Cindee Karns

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since Apr 30, 2010
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Recent posts by Cindee Karns

We live in a Bioshelter in Alaska. We have an expensive HRV unit that pulls the moisture out of the house so our clothes aren't moldy! We are buried into the side of the mountain so our temp. doesn't get below 38 degrees even if it's -20 outside. We have a masonry stove that heats the core of the house. This house won a national award in 1987 and most people (even in Alaska) don't know about it. It IS illegal because we don't have a well or a septic and recycle all of our waste water. The only thing that leaves the house is urine and that leaves via the garden in the summer. Check out our website: http://alaskanecoescapepermaculturecenter.wordpress.com/bioshelter/ Check out our blog here: http://bioshelter.blogspot.com/ I do virtual tours via SKYPE for $75 that you could schedule if you like. It's sometimes easier that way to answer all of the questions. You can also google Alaskan bioshelter for all of our You Tube videos that are out there. Note: we DO love having green all year around in this cold climate. The 49th Estate

OOPS This was supposed to go in the bioshelter section and I don't know how to move it!
6 years ago
We live in a Bioshelter that collects rainwater from 2 roof drains and runs it through our solarium sand/gravel filter before it goes into the cisten. Check it out here: https://alaskanecoescapepermaculturecenter.wordpress.com

It was built and got a national award in 1985/87. We bought it in 2008 and this summer the roof started leaking. After much research, we found what the builder originally put on the roof for safe drinking water. Here's the link: http://www.cimindustries.com/products/cim-product/cim-1061/

It's spendy, but when it comes to safe water..... gotta have it.


6 years ago
We are zone 3 or 4 in Anchorage, so it looks like you can grow more than we can. How long is your growing season? That might be the same. I would like to connect with you!
6 years ago
Thanks, Rob, for answering. We are in Zone 2 at a pretty high elevation in the mountains above Anchorage. I know that R19 isn't going to cut it, however, if it has a lot of airflow, I wouldn't have to spend all the money I am right now on the electric HRV unit to move air in and out of our very tight house now. I like the idea of putting an air space in the middle---cool idea. Or maybe straw/clay in the middle. That breathes.

I will share your responses with folks up here, so that maybe someone will try it out and do the research.
7 years ago
I've always been interested in cord wood, but have heard it just doesn't do well in cold temperatures. (-20 F.) Does it lose more heat than a log cabin because of the material between the wood? I guess I should really read Rob's book.

7 years ago
Hey Cecil!

We DO have one in the works for fall and in PALMER!! Perhaps at the Kellog Farm. But the pieces aren't all together yet, so I can't advertise. Send me your contact info @ alaskanecoescape@yahoo.com and I'll keep you in the loop!

SO GLAD TO MEET YOU!

Cindee Karns
7 years ago
I, too, would like to hear what Diane says to this. I get the whole tipping point idea, but somewhere deep down there's a principle that we need to think about: "Use and Value Diversity – “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket” Diversity reduces vulnerability to a variety of threats and takes advantage of the unique nature of the environment in which it resides."
7 years ago
Hi, Diane. Welcome! I'm looking forward to your input here!
7 years ago
Welcome, Looby. It's so funny how, just what you are thinking about, turns up in your in-box the same day! In this case it was building out zones for people to use as a model. I'm thinking that's what your book is about. Seriously, I can't wait to read your book and use it! Looking forward to conversations about it.
7 years ago
Every situation is different and there are different needs, so I don't want to say that our house is THE answer, it just might give you some ideas for what you might want to do.

The bioshelter was built in 1985, so the system has been working for all of these years. Well, the first 10 years the builder did a lot of adjustments and modifications.

The water is caught on the roof with 2 drains that gravity flow down into the solarium which is a constructed wetlands. It's gravity feed mostly into the 5,000 gal water cistern. We DO run it through a UV light before it gets pumped into the cistern. We also have a carbon and sediment filter it runs through on the way to the faucets.

You can see photos/videos on my web site: https://sites.google.com/site/alaskanecoescapeedu/

We also do SKYPE tours of the house for $75.00 so that folks can ask specific questions about how it all works. Or you can email me with questions: alaskanecoescape@yahoo.com
7 years ago