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adobe dome build Open for Criticism  RSS feed

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As I'm approaching the time for my adobe dome build, I've realized I need others input to make my brain child healthly.

The goal objectives are represented in the Google SketchUp 8 drawing files.

Goal Objectives:

A meditation cabin for one person in the US SW mountians which gets 10 inches of precipitation, catches it's own water, and burns a cord or less of Juniper in a RMH for heat.

rocket mass heater
Lorenz cooking stove
Gravity Fed Water
Two internal 55 gallon rain barrels
5 gallon purifier water
5 gallon preheated water over rocket stove
Solar water heater, 5 gallon
Composting Toilet (yearly cycle)
Cool storage
Wood storage w/outside door
Below ground cool air intake
Hot air expeller output (short solar tower)
Solar Air Heater
Solar Water Heater
Solar Oven
Grey water tank
Methane continous feed tank
Urine Collection tank


I haven't labeled these goal items, but if one looks, one might see what I'm up to.

I'm new to Google SketchUp 8 (e.g. I don't know how to bend pipes and many other simple tasks). But rather than wait until I'm proficient enough to make my SketchUp drawing easily understood, I'm hoping some patient clever people will understand enough to point out flaws and offer suggestions.

Sure, I risk someone taking my idea and posting it on a site like http://www.jovoto.com/contests/300house/ideas, but I'd rather take the risk and get this baby exposed to some criticism.

...any thoughtful takers?

Linux users can use Wine to install Google SketchUp 8.  Both files must be in the same directory as far as I know.
12x12GrossModel.skp
[Thumbnail for 12x12GrossModel.skp]
12x12GrossModel.skb
[Thumbnail for 12x12GrossModel.skb]
 
                                    
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twobirdstone wrote:
As I'm approaching the time for my adobe dome build, I've realized I need others input to make my brain child healthly.
...
...any thoughtful takers?

Linux users can use Wine to install Google SketchUp 8.  Both files must be in the same directory as far as I know.


Well, I can see that out of 160 views, 31 downloads of the first file and 14 of my other file have taken place.

But no one has commented at all...

-so what gives? 

Are the files not opening for those of you who've downloaded both files

Is the drawing too general and vague to comment on?

Seems like I'll get plenty of input once I've actually built it (based on my test adobe dome responses), but dang, by then it'll be too late to use your input.

So, if you've downloaded the files, let me hear from you!
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Well, I have not down loaded a file, but think you have an interersting build a head of you. I wonder if it was broke down to smaller segments of the build if that would help. With summer time here, I find myself less responding on typical forums that I go to.
I am also probably like others who like to watch what people are doing!
 
steward
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twobirdstone, I haven't done much of this type of thing, so I don't usually comment
I'm on a friend's mac (which I'm unfamiliar with), but I can't open your files.
Without looking at your plans, I see 'grey water tank'. I hope you're not planning to store greywater as it will become stinky, anaerobic and downright unsafe.
 
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I cant open them either.
 
                                    
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ytram wrote:
... I wonder if it was broke down to smaller segments of the build if that would help.


It is complex isn't it?  ...I've created/built most of these components separately either as a test or for the real deal. What I've never done before is to put them all together in one building for maximum self sufficiency.  Image a commercial RV, it's pretty complex too: propane system, solar system, sewer system, water system, etc  -just mine's mostly sustainable and self renewing!


... With summer time here, I find myself less responding on typical forums that I go to.
...


ah!  that could be there weren't any responses... I'll wait for winter and bump this to the top again.

 
                                    
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Leila Rich wrote:
twobirdstone, I haven't done much of this type of thing, so I don't usually comment
....


thanks for giving it a go !


...
I'm on a friend's mac (which I'm unfamiliar with), but I can't open your files.
...


Ask your friend if the mac is running OS X, then ask your friend if you can download Google Sketchup 8:

http://sketchup.google.com/intl/en/download/index.html

If this is okay with your friend and you're successful in the download/installation, run Google SketchUp 8 and use File/Open to select the 12x12GrossModel.skp file (different than the *.skb file).

I've just downloaded the files to make sure they work... they did for me and should for you too... let me know if you run into trouble!



