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Earthbags Earthbermed Water Storage  RSS feed

 
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I'm putting together a plan to build an earthbag passive solar house in Northern New Mexico. My plan is to use two rows using earthbag and scoria on the outside. I would like to do earthbermed but it concerns me that might be creating more work to make the roof strong enough. I could use vigas but that's a lot of expensive wood. Maybe earth bermed is not needed. My hope is to be visually low profile from the north side where berm would be.

My floor plan currently is a long building with south facing glass and an area to absorb sunlight in the floor. My question is, why not build the cistern below this greenhouse area? Why put it in the berm like earthships? I would like to do this below grade cistern with earthbags of scoria or gravel with a magnesium oxide cement. Not sure how long that water barrier would last, so making it assebile for repairs might be needed.

My next concern is the roof. If I'm going earthbermed or not I need to consider the options on low budget. Labor time is not an issue, I have time. It needs to collect water.

I'm also interested in how deep to make a passive solar house. I'm only guesstimating that you wouldn't want to go too far back due to loss of efficiency in thermal mass doing it's job being a shaded area.

Another issue is that I need to build slow. How difficult is tarping?

If I left out something vital let me know.
 
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Bamboo stalk roofing? Could split stalks for water collection.
 
Brad Horner
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Stephanie NewComer wrote:Bamboo stalk roofing? Could split stalks for water collection.


It gets below freezing here and even down to 0 fahrenheit. I like the renewable resource but I'm looking for something I can insulate and a plus would be local material. Ty
 
gardener
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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Where on planet earth are you located?
You can add the important information that people need to know in order to give you best fit advice or suggestions in your My Profile area (look at mine for an example).
This way you only have to post your questions and people will know where on the planet you are and what growing/ other conditions apply to your situation.

Redhawk
 
Brad Horner
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:Where on planet earth are you located?
You can add the important information that people need to know in order to give you best fit advice or suggestions in your My Profile area (look at mine for an example).
This way you only have to post your questions and people will know where on the planet you are and what growing/ other conditions apply to your situation.

Redhawk


I said Northern New Mexico.
 
pollinator
Posts: 2111
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
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S Bengi
pollinator
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Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
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forest garden solar
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The gutter in the front will collect rain from 583sqft (11ft x 53ft). "greenhouse roof/window section"

I like the idea of building a cistern to the side of the house, insulate it and then cover with dirt, you can think  of it as building and additional bedroom to on of the existing ones and then filling it with water. Or you could have it not attached. Just a completely separate structure.

You could also just think of it as a 1000gallon septic tank and bury it in the ground below the frost line.

You could also build a separate structure (huge carport) to capture more rainwater. I wonder if you will do solar panels. Maybe you could capture the water from those.
 
Brad Horner
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Thank you. That side view really is what I was picturing but this has the detailed view I needed. I have heard of buttressing with earthbags and would consider it but I would like to do a second wall of scoria bags tied to the earthbags. Buttressing might be Overkill but I'm of the mindset of overengineering. I'm near a a scoria mine so atm I'm focused on utilizing that resource.

The side view is helping me see what I needed to. It's pretty much exactly how I pictured it but with more clarity. The floor plan is almost same as what I sketched up. The difference being bathroom in back. I was considering an all bottle cob walled bathroom where sun comes in. Would take valuable space but showers would be great.
I'm alone so 1 bedroom and one multi purpose room on opposite side is good. It can be turned in to anything later.

I'll think about water being in a detached space. I might need to since I think there is a limit to length of an unbutressed earthbag wall anyway and I can make the house only so long without the wall having shear problems? I don't know but they will be double walls. I would like to go long enough to fit both bedrooms on the ends.

Two more things. One, I have idea of mostly cob kitchen counter spanning the width of where sun will hit, for thermal mass at expense of cupboard space below. The other thing is also experimental, at least for me. I would consider doing a magnesium oxide cement roof with gutters formed to roof. (MgO). I wanted to order some to experiment with but I'm only seeing India and China selling this by a ton sized order.

Ty for the drawings.
 
Brad Horner
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The windows in drawing are allowing more solar gain than I have planned for. I have been looking at something like 30 deg.
 
S Bengi
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Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
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Currently both the greenhouse floor and the wall are 9ft. If you change the angle to just 30 degree. the floor of the green house will be cut reduced by more than 50%, not too sure how you are going to be able to walk and grow in such a tiny space. Why do you want to reduce the angle to such a degree.

And yes you can turn that bedroom closet into a bathroom.

Yes you can have a cob wall and also cob plaster and even earthen floor too. But their will be moisture so .....

If you look at the design it has earth bag and then it has insulation, so really it has two wall. You can use whatever type of insulation that you like. Bother for the wall and for the ceiling. For the floor insulation I would be a bit more picky.

And yes you can stabilize the earth with cement/etc but you also don't even have to.

 
Brad Horner
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https://www.google.com/amp/s/sailingtheearth.wordpress.com/2014/07/31/glass-angle/amp/
That link is what I'm going off of. I said wrong. 30 degrees is angle of sun here at winter solstice. The window angle is 60-70 degrees and letting more sun in could start heating things up too much is my thinking at the moment.
 
S Bengi
pollinator
Posts: 2111
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
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forest garden solar
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That glass/greenhouse window is at the angle that you mentioned. So you are golden.
Also it will not get too hot in the winter and you can just add more thermal storage in the greenhouse.
You can also just open the greenhouse top window and greenhouse bottom window or door, thus draft.
Also if you only open the greenhouse top window and a low window in the house, summer draft, natural ventilation.
 
S Bengi
pollinator
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Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
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In terms of water storage, what size are you thinking?
Why did you select that size?
Will you get a well/truck water in?
How much rain do you get per year and per month.
How much storage do you need to cover usage between longest period between good rain?

If you have a salty well you can still use cruising ship, RO/filter to make it drinkable. and the extra can be used laundry/toilet.
 
Brad Horner
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S Bengi wrote:In terms of water storage, what size are you thinking?
Why did you select that size?
Will you get a well/truck water in?
How much rain do you get per year and per month.
How much storage do you need to cover usage between longest period between good rain?

If you have a salty well you can still use cruising ship, RO/filter to make it drinkable. and the extra can be used laundry/toilet.


We get something like 15" of rain or less. I can survive on water tank from my truck. I go to a community well. The more water I catchment that I create the more I will be improving my quality of life with shower, washing machine and the ability to work on my soil and grow trees will use a lot of water. I just want as much as I can afford to build and then add other cisterns in the future. Wells would need to go more than 600 feet. I'm not ever doing that here.

I heard of this magnesium Oxide cement that sounds great for cisterns but I can't buy it in the USA I guess.
 
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