Manel Horta wrote:I've been struggling with this question for years. I thought the answer would come to me as i would get more wise and engaged with a permie lifestyle, but it still didn't :p
John Weiland wrote:Kind of a long video but you can scroll through to find the good bits. About the "cost of doing business", including a discussion of 'money', from a human-powered versus fossil-fuel perspective:
Ann Torrence wrote:Mark,
Our neighbors did exactly what you propose, mostly with their own four hands. Solar radiant floors, masonry heater from a kit. They also did a rammed earth floor in part of the house, straw bale walls and lived to tell about it. Now they've moved in and are thrilled with their home. Especially its minimal energy costs.
You said one or two masonry heaters - is the plan for the floor reinforced in those areas?
I hope you will start a project thread about your building process.
Terry Ruth wrote:I'm a little confused you say you have had the engineering done for several years but you are soliciting for arguments against it or to validate it? Please post the Engineering for the HR system so I can review the analysis? There are CFD models that should have been created, or hand calculations? Then I would have spec'ed out every detail that you should not deviate from. Can you post the HR drawing too, to fully understand the entire system we need to know the wall and roof structure as well. You just cannot put a slab configuration out here and expect to get the proper advice on heat transfers/capacities, etc, especially. I think Jay gave you sound chemical advice you take or leave. There is no isolating, the dynamics in a home are many and act as a system....really no different than other dynamic structures (aircraft, auto, watercraft, etc....)
Ashley Reyson wrote:This is a lovely discussion!
Karen, thanks for extending my list of gotchas and suggestions with a few that didn't occur to me to mention. I agree, especially about it being a three person job! The challenge of offering such suggestions is that once you learn to do a thing it's easy to become unconscious of where the potential challenges are.
Jay, I don't feel unduly poked by your comments. As I said, the home I built 20 years ago wasn't nearly as unconventional as I'd build today... and most of the changes relate to my desire to try more natural methods and materials. If I'm ready for the next building project in a couple years as I plan, I'll probably chat with you further about integrating wonderful things like hydronic heating (and cooling) with traditional techniques.
Now, I'm going to expand the topic away from materials and techniques, to how we actually help the OP. In doing so, I'm going to reference the Wheaton Eco Scale.
Mark came here looking for confidence and tips on his first hydronic install. He indicated that he has a plan ready to go and approved by the local department of making you do things their way. He has some DIY experience, but is neither a full time builder nor a natural building expert. It sounds like he's surfing the edge between rapid learning and overwhelm... not necessarily looking for a pile of additional things to learn ASAP unless they're essential. If I were Mark in this situation, I'd probably be looking for help with my specific question rather than looking for recommendations to scrap the design. (And I'm not Mark, so I might be totally off.)
So how do we help Mark?
Help is only help if it's within someone's ability to receive it. I suspect, Jay, that you're a couple notches ahead of me on the Wheaton Eco Scale with respect to natural building. That means I think I can learn tons from you and would love to hang out and pick your brain. I suspect that you're quite a few notches ahead of Mark, which Paul suggests guarantees he'll see you as insane. Hey, great minds suffer than challenge often.
Then again, perhaps Mark is right there with you Jay. Perhaps you just saved him from implementing a design he'll regret, and gave him confidence to take a step farther ahead even though he's already pushing the limits of his local building community. It takes courage to be first to do something strange in your locale, especially when your funding it with a house sized budget.
So how do we help Mark? We invite Mark to tell us how far he wants to push the envelope, then we answer within his ability to use the information.
Go ahead Mark, tell us how we can help. Jay has far more knowledge of natural building than I do and more important, he actually has experience with it. If you want to go there, he's a far better source than me.
Until Mark replies with clarity on whether we're pushing his limits on the Wheaton Eco Scale, I suspect that our disagreements about the rest of the issues would be better served in another thread or two. A couple subjects come to mind: a) "In-mass hydronic heating with natural building techniques", b) "Modern and Natural Solutions to Ecological Problems of Concrete". I don't know that I have tons to contribute to those threads, but I'd love to read them and I'll sure bring questions!
Best regards, and thanks for bringing your passion!