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A couple of question involving living in a greenhouse  RSS feed

 
chad duncan
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Good day everybody,
I am intending to move into a bus later this month and I am looking at designing a roof to put over it. It wasn't long before I thought that it would be a good idea to enlarge and enclose the 'carport' and make it into a greenhouse. I can see several benefits to this but I am wondering about the downsides.
1. Will the humidity destroy my all aluminum bus?
2. My bus is over twelve feet tall, so with a shed style roof the peak would be over twenty feet tall if I run a steep pitch. How flat can the pitch of my roof be if I should choose to use sliding patio door glass?
3. Because of the location I have to work with, the shed style roof slants away from the sun. Is it worth bothering to fit patio glass instead of corrugated polycarbonate panels since the sun is going to be reflecting off of the roof so much anyway?
4. Will the patio doors be a LOT better at retaining heat than the corrugated polycarbonate panels?
5. Would be twinwall polycarbonate be a worthwhile expenditure? ( I live on vancouver island, pacific northwest)

Thanks in advance for the thoughts,
Chad.
 
Rebecca Norman
gardener
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Location: Ladakh, Indian Himalayas at 10,500 feet, zone 5
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food preservation greening the desert solar trees
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I'm sorry, your scenario isn't quite clear. I've lived with attached greenhouses every winter for 20 years so I thought I might have something to say, but I'm not clear on your proposal. Also, what is your main purpose? To heat the bus? Have green space? Protect the aging bus from the elements?

1) Humidity depends on whether you plant in the greenhouse or only use it for heat without much greenery.

3) The shed roof?? Is that the main greenhouse glazing, or an opposite-facing roof? Or what? In any case, glass sloping northwards can be good for admitting indirect light, but that's probably not a need if the whole rest of the structure is glazing. Otherwise, glass facing away from the sun is not helpful for solar gain.

If your purpose is to heat the space, and if the whole structure will be mostly south facing, watch out that you don't overheat. In my experience and in every book about solar design, having excessive south-facing glazing is uncomfortable to live with. You'll wish you hadn't, and will redesign or tear it down before the third year.

 
Jay C. White Cloud
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Hi Chad,

Do some searches here on Permies...much of this has already been covered...

living in a green house


1. Will the humidity destroy my all aluminum bus?

Yes it can, and other metals as well...

2. My bus is over twelve feet tall, so with a shed style roof the peak would be over twenty feet tall if I run a steep pitch. How flat can the pitch of my roof be if I should choose to use sliding patio door glass?

This is structurally a challenging concept with more simpler ones available.

3. Because of the location I have to work with, the shed style roof slants away from the sun. Is it worth bothering to fit patio glass instead of corrugated polycarbonate panels since the sun is going to be reflecting off of the roof so much anyway?

I think reading the above may address this...?

4. Will the patio doors be a LOT better at retaining heat than the corrugated polycarbonate panels?

No...

5. Would be twinwall polycarbonate be a worthwhile expenditure? ( I live on vancouver island, pacific northwest)

If you are building a greenhouse garage...yes...but in all I am not clear why doing this seems like a good idea.

Regards,

j
 
chad duncan
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2. I am unaware of an easier roof solution than a single plane shed style. I have an approximately 50'X50' space to build in and the bus must sit in a particular place due to sewer and power hookups as well as farmyard requirements and accessability. In this 50x50 square the bus sits almost at one end. With a shed style roof I can put the peak of the slant closer towards the middle of the space which will enable the roof to run out further than a typical two plane roof while maintaining some head room at the far end. Also the single plane roof appears to my roofing inexperienced eye to be easier to build than some of the other post and beam carports I have seen.

The bus I am moving into has a few convenience problems. It has a shower that is shorter than me, no place to hang a single coat, and no place to put a single pair of shoes that doesn't interfere with the steps leading in. I may be able to get used to bending double to take a shower but I will need to make something outside of the bus to leave coats, shoes, hats, umbrella, whatever. I will also need to build a shed for tools that I use, some place to put my bicycle, etc. So, instead of making a series of ugly little sheds I am thinking to put everything under one roof to keep my things dry. Then I got thinking that enclosing the entire thing would have added benefits such as allowing a RMH to heat the space thereby making the heating load on the buses systems easier, it would also allow me to use the outside space as living space regardless of the rainfall.

I don't intend to raise crops for the neighbourhood but I would certainly want some plant life inside, maybe a small fish pond/ aquaculture setup.

The proposed design has a northward sloping roof and to the south is a much taller barn so I won't be getting a lot of direct afternoon sun but a fair bit of sun will shine across in the AM. The lower 7' of the walls would be solid (for privacy) and insulated with everything above that point being some sort of clear panel. At least that is what I have rattling around in my head.
 
chad duncan
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A quick extra on the shed style roof. The design I have now (pre greenhouse idea) is a shed style roof over a 12'wide gravel pad. I am thinking to extend one side of the carport by a little over thirty feet to give me living space under the roof. I also like the shed style because I won't need a crew to help me.
 
chad duncan
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I don't feel like I am explaining myself very well. Let me try again.

I intend on moving into a bus down by my barn. I am in the process of setting up a gravel pad to park it on and that is 50' X 12'. I am planning on building a post and beam carport for it with a shed style roof, with an inside height of around 13 feet on the short side and 14 feet across (an extra foot beyond the pad on either side). Probably going to run 6x6 cedar posts, 10 feet apart for the fifty foot run. On one side of the bus I have an extra 10 feet that I can utilize and on the other side I have a little over twenty more. Since I lack some basic storage space (shoes, coats) I need to come up with some dry space outside of the bus. A small shed or three should cover all my needs but when it rains I will be out in it while I get my shoes from the shoe shed. This made me think that maybe I could extend one side of the roof to make a covered deck-like area. And then I thought "Why not extend both sides?", and by gum, why not? Then it occurred to me that it will still be awfully mild out there when I am struggling to pull on my long sleeve shirt out in the shoe shed so maybe I should run some walls down from this elongated roof and seal it up a bit, maybe install some kind of wood fueled heat to chase away these horrid 5c overcast winter cold snaps (RMH).

And now I'm here wondering if parking my bus inside of a greenhouse would ruin it or me. or both. Should I use expensive triwall polycarbonate or start scrounging deck doors. etc.

I will no doubt try to grow plants inside but not with the intent of harvesting 80lbs of beans. I would be planting as decoration and mostly in planters so I don't think that I will need a sprinkler or anything inside. I am imagining drip irrigation with supply and overflow connected to a small fish pond of only a couple hundred gallons.
 
I'm a lumberjack and I'm okay, I sleep all night and work all day. Tiny lumberjack ad:

World Domination Gardening 3-DVD set. Gardening with an excavator.
richsoil.com/wdg


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