Mike Cantrell wrote:I get the impression there might be a useful number of rigorous studies on:
Turf roofs/green roofs/living roofs ( there are some enormous commercial installations out there).
The effect of earth walls on indoor humidity. (Clay plaster, CEB, adobe, loam, cob, rammed earth, pisé de terre.)
Robert Bizzarro wrote:I live in the Interior of Alaska and Log really is the only7 way to go up here. Also watch out for Perma-frost. The reason why you see so many cabins built up on poles is so the ground under it stays frozen year round. It ain't no fun watching all your hard work and dreams sink into the ground. That being said, if you can find the right piece of ground I think building an earth ship, or underground house makes a lot of sense up here. Why stick a house two stories up into -40° air? If you can build snug down into the earth I'd do that.
We live off-grid with Solar Panels and a Genny. So I'm here to tell ya it can be done. No much Solar this time of the year, but it balances out in the summer. We hardly run the genny from May through August.
It's perfect because when you need a fridge and freezer there is plenty of sun to power them, when winter comes around and there isn't much sun to power them it's all good because the place is frozen. We just put up a few cupboards outside to store our food in during the winter and Bob's you Uncle......
I'd love to know more about how earth bags would work in a cold climate as well! The cob/straw hybrid looks very interesting as well, do you think that that would solve the issue of the bales molding? And if that would be significantly warmer than just cob or straw alone? Thank you so much for your information!
Daniel Ray wrote:I agree with Dan on the locally sourced material. I've never built log structures so I am unaware what the "R" or "U" value is of such a structure. If you can find straw that is locally sourced and at a reasonable price, that is your best bet for cold climate natural building. Also, Cob Cottage Company in Oregon is really pushing interest in balecob hybrid building as those materials work extremely well together. You get both the huge insulation of bales with the heat retention of cob. Don't discount using a variety of techniques for all of their benefits. If you are not in an area of Alaska that has milder winters, cob is not really a great option. I just posted on my blog (see the hyperlink in my signature) on cold climate cob. While cob can work well, it definitely isn't as good of an option as log, balecob, or plain old bale building.
Hi there! I'm looking into building in Homer right now or possibly in the Mat-Su valley. I'm currently in the valley but feel like building codes will be an issue here.
Mike Jay wrote:Approximately where in Alaska are you looking to build? I'm sure those techniques are suitable for some places (or maybe all) in Alaska but if you can narrow the location down that may help.