[Greenbuilding] Heat pump vs radiant

Jason Holstine jason at amicusgreen.com
Sat Jul 27 14:16:24 MDT 2013


I don¹t think you do yourself (or the client) any favors by isolating the
issue to simply radiant vs geothermal, for issues I¹m sure you¹re on top of.
You risk diminishing the spirit of what the Earthship is trying to achieve,
and of course you know the mechanicals performance is intimately intertwined
with the envelope. Also a part of the consideration is whether you duplicate
systems, intentionally or not‹and what that does for costs and the project¹s
LCA. That said, it seems to me geothermal¹s benefits are (a) heat and
cooling‹flexibility as climate requires; (b) horizontal loop on such large
land space should be much more economical and easy to install yourself; ( c)
eliminates the need for duplication; (d) NYSERDA and Fed incentives.


Jason Holstine

Amicus Green Building Center
³Sustain Your Space²
Member - USGBC, GreenAmerica, NARI, NAHB
e: jason at amicusgreen.com
w: www.amicusgreen.com
p: 301-571-8590
tf: 866-587-9140
f:  301-571-8597



On 7/26/13 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 <http://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 <tel:1%20347%20244%203016>  USA
>>> www.EcoBrooklyn.com <http://www.EcoBrooklyn.com>
>>> 22 2nd St; Brooklyn, NY 11231
>>> 
>> 
>> 
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