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Livin' in a WOFATI!  RSS feed

 
Tim Wheaton
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I want to start a new thread here to talk about whats going on with the wofati as well as what it is like to live in a wofati. From time to time I will post about things happening at the wofati but I imagine Kristie, my wife, will keep everyone more up to date. My main reason for this thread is so people can ask Kristie and I what its like to be the first to live in a wofati. I have had several people ask me wofati questions, and some people are asking questions via 2nd hand. So, here we are.
 
nancy sutton
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Tim and Kristie, how do you assess the insulation effect from the earth 'embankment' (which will be perfected in next year's dry season), versus heat loss due to the end windows, and any air inflow required for the heat stove to work? Are you toasty? perpetually feeding the stove? both?

Also, do the windows provided enough light? How is the cheek-by-jowl 400sqft living working out... does it encourage getting outside? Could you happily consider living in this situation for an extended time? year? multiple years? Can we safely say it is infinitely better than the tent ? :) Do you 'escape' very often to 'civilization' at the Base Camp? Have many visitors?
 
Tim Wheaton
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Post Yesterday ‎7‎:‎21‎:‎22‎ ‎PM Subject: Livin' in a WOFATI!


Tim and Kristie, how do you assess the insulation effect from the earth 'embankment' (which will be perfected in next year's dry season), versus heat loss due to the end windows, and any air inflow required for the heat stove to work? Are you toasty? perpetually feeding the stove? both?

Also, do the windows provided enough light? How is the cheek-by-jowl 400sqft living working out... does it encourage getting outside? Could you happily consider living in this situation for an extended time? year? multiple years? Can we safely say it is infinitely better than the tent ? Do you 'escape' very often to 'civilization' at the Base Camp? Have many visitors?





as far as wood heat goes, I think rignt now we burn about as much as my brother is in his conventionaly built office with a rmh. we stay warm thru the night without getting up to tend to fire, and sometimes we almost forget to keep a fire going. I think with finishing the first layer of dirt and then the umbrella and final layer of dirt, our wood consumption will drop maybe in half again.We stay quite toasty, very comfortable. Even when we have been gone all day, an not tended the fire the coldest it gets is low 60's so far.

As for the windows they let in a lot of light! Its tight living with five people in that small of a space. We are a very outdoorsy family as it is , an we have enough animals an such that need our attention that we spend a lot of time outdoors. But the home is a comfy place just small. I do believe we could make do in this small of an area for as long as need be. An yes it is nicer this time of year than the tent for obvious reasons. The main reason that Kristie comes off the hill is to work on the computer, for internet reasons... or do laundry since the washer we were using in the tent an the wofati no longer works. An yes we have had a few family an friends that have dopped by so far.
 
Kristie Wheaton
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nancy sutton wrote:Tim and Kristie, how do you assess the insulation effect from the earth 'embankment' (which will be perfected in next year's dry season), versus heat loss due to the end windows, and any air inflow required for the heat stove to work? Are you toasty? perpetually feeding the stove? both?

Also, do the windows provided enough light? How is the cheek-by-jowl 400sqft living working out... does it encourage getting outside? Could you happily consider living in this situation for an extended time? year? multiple years? Can we safely say it is infinitely better than the tent ? :) Do you 'escape' very often to 'civilization' at the Base Camp? Have many visitors?


Here is the link to my thread that has a few pics of the inside of the wofati, http://www.permies.com/forums/posts/list/400/26232 I haven't put up many since really settling in , but we have built a lot of shelves for keeping stuff stored up out of the way. An I believe its a very comfy home even for as small as it is.
 
paul wheaton
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I want to emphasize that the wofati is not yet finished. It has only a thin layer of dirt on the top and it does not yet have the umbrella. Further, since construction was stopped when it was really cold, the mass around the wofati is quite cold.

The current plan is to do nothing further until July or August. At that point steps will be taken to make sure that the dirt (subsoil) above it is dry and warm; then the umbrella will be put in place and the final layer of soil will be put on.



 
R Scott
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It is REALLY HARD to get everything done that needs to be done on an earth contact home while the weather cooperates--that is not just WOFATI, that is ANY home. You just can't move dirt when it is too wet or too cold.

Short seasons are harder on building than growing, in my experience.
 
Kristie Wheaton
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This will give you an idea how much natural light is let in by the windows in the front an back windows
IMG_20140101_101841959_HDR.jpg
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IMG_20140101_101729076_HDR.jpg
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Mariamne Ingalls
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Thanks, Kristie, for these pics showing the light. I had wondered about that.

I love that long row of hooks up high you have!

These pics reminded me of some of my parents' projects in the 70s: the day Dad and us kids extracted honey from the shared communal bee hives, in our kitchen! (SticKEEEYYY!). There's a pic of me hugging the centrifuge, while my Dad spun the frames in it, to throw the honey out of the combs. The many days us kids used a food mill to grind wheat from the shared communal wheat field, to use in the bread my Mom made several times a week: she would set it in the AM, and then we were to punch it down to re-rise when we got home from school. The coarse ground wheat was combined with finer whole wheat flour, and made a toast so heavy that it could absorb a LOT of butter. That was the most satisfying bread I have ever eaten: one slice and you were good: you were not hankering for another piece: you were full. It tasted very nutty. The "shared communal" part was that a few friends got together on the hives and the wheat field, at one friend's rural plot just outside the village limits.

So, I'm just musing that your children will have some favorite, wonderful memories of this part of your lives!!!

Happy New Year to you and your fam!
Mariamne
 
nancy sutton
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Thanks a bunch for the detailed answers and wonderful! photos... sooooo interesting. Another question.. what is the flooring in the wofati, besides the lovey braided rug? Are the cows doing okay without a barn? Is cooking challenging? (I think I'd be eating often at the base, what with a 'kitchen commander' and all :)

btw, what are the blue exclamation points for? Oh, I see now... at the bottom... anyone can independently decide that something should be getting more attention :)





 
Kristie Wheaton
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nancy sutton wrote:Thanks a bunch for the detailed answers and wonderful! photos... sooooo interesting. Another question.. what is the flooring in the wofati, besides the lovey braided rug? Are the cows doing okay without a barn? Is cooking challenging? (I think I'd be eating often at the base, what with a 'kitchen commander' and all :)

btw, what are the blue exclamation points for? Oh, I see now... at the bottom... anyone can independently decide that something should be getting more attention :)






Ok to sorry it took so long to answer your questions... we have heavy black plastic on top the dirt, then we have carpet on that. Yes the cows are doing pretty well with out a barn... but my cows have never had a barn, so what they never had they cant miss. They have instincs to huddle an brush up when its bad weather. No cooking isnt challenging. I have a three burner propane stove, that i probally use 10% of the time. I also have a small propane oven for baking. An i most the time i cook on wood heat. No no we really dont eat at base camp very much at all.
 
paul wheaton
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We are hoping that this summer to convert the floors to earthen floors. Possibly linseed oil based.
 
paul wheaton
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I got a text from tim this morning. Outside temp at the wofati is -24 (F).

 
Cj Sloane
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But what was the inside temp?
 
paul wheaton
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Cj Verde wrote:But what was the inside temp?


the answer to that will be intersting when construction on the wofati is complete and we can test the thermal inertia factor.

 
Cj Sloane
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But they are living in the WOFATI now, correct? I'd still like to know the inside temp. Then you could compare with & without the thermal effect next year.
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