[Greenbuilding] Earthship in New York

Gennaro Brooks-Church - Eco Brooklyn info at ecobrooklyn.com
Sat Jul 27 09:16:49 MDT 2013


Ross' points about PH and earthships are partly correct, but completely
incorrect for this job.

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


On Sat, Jul 27, 2013 at 11:04 AM, Clarke Olsen <colsen at fairpoint.net> wrote:

> True, true; I've always felt that straw-bale was 3D stone soup.
>     Clarke Olsen
> clarkeolsendesign.com
> 373 route 203
> Spencertown, NY 12165
> USA
> 518-392-4640
> colsen at taconic.net
>
> On Jul 27, 2013, at 10:19 AM, John Salmen wrote:
>
> I liked Ross’s post. In fact I thought it was an extremely well written,
> well informed critique – I read it twice admiring the writing. I especially
> liked the comment about bottles, pop cans and tires having risen above the
> garbage pile in terms of value (also my opinion on cellulose). I also
> appreciated the humour of the ‘magical effect’ comment as I think the peter
> pan syndrome has always been an aspect of the alternative building
> movement. I view that as an accurate critical observation not an opinion.
> There are a lot of mouldering piles of half completed earthships out there
> as a testament.****
> ** **
>  *To:* Green Building
> *Subject:* Re: [Greenbuilding] Earthship in New York****
>
> On Fri, Jul 26, 2013 at 7:45 PM, Ross Elliott <relliott at homesol.ca> wrote:
> ****
> Not to rain on your parade Genarro, but "Earthship" and "Passive House" are
> rather contradictory terms, at least in New York's climate. The insulation
> values needed to reach Passive House are a long way off from dirt packed
> tires, and much as I admire what Mike Reynolds did in New Mexico with
> materials that weren't being recycled back then, bottles, pop cans and
> tires
> are no longer just garbage. It's a tremendous amount of work to build with
> tires, some people I know of spent several years just getting the walls up
> and then couldn't afford to complete the structure. Some are convinced the
> thermal mass of Earthships have some magical effect on energy consumption,
> and that over-glazed sloped south walls don't leak, overheat during the day
> and lose heat excessively at night, despite evidence to the contrary. I've
> been to Taos and stayed in an Earthship, and have read everything Mike
> Reynolds wrote and watched all the videos, and I respect the creativity in
> these homes which certainly should be part of any decent green building
> project, but I hope that by investigating "Passive House concepts" you'll
> discover the shortcomings of Earthships in a cold climate. Why not
> insulated
> rammed earth, strawbale, or even super-insulated wood frame construction?
>
> Solar thermal radiant is barely economically feasible (with a backup
> system)
> with a certified Passive House in northern climates, so go with a cold
> climate air source heat pump or geothermal, if those are your only choices
> and you really want a tire house. But if you build a true Passive House,
> you
> can heat with a much simpler, cheaper combo DHW system, cool with a ground
> loop and night cooling bypass on your ERV and save a fortune on HVAC
> installation costs. Plus you can add solar thermal to the mix if you like,
> with an appreciable % of energy boost.
>
> Ross Elliott LEED-AP, CPHC
> Homesol Building Solutions Inc.
> Almonte, ON
>
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