on the outside made of sealed aluminum cans? The sealed aluminum cans would be cobbed next to the earthbags on the exterior and then cobbed over again. Would this create insulated air pockets that would be effective for insulation?
 
pollinator
Posts: 2392
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That depends on how much you want to heat it. With the "sweater" on the outside of the building, when you want to heat the inside, you will be heating all of the dirt in the bags as well. If you put it on the inside, then you only have to heat the air inside the house and the thermal mass of the earthbags won't be sucking up all the heat from your furnace.
 
maha fae
Posts: 8
Location: Missouri
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Thank you John I never considered that. I guess in the same respect the inner can wall will help keep it cool in the summer?

I wonder if anyone else has had successful results making a can wall as insulation?
 
Posts: 554
Location: Asheville NC
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Not aware of any but sure its been done. Problem with cans is that the AL is a great conductor. So the overall performance, when you add up all the metal thermal bridging, would dramatically reduce the level of insulation between them. Plastic bottles is probably a better choice for such a wall.
 
pollinator
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Location: cool climate, Blue Mountains, Australia
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We had aluminium sliding windows and yes I agree with Brian. The tiny frames conducted so much heat.
If you think of a material do not think of the wall but always think first how you will connect windows, doors, downpipes etc.
because the devil is always in the detail.
 
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Interesting, all of the info I have read on using a layer of insulation on any thermal mass construction was to have the insulation layer on the outside of the mass to help regulate it from outside temps. Also, Owen Geiger makes note of a layer of insulation on the outside of the earthbag structure. Interesting Idea to think on. Plan on Building a earth bag home within the next year or starting to break ground.
 
pollinator
Posts: 4154
Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
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I have no trouble with the insulation on the inside, ! would worry more in some climates with water vapor problems a dry hole in the ground is one thing a wet hole
(in the ground) is something else ! Big AL !
 
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If you live in Missouri, you should investigate rice hulls as insulation for earth bags. Here is the link.

http://www.earthbagbuilding.com/projects/ricehullstudio.htm
 
maha fae
Posts: 8
Location: Missouri
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I have a lot of research and initially I was very interested in the rice hulls. But we will be living in central Missouri (quite a distance from the rice fields). I then started finding information on making your own charcoal and that gave me an idea. If you used the chips from your local tree trimmers, it is possible to make charcoal chips and maybe use these to insulate to fill the bags with. Would double as a filler and insulation. Any thoughts?
 
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Fill the cans with plastic bags first and they will be a bit better.




Go to: www.EarthenHand.com today
 
Angelika Maier
pollinator
Posts: 1376
Location: cool climate, Blue Mountains, Australia
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I would worry about aluminium cans and the holes in between that they are moisture traps.
 
Posts: 9
Location: Northern California
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Using chard bits as a filler in the bags sounds like an interesting idea...
 
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