...
Without looking at your plans, I see 'grey water tank'. I hope you're not planning to store greywater as it will become stinky, anaerobic and downright unsafe.
...


yeah..... I'm a little crazy like that.  The tank is outside the building and underground so it'll definitely be anaerobic...  I'm not disagreeing with you that I'll have all kinds of funky, multi-colored, and yes, stinky critters growing in the 55gal tank...  this water will be used quite quickly for trees in the summer.  ...I live in a desert area where the sun bleaches and kills alot of things and the soil could use a little life.

you've made me realise I'll need to do something with this water during the winter since I'll be putting out "greywater" all winter long and will easily surpass the 55gal limit  -THANKS!  that's exactly the kind of thing I need criticism for!

besides fungus and such that are dangerous to humans, what other dangers can you see?

 
                                    
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ronie wrote:
I cant open them either.


Thanks for trying.  If you're still willing to try again, you'll need to make sure you have Google SketchUp 8 installed (any previous version won't work).

If you are running Windows or using Mac OS X, you can use this download:
http://sketchup.google.com/intl/en/download/index.html

Then run Google SketchUp 8 and use File/Open to select the 12x12GrossModel.skp file (not the *.skb file).

If you are running Linux, Unix, FreeBSD, you'll need to install Wine and Wine to install the above Google SKetchUp 8 download (SketchUp 8 is working fine on my Ubuntu 10.10 system).

Let me know if you have any trouble with the install. Screenshots will help if you run into an error (Alt+Print Screen for Windows systems; there's a linux app to do it on linux systems; and I've forgotten on the Mac so you'll have to ask someone).
 
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twobirds

I downloaded your file (after installing Sketchup),  the second one has a .skb extension and my system did not recognize it.

Labels would be really great, although looking at the layout it looks like a good design.

The box that looks like an air conditioner, would that be the solar oven?

I look forward to seeing more.  I am not finding sketchup very easy to use.
 
                                    
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Shawn Bell wrote:
...
I downloaded your file (after installing Sketchup),  the second one has a .skb extension and my system did not recognize it.
....
I look forward to seeing more.  I am not finding sketchup very easy to use.


I'm not sure why Google SketchUp 8 makes the .skb file....  I loaded the .skp file just fine without the other file  -could be the .skb file isn't needed at all (that or it's a backup file showing what you had before you edited the file).

I'm new to sketchup myself... I guess no sophisticated 3D modeling program is easy to use at first, so here's some video tutorials that helped me get started:

http://sketchup.google.com/training/videos.html

It really helps to have a third middle scroll button on your mouse too.



Labels would be really great, although looking at the layout it looks like a good design.
...
The box that looks like an air conditioner, would that be the solar oven?


yep, labeling things would've helped easily identify what is what...  like I said, SketchUp is new to me too.

You've got it, that box is indeed the solar oven (I would've angled the south side of the solar oven to match the same angle of the long skinny angled box next to it if I knew how to use SketchUp better).

The solar oven is on the south side of the building of course. The solar oven extends inside the building so that a person can open the back of the solar oven and load it just like a person would load a normal oven...

why people haven't been building solar cookers right into the south walls of  kitchens is beyond me  -who wants to get out a solar oven, set it outside, set it up and then go get the dish to be cooked?  All I want to do is open the solar cooker from the rear inside my house and put the dish in: right in my kitchen!

The long skinny angled box up against the solar oven is the solar water heater.  The wide angled box underneath the south window is the solar air heater.

 
ronie dee
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Just wondering why you can't copy the pics to your desktop or somewhere and then post them here?
 
                                    
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ronie wrote:
Just wondering why you can't copy the pics to your desktop or somewhere and then post them here?


No reason not to! 

...a 3D model which can be rotated, taken apart, and put back together in any fashion gives a people something they can play with and build upon for themselves....   

...but for those who want static shots, the attached files below will give you the outside west, south and then east, north outside views.

my next post will be of the inside from a top viewing angle
west_southWall.png
[Thumbnail for west_southWall.png]
east_northwall.png
[Thumbnail for east_northwall.png]
 
                                    
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ronie wrote:
Just wondering why you can't copy the pics to your desktop or somewhere and then post them here?


As promised, here's the inside from a top angle.

-since things aren't labeled, here's a quick orientation:

the three small rooms/compartments on the north wall, from west to east, are as follows:

composting toilet | cool storage with an underground ice box | wood bin

On top of the composting toilet room is a 55 gal rain collection tank
On top of the cold storage room is another 55 gal rain collection tank
above the wood storage bin is a 5 gallon Berkley water purifier.

