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Off The Grid

I'm going to live off-grid. Read my blog and learn how to do it yourself!

Garbage warrior

This week I watched the “Garbage warrior”, a film about american architect, Mike Reynolds. This documentary shows several buildings and subdivisions built by Reynolds, starting with the Thumb House, and the Earthship, of course.

This film was highly motivating and inspiring for me. I am wondering if I could add some tires with rammed earth to my off-grid ideas (this could be a good idea for my greenhouse). I was a bit dissapointed that there was not much technical details, but it is still worth viewing. (more…)

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  • Passive solar: interior thermal mass

    Thermal mass on the interior of the building is able to store heat or cold, and then slowly release it back out to the surrounding air. Heat from a sunny winter day as well as the coolness of a summer night can be retained inside the insulated shell of the exterior walls if the building incorporates adequate thermal mass. Thermal mass is needed to prevent daytime overheating of the structure and to stabilize its ambient temperatures through nights and periods of cloudy weather.  The more mass is available, the more stable the interior temperature.  Also, the more directly the winter sun hits the mass, the higher the solar heat gain.

    Floors can provide a good source of mass. Concrete, brick, flagstone, or other masonry materials work especially well.  Any of these can be layered over with cork — an organic material that insulates well, and has the advantage of creating a softer surface underfoot.  Earth floors can be used, but do not perform as well.  Insulating beneath the floor helps to return the heat gains to the interior of the building more quickly.  Interior walls and houses are often framed with wood, but if built out of masonry materials such as rock or adobe, these can provide excellent mass, especially those interior walls hit directly by the sun. Concrete poured between studs is a quick way to add mass. (more…)

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