[Greenbuilding] Heat pump vs radiant

Gennaro Brooks-Church - Eco Brooklyn info at ecobrooklyn.com
Fri Jul 26 21:05:52 MDT 2013

Hello Alan,
Thanks for your poetic comments. Earthships in NY do need insulation on the
outside of the thermal mass. They don't always need heating or cooling but
in this case the client is requesting a deeper design than the Earthship
mechanics can handle, thus the need for supplemental heating and cooling.
Humidity and Earthships in NY is still an ongoing experiment. The typical
Earthship earth tube cooling adds to this problem, a problem PH has also
Considering the building will need heating and cooling support, as well as
considerable dehumidification, I am leaning towards the mini-split options.
I don't feel ERV or HRV remove sufficient humidity to be counted on. But
since this is new construction I was interested in people's opinions on
radiant or geothermal. Both are suited for the site given the large area of
available land.
This really isn't a thread on earthship, it is more an attempt for get
feedback on the pros and con's of ecological HVAC options given the
building is new construction in an area with lots of land. Let me clarify -
the site is a horse paddock so it is no crime to dig.

Gennaro Brooks-Church
Director, Eco Brooklyn Inc.
Cell: 1 347 244 3016 USA
22 2nd St; Brooklyn, NY 11231

On Fri, Jul 26, 2013 at 5:40 PM, Alan Abrams <alan at abramsdesignbuild.com>wrote:

> Genarro--
> for the past day I have been trying to assimilate three concepts:  passive
> house, earthship, and new york.  I am able to imagine any pair together,
> but I am having difficulty fitting all three between my ears at one time.
> It's because I can't imagine a more difficult wall system to adapt to high
> levels of insulation, air tightness, and indoor air quality than earth
> packed tires--and that, in a demanding climate.
> by the same token, I stayed in a classic Michael Reynolds earthship B&B a
> few years ago.  The ship had touched down in the high desert west of Taos.
>  It was late October, and I watched as the snow line crept down the slopes
> of nearby Sangre de Cristos over the course of the week.  We were just
> getting touched with frost in the morning, but the interior of the
> ship--completely uninsulated--was cozy warm.  The Dobsons claimed that
> little if any supplemental heat was required throughout the winter.  It
> should be noted that the walls, which undulated as the adobe plaster wove
> its way over the different sized tires, was uniquely beautiful.  The
> surface was punctuated by pinpoints of light from countless wine bottles
> embedded in the walls (Professor Dobson had a prodigious capacity for wine
> himself, as we learned during the evenings he shared with us).
> but southwestern sun at 7000' above sea level is a different star than the
> one that shines east of the Appalachians.  The point being, I think there
> is something to be said for most any mass wall approach where there is
> sufficient insolation--but that to try to use approach here--particularly a
> tire wall system--seems on the face of it like putting socks on a rooster.
> More generally, it is to suggest that an esoteric approach works best in a
> functional context.  But I know you are a careful thinker, and must have
> considered all this already.  So I am interested in learning more about
> your rationale.
> AA
> I
> On Thu, Jul 25, 2013 at 2:59 PM, Gennaro Brooks-Church - Eco Brooklyn <
> info at ecobrooklyn.com> wrote:
>> It is being built on a horse farm so we will not be invading any natural
>> habitats. Just farmed fields.
>> Gennaro Brooks-Church
>> Director, Eco Brooklyn Inc.
>> Cell: 1 347 244 3016 USA
>> www.EcoBrooklyn.com
>> 22 2nd St; Brooklyn, NY 11231
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