{None of the plumbing from the gutter to the internal rain collection tanks are drawn in, nor is the plumbing to the water purifier, nor the preheated 5gal above the rocket stove, nor the 5gal hot water tank located above the solar water heater on the south wall. I'm not sure how to do 90 degree pipes yet}

East wall from North to South:

wood storage | cool underground air inlet | rocket stove/pre heated water tank | plumbing for sink to grey water tank

South wall from East to West:

Outside:
solar hot water heater | solar cooker | solar air heater (sah)

Inside:
solar hot water tank    | rear of solar cooker | cob bench | sah outlet/inlet





inside.png
[Thumbnail for inside.png]
 
pollinator
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twobirdstone wrote:

besides fungus and such that are dangerous to humans, what other dangers can you see?




Same dangers you would have in untreated sewage.
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Maybe you should look at the earthship system. They have addressed many of these issues. They proclaim a self sufficient home that utilizes only those things found in nature. You could certainly adapt some of these systems in your up and coming build assuming resources are available (money and time).

Just a thought....
 
                                    
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H Ludi Tyler wrote:
Same dangers you would have in untreated sewage.


really?

let me see... untreated sewage has the possibility of carrying any human stool borne pathogen or human blood borne pathogen...

unless your definition of grey water is different than mine -that just isn't a reasonable statement....

....so help me out  -exactly why did you make that statement
 
                                    
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timby wrote:
Maybe you should look at the earthship system. They have addressed many of these issues. They proclaim a self sufficient home that utilizes only those things found in nature. You could certainly adapt some of these systems in your up and coming build assuming resources are available (money and time).


I have looked at their systems...    where is their cool food storage space, their zeer refrigerator?... where is their underground cool air intake (yes, they do have a hot air exit)?  where is their gravity feed rain catchment (yes, some of their designs have rain catchment)?  and just where is their rocket stove or their lorenz cooking stove?

...and where is their (and mine) solar refrigerator (the zeer is pretty close though)?

-they start a person thinking though don't they? 

I believe the architect behind the work around Taos probably has much more evolved systems than the ones he has published in the Earthship manuals....  but, due to politics, he lost his architectural license and also lost his appeal....

thank you for reminding me that people such as this man exist and bring their ideas into the world for all of us.
 
ronie dee
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It seems to me that the solar oven should be lower.

The solar air heater could be moved east or west and the south wall could be mostly glazing for passive solar gain.
 
                                    
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ronie wrote:
It seems to me that the solar oven should be lower.
...


for ergonomics?    ....I was shooting for head and shoulder height for my own body so I wouldn't have to bend over to see into the solar cooker  -I guess that require lifting a hot dish with the risk of spilling it down the front of me  -was that why you were thinking lower?



...
The solar air heater could be moved east or west and the south wall could be mostly glazing for passive solar gain.


true.  the solar air heater I wanted to use has an cool air intake at the far bottom west corner on the outside west edge of it's body (2" dia)and a hot air output on the far top east corner on the outside east edge of it's body (3" dia)...  {I found this design put together by Stan Giser in the Zuni mountains:  -his 47"x54" box put out hot air (topped the low scale thermometer out at 120 F and I didn't have my infrared thermometer to find what the true temp was) and forcibly blew the hot air into the room without a fan (and I do mean with considerable force)}...

so I chose to cover my south wall with the solar cooker, solar water heater, and solar air heater for the following reasons (please point out the holes in my reasoning where you see them):

-the solar air heater, for the size of the room, will heat the room on sunny winter days without the rocket stove given Stan Giser's design performance (so the glazing the entire southern wall here in NM doesn't seem to be necessary);

-trying to keep the cost down, glazing for the entire south wall (and please elaborate on the type of glazing you meant) and then the bracing for the high winds for the shifted air heater seems to be more expensive the the solar air heater which is right around $100 (which is braced by the southern wall);

-the more distance between the room and the solar air heater itself means two serious disadvantages 1) heat loss goes up per the surface area of the pipe times it's length -so I'm losing more heat the longer the pipe is  2) the longer the pipe, the more resistance to air flow.  Stan's design is truly awesome to witness: when I saw other people using small electric fans to move the air, I realized Stan really did have a great design.  -simple, effective, cheap, uses the least pipe, forces the cool air path across the entire hot surface area rather than straight up the middle like most on youtube, and generates the greatest air movement  -in short, I'm afraid I will lose both the heat quantity and the air velocity if I shifted the device east or west;

also not shown, due to my newbie drawing skills, the solar air heater is below the inside floor... in this configuration, the solar air heater doesn't circulate cold air at night because it creates a "cool air lock" where in cold air falls down and stays down.

