"The insulation is something I am still trying to figure out. For the non-earth sheltered portions of the walls above the windows and door I can install wood on the other side of the posts, leaving a cavity that can be filled with some type of soft insulation material like wool or commercial denim insulation. I'd like to avoid purchasing any commercial products for obvious reasons, so I have thought about using wood chips or straw, but I would have to make sure it was completely sealed up to keep the critters out. For the earth sheltered portions, I am considering installing an insulation watershed umbrella as described by John Hait in his PAHS book. However, he uses hard foam insulation which is out of the question here at the Lab, so I have to figure out how to make some sort of natural replacement that wont be compressed under the weight of the earth. Paul uses wood chips in the Wofati umbrellas, but I feel like they will lose much of their insulating value once they are compressed. So I am searching for alternatives, perhaps I will start a thread about it."
Hi Jesse, I have been inspired by watching you build your own house - just watched your latest video and the house looks so nice - great going! I am newly interested in permaculture, and this is the first time I've posted so I hope I don't sound like an idiot. People where I live (northern Minnesota) use flax straw to insulate things when they don't want critter problems because they say it's so scratchy that mice and critters don't like it (you probably knew that, but just in case, wanted to share it with you).