Allan Laal

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since Oct 02, 2011
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Recent posts by Allan Laal

how much propane does a heated insulated water tank usually consume?
3 years ago
this "documentary" is just absolutist vegan propaganda

this review covers it well:
4 years ago
one of my plans for the wet areas in my forest around the river is planting energy willow (namely Salix Viminalis) for heating energy
5 years ago

Jay C. White Cloud wrote: I would also point out that most vernacular architecture built on "freezing ground" or permafrost is facilitated "on top," in some form of "rafting modality," and not into the frozen ground...if that was your main point...we are in complete agreement as trying to build "below grade" in these condition (though very doable) is often not the easiest, nor the most ergonomic logistically or tangibly.

if you mean a monolithic slab or other monolithic structure that does not deflect when the ground beneath it deflects, then I agree: you can dismiss a deep foundation. The usual concrete slabs poured around here are 7-10cm thick and would deflect heavily if it would not be supported on a deep foundation below the frost line - so I imagine a non-deflecting monolithic concrete slab would be much thicker.

As a matter of fact there is also a small proof-of-concept straw bale house in the same Lilleoru eco village built on a steel plate, which has no foundations and has not experienced any breakage in the clay plaster (yet).

just for info: The bedrock is quite shallow in most of Southern Finland (granite) and Northern Estonia (lime, sometimes bad quality)

disclaimer: I am just a hobbyist interested in all things (structural) engineering
5 years ago

Jay C. White Cloud wrote:Hello Niklas, et al,

You do not have to dig a foundation into the ground...

This is more an "architectural habit" and/or social building normative culture than a "design mandate." Most architecture in the world either "sites" on its building site and then the next most common type is "post in ground," or a combination of the two forms. The concept of "frost heave" is also a misnomer very often. The soils types have as much (probably more) to do with "heaving" than the "freezing process." Bentonite clays, for example, expand with way more force than freezing water can and this effect can take place in summer or winter. Ice does expand, yet it must have something to expand accumulated "frost heave."

So what ever system you employ...have good drainage designed into the system, and know/understand you soil types.



no offence to Jay, but please do not follow this advice!
in Scandinavia the ground freezes 100-180cm every winter and building a house on a foundation lower than that will result in a cracked wall because the ground will shift each year, especially on clay soils. Please come and see the straw bale clay blastered house built on low post foundations in Lilleoru eco-village in Estonia
5 years ago
hello/moi from Estonia (the southern neighbours of Finland).

The local eco building expert here said that a clay (cob or cordwood) wall with the same U-value as a 40cm thick (+plasters) strawbale wall would be 120cm thick!

its also damn cold in Estonia and I recommend straw bale or reed bale
5 years ago
cool, can you post more pictures of the food forest?
I am interested in the tree spacing, water systems (swales, ponds) and initial establishment
5 years ago
is it a food forest? do you have pictures?
I am trying to map all the established food forests near Estonia to get some inspiration
5 years ago
Martin Crawfords forest garden in Devon, UK
Sepp Holzers farm in Austria
5 years ago