So it could be, if glazing the entire south wall was less expensive and just as effective (yes, I know more surface area should give me more heat),  I could drop the solar air heater entirely and just glaze the entire south wall. 

-what kind of glazing did you mean and how did you envision glazing in this case?

-how would glazing the entire south wall perform on cold winter nights compared to the cold air lock of the solar air heater?

again, thanks again for taking the time to respond!
 
ronie dee
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I think the oven on a kitchen range is lower for easy access while cooking and also spills could be a problem like you said.

Glazing is a generic term and the material you use would depend on what you want from the glazing besides solar gain.

Glass is great for many reasons and fiberglass/polycarb is good for other reasons.
http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/SpaceHeating/Glazing.htm
The link gives some pros and cons of glazing.

If I was doing it, I would probably choose double glass.
If you don't want glass for some reason, then my second choice would be [i]Sunlite Premium II[/i] by Kalwall. SP2 is like fiberglass but doesn't lose light transmission over the years like fiberglass.

You could put glazing on the south wall 8'X8' or some variation like that 10x6 etc.  You could have the rocket mass heater situated so that the mass would be heated by the sun during the day. So when the sun goes down, your mass is already pre-heated by the sun.

If you are good at making a wooden deck you could make a deck 8'X8' (or 6x10) that you raise up and cover the glazing at night and drop down on sunny days. The deck could have insulation on the bottom to keep the cold from leaking in through the glass at night. The deck could also be white to reflect winter sun in during the winter. The deck could also be white on the bottom side to reflect summer sun away in the summer (also leave up for storms).

 
pollinator
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ronie wrote:
I think the oven on a kitchen range is lower for easy access while cooking and also spills could be a problem like you said.


The oven on a range is where it is so it can be all one unit. The height of the oven is therefore set by the height of the stove. Anyone who can afford it will put a separate oven higher up. Most brick oven instructions also suggest waist high or more.
 
                                    
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ronie wrote:
...
Glass is great for many reasons and fiberglass/polycarb is good for other reasons.
http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/SpaceHeating/Glazing.htm
The link gives some pros and cons of glazing.

If I was doing it, I would probably choose double glass.
If you don't want glass for some reason, then my second choice would be [i]Sunlite Premium II[/i] by Kalwall. SP2 is like fiberglass but doesn't lose light transmission over the years like fiberglass.
...


...thanks for your input on glazing (I too like double glass with atleast a two inch sealed gap between the panes and is what I had planned for the solar air heater).
 
                                    
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Len wrote:
The oven on a range is where it is so it can be all one unit. The height of the oven is therefore set by the height of the stove. Anyone who can afford it will put a separate oven higher up. Most brick oven instructions also suggest waist high or more.


aahhh, thanks for validating my instinctive placement of the solar cooker! 

...I just wanted to be able to look through thermal glass to look at the pot and/or to be able to crack the oven door to see inside...  just seemed easier to work at that height over all  -only downside I can think of is that a hot spill at that height might cover more body area.
 
ronie dee
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I don't get it... I have had microwave up high and it is awkward to get something hot and full out and down.

Like you said, if it spills, it will cover more of your body.

 
                                    
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ronie wrote:
I don't get it... I have had microwave up high and it is awkward to get something hot and full out and down.

Like you said, if it spills, it will cover more of your body.


No worries, sound like this one falls in the category of "it's a matter of religion" or "to each their own" rather than a technical matter of how hot, how cool, how many btu's....

...that's what good critical discussions bring to light  -thanks for your input!
 
Len Ovens
pollinator
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ronie wrote:
I don't get it... I have had microwave up high and it is awkward to get something hot and full out and down.


