Roberto pokachinni wrote:I'm curious about your cob cordwood system. I was part of building a cordwood house using a traditional concrete instead of cob a while back [too long ago that it would age me to tell you ]. I'm wondering if you are able to use the woodchip infill as an insulative layer between two cob mortar 'walls' as is done with concrete, or are your cobbing mortar layers continuous in the length of the piece of cordwood? I hope I described it properly. I will elaborate: With the place that I helped with, once it was solid, we had basically two concrete walls (six inch patties of mortar near the ends of each 24 inch length of wood, which joined previous layers of concrete patties), with wood chip insulation (a little less than 1.5 feet) between these concrete walls that formed from the joined patties, laying on the centers of the wood rounds (which projected slightly out of the concrete). The main reason that I'm asking is that if you have the chip insulation, and 24 inch walls, in addition to proper windows and door units for your climate, then you are likely to not need nearly the heating that you describe. I'm not sure, but that's my guess.
Roberto pokachinni wrote:It could be that with such a high water table that you are loosing heat into your floor as well, and this may be mitigated by the dry clay layer that you mentioned, but might also be facilitated by a layer of plastic below the dry clay. I have no experience with that though.
Roberto pokachinni wrote:
I don't think that that is accurate. Poplars are not nitrogen fixers, from what I know. They do provide a lot of biomass (leaves/deadfall), which have the potential to aid in nitrogen sequestering (through fungi), but they do not fix nitrogen leguminously from what I understand. Further, poplars have incredibly wide seeking root systems that will enter other systems (up to 200 feet away from what i'm told) to gain nutrients or to spread their clonal colonies (while not fixing nitrogen, they may actually be taking it from other desired plants!).
quaking aspen saplings (what the locals call popples) since they're N-fixers,
Glenn Herbert wrote:I know that hemlock had a folk reputation as being rot-resistant, but any truth to that was from old growth trees. Second or third growth trees have grown much faster in general and are softer and rot rather quickly. I hope your treatments and "dry pad" help with that. I might try using them above grade (on stone pads, maybe with the bottom of the post 1" below finished floor if you are concerned about future inspectors' classification as "timber-framed on foundation"). I would be very pessimistic about hemlock exposed in exterior walls and sunk in the ground, if you plan any of those.
I have plenty of experience with small maple poles, and yes, flexible when green, getting brittle and splitty after some years of outdoorish use.
Locust is so strong that even a 6" post would have structural value, though you might want more of them for assurance. I have also found black cherry to be quite rot-resistant, if you have any of that that is big enough to have real heartwood. (Black cherry is also gorgeous when planed and aged.)
About mass inside the structure, as long as it is not exposed to weather or ground conduction, it will not in any way take more power to heat. It will take more to get up to temperature, but will hold the heat longer and give a more stable environment. For long periods of constant cold weather, the more mass the better. If you are planning a thick clay pad isolated from ground moisture and conduction, you may well run the ducts through that and give yourself warm floors.
Roberto pokachinni wrote:We followed Rob Roy's book on the build I mentioned. I'm pretty sure I understand your present practice cob cordwood structure. I can see how the through log is likely there to stabilize between the two cob walls, particularly on your narrower walls. I'm not sure I understand the full pattern in your second typed sketch. Mostly the ==***== log insulation log units. Is there no mortar on these logs? Or are they two short rounds in each cob wall, with a full space of insulation between them? The rest seems pretty logical.
Robbie Asay wrote:I love your place! I'm very impressed with what you are doing with the streams.
Interestingly enough you'll understand my internet usage as I'm taking classes on web development mostly for my own curiosity and benefit.
What is the average humidity there? Here in western WA it's around 75% annually. It's damp enough through the year that power washing your siding is a good thing to do and I live a good 35 miles away from Puget Sound.
LOVE the snow pics!