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UnMeilleurReve
Dirt-Under-The-Nails Hippy


Joined: 29 Apr 2008
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Location: Las Vegas

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I think we're *severely* overthinking this. For example, how many houses can go days, or even weeks, without having doors or windows opened and running a swamp-cooler to circulate air and keep a fairly stable temperature? On the same train of thought, what about air-conditioned houses with weather-sealed doors and windows that are specifically made to prevent houses from being drafty (which is airflow).

The main problem I see us facing underground is fungus, mold, etc., which is only a problem if we can't keep dry and if water or air stagnate. Breathing, moving, and keeping fans should serve us very well. Look at the Chu Ci tunnels in Vietnam. Hell, those were just clay and they look very dry!
Sun Jun 29, 2008 4:08 am View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
vov35
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Joined: 24 Apr 2008
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HOLY CRAP LETS DO IT. once we get a fucking nuclear reactor to power it...

^^^ that was about the wind tunel...


but if we have airflow, its a better chance that we won't have these problems. plus, according to ... forgot who the hell said it ... the water table is pretty high up.

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Mon Jun 30, 2008 1:51 pm View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail AIM Address
UnMeilleurReve
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Joined: 29 Apr 2008
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Location: Las Vegas

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http://www.motherearthnews.com/Gr...-02-01/Earth-Sheltered-Homes.aspx

Found earth sheltered. Now to find under-the-dirt kinds...

And there they are!

"A living roof consists of soil and plants on top of a wooden or steel-reinforced concrete roof. The three most important considerations when designing a living roof are providing adequate support, waterproofing and proper drainage."

Looks like we're looking at a lot of reinforcing and a lot of concrete.

We also might want to call the "American Underground Construction Association" or some similar company mentioned in the article.

"The completely underground home built around an atrium or courtyard is perfect for those who want to blend unobtrusively with the landscape, and is well-matched for flatter sites that have permeable, well-drained soils and no threat of groundwater intrusion caused by a high water table. To ensure adequate lighting, rooms are built around a sunken courtyard. For more uniform lighting, special skylights, called lightwells, may be installed to deliver light to the backs of rooms. Visitors and occupants enter via a stairway that descends into the atrium. Most atria are paved or filled with decorative rock. Plants may be grown in the atrium, but because this space receives very' little direct sunlight, they tend to fare poorly.

Earth-sheltered homes come with their own set of special considerations. One of them is radon, a colorless, odorless radioactive gas produced by naturally occurring uranium in the Earth's crust.

Check radon levels in the soil before you build. Purchase a land radon test kit or use a regular indoor radon test kit, which is placed on a couple of bricks, then covered with a bucket and removed after an appropriate period, as stated in the instructions. Although radon can be remediated, it's good to know if the gas is there so you can install an effective radon removal system.

A good site with natural drainage also requires permeable soils. The most permeable soils are granular and consist of a fair amount of sand or gravel. The worst draining soils have a high clay content, and expand and contract as moisture levels fluctuate. Perform percolation tests on the site's soil to determine its permeability.

Build above the water table, the upper limit of the groundwater. Building below the water table, while possible, increases the likelihood of leakage. In wetter climates, install drainage systems to move water away from the house. French drains, which consist of porous, 4-inch-diameter pipes covered with filter cloth and located in a bed of 3/4-inch crushed rock along the building's perimeter, work well.

Water has a curious way of finding any overlooked nook or cranny in a building, so waterproof the walls and the roof well. Even a tiny hole can let in water, wreaking havoc over time. Finding and repairing a leak can be difficult and costly, requiring removal of large quantities of dirt. Hedge your bets and waterproof, waterproof, waterproof. Earth Sheltered Technology of Mankato, Minnesota, uses a triple-layered waterproofing system that's backed by a lifetime warranty against leakage. A primary layer of dry bentonite clay is covered by heavy polyethylene sheeting, which is then capped with an oversized, heavy pool liner. Terra-Dome paints buytl rubber onto its concrete dome roofs, then applies a product called Paraseal (bentonite clay applied to a plastic sheet) over the most leak-likely areas. On my wooden roof, I used Bituthene sheeting covered by a half-inch layer of foam to protect it during backfilling.

Earth Sheltered Technology installs 3 inches of rigid polystyrene foam insulation over vertical walls and 6 inches over the roof, covered with 3 or more feet of earth. Terra-Dome places 2 inches of rigid polystyrene foam over the dome, which is typically 3 to 7 feet below grade; 1 inch of rigid foam over the back walls; and 2 to 3 inches over any exposed concrete, which is then typically stuccoed or covered with brick.

To further diminish heat loss and trap heat around the structure, I installed wing insulation rigid foam insulation that is buried 18 inches below the surface and extends 2 to 4 feet horizontally from the walls. I placed insulation over a 6-inch layer of crushed granite to keep the area around my walls dry. As an added precaution, I also constructed plastic-lined and rock-filled drainage ditches on the surface to prevent water from percolating down from the surface. The drier the soil, the lower the heat loss.

For optimal winter comfort, orient your home to the south to take advantage of the low-angled winter sun and include the proper amounts of glass and thermal mass in your design (see "Build a Solar Home and Let the Sunshine In," August/September 2002). In many climates, passive-solar heat can serve most of your heating needs; only a small backup heating system (such as a woodstove) may be needed for heat when the clouds roll in."

Dude! I saw them install rock-filled irrigation ditches at my college! They did it for a tennis court that they replaced because water-damage broke the asphalt. [/url]
Fri Aug 08, 2008 12:48 pm View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
UnMeilleurReve
Dirt-Under-The-Nails Hippy


Joined: 29 Apr 2008
Posts: 542


Location: Las Vegas

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http://www.motherearthnews.com/Green-Homes/Add-Natural-Light.aspx

Lighting problems solved!!!

http://www.motherearthnews.com/Gr...-02-01/Debt-free-Home.aspx?page=3

And it might be possible to do it without shit-tons of expensive contractors.
Fri Aug 08, 2008 1:06 pm View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
vov35
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Joined: 24 Apr 2008
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the top one is good in addition to electric lighting. ( unless we want a fire, which i assume we dont)

i like how they use fire for heat, but do we have a reasonable source of wood for example?

How do we plan on heating anyway? combustion or electric (in addition to passive solar) ?

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Sat Aug 09, 2008 4:49 pm View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail AIM Address
glorfon
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Joined: 23 Apr 2008
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Corn cobs for fuel.

For heating.  Active solar heating
Sat Aug 09, 2008 10:11 pm View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
vov35
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Joined: 24 Apr 2008
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What do you mean by active solar heating?
focusing sunlight, or what?

_________________
I have an american dream--
...but it invovles black masks and gasoline
Sun Aug 10, 2008 4:38 pm View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail AIM Address
UnMeilleurReve
Dirt-Under-The-Nails Hippy


Joined: 29 Apr 2008
Posts: 542


Location: Las Vegas

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I think he means having access to panels to allow or disallow sunlight, probably in addition to lenses and mirrors.

And I think that, at this point, it seems like fireplaces are a must. As for firewood, well, hopefully we can figure something out.
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glorfon
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Joined: 23 Apr 2008
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Active solar heating.

Basically it's a little box that's glass on one side and has a bunch of tubes full of water running through it.  Those tubes then connect to either a radiator in the wall or tubes that weave trough the floor.

Here's a better explanation http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_hot_water
Sun Aug 10, 2008 10:45 pm View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
vov35
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Joined: 24 Apr 2008
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Ok, thats great. all we needed to know :p



_________________
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...but it invovles black masks and gasoline
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