Not up high. Counter high... Having to bend over to get a turkey out of the oven is bad for your back. Kneeling means it is hard to move fast if there is fire and (at least in my case) is hard on my knees. I have used both ranges and "wall ovens"... I would take a wall oven any day. I am not sure if the drop down door or the side door is better.... except in a range I would want a drop down. A wall oven is also safer with children around, though harder for them to use if they want to bake. (my five year old boy likes to bake once in a while)

A shoulder high microwave is not good at all.... don't put anything heavy in it. Those microwave/rangehood things (besides costing too much) are a bad idea used to sell new homes by making the kitchen feel or seem bigger than it is.

Counter high... Here is another one. Our counter is too low for me, but ok or just a bit high for my Yf... and certainly too high for my children. The kitchen my Dad built had two counter heights. The one where the stove top was being lower (think, there is always a pot height to add) and the other side higher (standard height - Think the sink bottom is lower). I think that worked well. Counter high is hard to adjust if you are using premade millwork, but if you are making your own, it is well worth the time figuring out what is best for you and your family.

P.S. Have you ever seen a commercial full height bake oven? The door could be any height from knee high to above shoulder high, but they are about elbow high. They are meant to be used constantly in a safe, comfortable way.
 
                                    
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Len wrote:
Not up high. Counter high... Having to bend over to get a turkey out of the oven is bad for your back. Kneeling means it is hard to move fast if there is fire and (at least in my case) is hard on my knees.
...


-gald you mentioned that... in another 25 years, it'll start to hurt to get up and down, much less kneeling.


...
The one where the stove top was being lower (think, there is always a pot height to add) and the other side higher (standard height - Think the sink bottom is lower).
...


very cool insight!  -that's one of those things that seems invisible but makes the home feel like a place to live and get kitchen work done -because it's easy and natural to do that work.


P.S. Have you ever seen a commercial full height bake oven? The door could be any height from knee high to above shoulder high, but they are about elbow high. They are meant to be used constantly in a safe, comfortable way.


... now that you mention it, I have, so it must of staid with me  -guess it wasn't so instinctive after all, just remembered the height I liked the best!
 
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Where do I start?  Kudos to you in doing this and posting!  i'm in the last months of a 5 year building project on my 3rd passive/self-reliant digs...  This one is 'close-the-loop' and I built it from 80% salvaged/reused materials.  lotsa trips and waiting time with HfH Restore and other places.  I'm just gonna focus on 3 things here...

1. Water... rain collection needs to done as high up as possible... can do ground collection fed into a gutter in a tank+holding tank as high as possible - then you have free pressure all year... no pumps, nothing to fail.  Double valve everything... don't want one to fail and lose all your water.

2. Solar orientation... use a solar optimization program, plug in your coordinates, trees, house, etc. and it'll tell you what the optimal positions are for solar collectors and house overhangs if needed.  If you orient your home's south +west windows or wherever there's wide open blue skies... and help shade summer sun with overhangs... I use polysun demo and RET.  too much more here... but changing the orientation/angle of your house is only possible once.  Put as much thermal mass inside the house as you can to help smooth out temperature variations...

3. geothermal...use the thermal mass of the soil (also see PAHS thread under another thread on this site -search).  I wish i had put in a big wide deep trench on the SE side of my house and put in a 24" dia culvert to draw in cool air for summer cooling... and buried another one as far down as I could to extract 55F air in the dead of winter - for free...  some very cool stuff can be done with the soil and earth around you. 







 
Fred Winsol
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oh, I forgot... if you look into architectural design for seniors/elders and also for allergen free stuff... you'll be WAY ahead of the game. 

put nothing below 20"  cuz you'll have a hard time gettin down there later...

flat and soft surfaces collect dust... kinda hard to walk on vertical walls, but use hardscape on everything inside... throw rugs that can be cleaned, etc...  to increase IAQ (indr air quality).
 
                                    
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winsol3 wrote:
Where do I start?  Kudos to you in doing this and posting!  i'm in the last months of a 5 year building project on my 3rd passive/self-reliant digs... 


thanks for you post  -do you have a site where you've posted your work on this project you're just finishing?  ...stage by stage photos?


1. Water... rain collection needs to done as high up as possible... can do ground collection fed into a gutter in a tank+holding tank as high as possible - then you have free pressure all year.


Great to hear someone else say this  -I harp on this all the time (my tanks are high and inside btw)


2. ... I use polysun demo and RET....


