[Greenbuilding] Heat pump vs radiant

Alan Abrams alan at abramsdesignbuild.com
Sat Jul 27 06:07:24 MDT 2013


well, here's a thought (and a flip flop from my initial reaction); that the
huge volume of soil stockpiled in the tires (and used as interior wall
finish?) could be a hygrometric flywheel.  A WUFI analysis could predict
whether the net capacity of the soil was sufficient to absorb water vapor
over the course of the summer, and then dry back out over the winter.  you
could test various scenarios based on smart membranes in different
locations in the wall assembly, as well as the effects of an ERV in summer
and winter.  (in winter, an ERV is effectively a dehumidifier).  Even
different soil types could affect performance.

This is not to suggest that you wouldn't need *some*  mechanical
dehumidification in summer, but that the latent load might be reduced by
the soil.

AA



On Fri, Jul 26, 2013 at 11:05 PM, Gennaro Brooks-Church - Eco Brooklyn <
info at ecobrooklyn.com> wrote:

> 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
> had.
> 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
> www.EcoBrooklyn.com
> 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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>
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-- 
Alan Abrams*
**certified professional building designer, AIBD
certified passive house consultant, PHIUS*
*certified passive house builder, PHIUS**
*Abrams Design Build LLC
*sustainable design for intentional living*
cell     202-437-8583
alan at abramsdesignbuild.com
www.abramsdesignbuild.com
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