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Can I convert a Greenhouse to a house  RSS feed

 
Posts: 19
Location: Brisbane, Australia
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I visited a brilliant example of something like this called a life bubble. The idea is you live in a cave and build a greenhouse off it. So the cave has a big open entrance into the greenhouse and most of your living space is in the cave but your bathroom and kitchen are in the greenhouse. All the grey water gets used in the greenhouse and it grows all your food. You have lots of large leaved plants like bananas which provide shade and the GH can be vented at the top. To my amazement it was a very comfortable temperature inside, but it was in a subtropical climate (Queensland). The guy had been living in it for 16 years.

Check it out: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10153884989362360.1073741825.535817359&type=3

Cheers,
Rowan
 
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books homestead wofati
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Hi,

I am happy that this topic has past beyond my initial scope for good. I benefit from the suggestions. Because I am at the permaculture design stage and trying to plan for a community which I hope my project will gradually evolve into.

And as to the permit issue. I am a citizen of Turkey. The problem can be solved but needs time: There is no official road to the field although there is an informal one. And I have to go to court and formalize it first. This is the legal triviality of my country.  

Whatever the reason or whatever I do (I will probably erect a tent first and build an earthen building this summer. I, myself, can use earthbag and rammed earth techniques. Need help for wooden structures.)

I am trying to figure out if underground / semi-underground earthen structures are possible in my situation. The land has a %5 slope ( 5 unit elevation in 100 units horizontal length). So if possible earth-bermed house is a real possibility. But in order to do it, I need to dig a rubble trench-french drain to the outer perimeter because the soil has a very high water table seasonally during and after rains in the winter. So somehow and earth bermed earthen structure opening to a greenhouse might be an option if I can figure out the thermal comfort issues.

So I find Ziemianski's and Tobias Ber's and rowan eisner's suggestions are similar. And especially the thermal comfort of the "life-bubble" is encouraging because there are many counter thoughts.

So Let's say that at some point I want to built a house and an attached greenhouse. And I think it is a good option for solar performance. Do you think the moisture and thermal comfort issues associated with greenhouse still exist in such a design? I would like to think about this issue.

And borax-treated cardboard and a house made of cardboard are interesting. The potential flammability was discussed. So, from what I have read I think that the borax treatment is made to achieve fire proof or let's say fire retardant quality. And that is the case for cellulose insulation. Am I wrong.





 
master pollinator
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Location: Toronto, Ontario
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I don't know how fire retardant borax is, though I have heard it mentioned. I would still seal cardboard or other flammables up in a natural plaster wall, away from oxygen.

As to the thermal comfort and humidity, I think the most important part of the greenhouse house idea is that the house part have adequate separation from the greenhouse to control humidity. Otherwise, you run into the same mold and fungal issues as people who have inadequately designed indoor gardens.

I would definitely want weather-strip-lined doors and windows that can be closed, and a separate air exchange system, including fresh air from outside, not coming through the greenhouse.

Plants and people don't often share the same range of comfort, or necessity, in some cases. It's important to give them everything they need, but you can't risk your health to do that.

-CK
 
M. Tok
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Rez Zircon wrote:
I knew a technically-homeless guy who lived in a cardboard house he'd built from appliance boxes. It had two full-height rooms and running water, and was stable enough to be reasonably weatherproof. Quite impressive. Also, corrugated cardboard is a terrific insulator.



Hi Zircon,

Can you remember any details how it was possible to build with cardboard.
 
M. Tok
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Chris Kott wrote:I don't know how fire retardant borax is, though I have heard it mentioned. I would still seal cardboard or other flammables up in a natural plaster wall, away from oxygen.
-CK



Hi Chris,

I am sure that if you google borax and fire retardant you can find that borax indeed is a fire retardant. That's how cellulose insulation- basically paper- is used as an insulation material. And I thought you knew this because you treated logs with borax and so you have done it already.

Anyway, these are some links, but you can find more scientific ones too:
Link1
Link2
 
Chris Kott
master pollinator
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The question wasn't if, but to what extent. Cardboard has a lot more surface area than lumber.

And I was treating the logs for resistance to decay.

-CK
 
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Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
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M. Tok wrote:Can you remember any details how it was possible to build with cardboard.



I'm not sure how he'd done it (was 30 years ago). Might have just ziptied flattened boxes together and left some set up for corners. It was pretty sturdy. The rooms were about 8 feet square.

If you use cardboard, the other reason to treat with borax is to discourage ground termites -- they LOVE cardboard. And it will discourage (not halt) a low-grade fire, but once it gets hot enough won't help much.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Homemade-Flame-retardant/



 
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Location: Sweden. 30 miles south of Stockholm.
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I recommend you reade Mike Oehler´s "The Earth-Sheltered Solar Greenhouse Book", init you will find inspiration, idéas and the basic principles of thermal building physics. You find it on google.

I´m currently translating it to Swedish and if everything goes according to plan it will be ready for publication on the new year, pending that al the legal issues can be solved.

In great haste/mrJ
 
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As something temporary, there are many videos on YouTube regarding living in a camper/van/rv/truck.

However, at least in the U.S., where you have agricultural land it often is permitted to build worker housing of various sorts as part of the agricultural land purpose. If you make clear that the land will be used agriculturally and the cabin(s) will be used to house workers (i.e. yourself, as you will be working on the land), you may not have to go to court. Just find out what kind of worker housing is normally permitted for ag land.
 
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Location: Lancaster Ohio
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i think, you would need an electirc dehumidifier inside your cave, alongside with other measures to reduce air humidity



I lived n a cinderblock house with cement floors and when we put in vinyl floor tiles water pooled up on the floors from the condensation. My brother in law said I'd need a dehumidifier. Instead I lit a fire in the fireplace and the humidity got sucked up the chimney and I never had humidity problems ever again. I think a little fireplace - or a rocket mass heater.. with a bypass vent that would let the heat go straight up a chimney in the summer time rather than store in the thermal mass... would do if you want to go off grid.
 
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