I wasn't aware of these programs -thanks!


3. geothermal...use the thermal mass of the soil (also see PAHS thread under another thread on this site -search).  I wish i had put in a big wide deep trench on the SE side of my house and put in a 24" dia culvert to draw in cool air for summer cooling... and buried another one as far down as I could to extract 55F air in the dead of winter - for free... 


why the SE side?  wouldn't the north side be cooler?  ...  are you drawing cool air into the building?  .... or are you cooling the surrounding ground and therefore cooling the base near the building.?

.... if I have a vertical shaft down 20 feet (or more) 3 foot in diameter, I cap it, say at 15 feet, with two pipes, one for cold air to fall down (13 F or colder) and one pipe for the 55 F air to rise, are you saying, with the right pipe size, I can get the type of air velocity I get out of a solar air heater  -oooh this is gooood!

I know of a property which has a hill and an old vertical mineshaft....  hmmmmm....

I'd really like to see your tiny house version if you care to share!!!

 
Fred Winsol
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twobirdstone wrote:
thanks for you post  -do you have a site where you've posted your work on this project you're just finishing?   ...stage by stage photos?

why the SE side?  wouldn't the north side be cooler?  ...  are you drawing cool air into the building?  .... or are you cooling the surrounding ground and therefore cooling the base near the building.?

I know of a property which has a hill and an old vertical mineshaft....  hmmmmm....

I'd really like to see your tiny house version if you care to share!!!


I have some summary information on www.winsol33.wordpress.com  and a general powerpoint show for friends.. someday I'll make a website with the progress pictures on it.

My SE side is the end of a huge forest with very cool air... and the lay of the land is just easier in that direction.  Ur right in that N would be cooler year round.  just a site issue for me.

Mineshafts have safety and other issues, but present some 'cool'  opportunities.

I pretty much violate all the standard architectural/engineering design processes.  I just latch onto a concept, study it, understand it, get it into my heart and right brain, and then start sketching various ideas on napkins over meals... and then start on one corner of the project (like digging for the PAHS tiny house) and continually fine-tune and redesign as I am building... a very unorthodox process for most other builders/contractors. For this tiny PAHS house, I'm currently only at the site selection stage (Permie Principle #1) observation) and trying to figure out how to nudge nature's drainage away from the future house.  My big issue with the PAHS concept is how to move minimal dirt and still have the thermal barrier.  i abhor using heavy equipment - so most of it will be manual digging.
 
                                    
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winsol3 wrote:
I have some summary information on www.winsol33.wordpress.com   and a general powerpoint show for friends.. someday I'll make a website with the progress pictures on it.
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Thanks for your links....  ...it seems we have very similar goals: I'll keep an eye on your work!


...
I pretty much violate all the standard architectural/engineering design processes.  I just latch onto a concept, study it, understand it, get it into my heart and right brain, and then start sketching various ideas on napkins over meals... and then start on one corner of the project (like digging for the PAHS tiny house) and continually fine-tune and redesign as I am building... a very unorthodox process for most other builders/contractors.
...



since you use 80%, or should I say reuse, reclaimed material, experimenting this way isn't so expensive...  but dang, there are somethings that are really hard to undo...

...I build small models or smaller, less complex projects for other people which helps me study the actual success of an idea, look at  what other people do succeed at (and the level of their success), and use the simple concepts (like thermosiphon and convection) to make adaptations when I can get more performance.



...
For this tiny PAHS house, I'm currently only at the site selection stage (Permie Principle #1) observation) and trying to figure out how to nudge nature's drainage away from the future house.  My big issue with the PAHS concept is how to move minimal dirt and still have the thermal barrier.  i abhor using heavy equipment - so most of it will be manual digging.
...



yep, heavy equipment from cradle to grave, cause alot of death and soil compaction  -but to do in one day what would take me weeks by myself...  well, it's a hard choice to do it by hand. -if you eat right while you do it, your woman won't complain in the physical condition department  

...it would be nice to see what the couple at velacreations have in their brains on this topic of small sufficient buildings -it seems they have such a depth of experience and numerous builds behind them ...I wonder if they've ever built a single home with all the systems you and I've covered...  it's a very complex thing you and I are shooting for!

good luck and thanks for your input

 
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