After hearing Paul on The Survival Podcast and his description of a wofati I though the idea seemed interesting. I read Mike Oehler’s book and then I heard a click in the back of my mind. For two years I took every course at The Evergreen State College on wood working that I could from a former SEAL turned Japanese Master Temple Carpenter. Through his guidance I’ve started to design a wofati using the carpentry principals of the Japanese. For those of you that are reading this thinking wow, that’s really strange. Japanese buildings are pole built structures just like Oehler’s structures. However unlike an Oehler’s structure there is a greater capacity for roof loading. Because of the way the building is framed using a series of very intricate joints that are actually stronger than the wood that is used to comprise them. Currently I’m still in the design phase of this building and in the process of accumulating the funds to purchase an area of timber on which to build the structure. With any luck this structure should live up to the concepts that Paul laid down with one huge exception. Due to the load of the roof several of the beams and the posts will have to be made of Port Orford-Cedar (Chamaecyparis lawsoniana), which will have to be brought to my site for milling and for assembly. This will be a considerable cost but the sale of logs off of the property should be enough for the thriry or so Port Orford logs. I’ll continue to post in this thread to keep folks up to date on my progress. Please understand that this is a process that will involve open air curing of the lumber so it will be a five to six year project.
It'll be a few weeks before I can have them scanned in. We're still working out the final roof load which is the key factor to the post spacing and the beam lengths. I would greatly appreciate any input that you might have related to the design and the concept. I'm basing the design off of the Ridge-line house in Oehler's book with a feed additions, like a garage and an attached green house/ hot house. I was wonder about the thermal umbrella concept that you mention and how to achieve this with that design. Also I'm going to post in the Alernative energy threat about a rocket mass heater for rentals that I'm going to build this summer. Once again the inspiration came from you but like you said in you podcast letting a cabinet maker have a go at it would be cool. Also I'd like to mention that Katei is the Japanese word for house, which means both home and garden. I though that it was appropriate for this endeavorer.
I'd like to visit you during your constructions process. I am a teacher and experienced earth builder. And a beginner japanese timber framer.
Need more info?
Earthen Hand Natural Building
"If everyone makes a difference, the world will be different."
posted 7 years ago
[li]Weight of soil per cubic foot- 80lbs[/li] [li]Weight of mud per cubic foot- 112lbs [/li] [li]27 Cubic Feet per Cubic Yard[/li] [li]Weight of one cubic foot of snow- *15lbs[/li] [li]Weight of ground cove Per Square foot- **3.3lbs[/li] [li]A cubic yard of soil can hold 104.1lbs of water[/li] [li]Weight of water per gallon- 8.3lbs[/li] [li]Roof must be able to support between 80 and 112 pounds per square foot of soil along with the support of plants, animals and one to two people[/li]
Paul has stated that a wofati should have about 50 inches of soil in order to create enough thermal inertia to carry through a winter. Do to the math and allow for the fact that sun is a bit of limited natural resource in Western Washington the addition of 80lbs per square foot seems excessive. For my roof load I've settled on being able to support 130lbs per square foot. At 5100 square feet of roof the load will total 332 tons.
*This is a number based on snow not packed in a drift. This is also double the amount that annually falls where I'm building.
**Weight of sod, no other information could be found on mint, ground nut or other ground cover.
girl power ... turns out to be about a hundred watts. But they seriously don't like being connected to the grid. Tiny ad: