[Greenbuilding] Flip-flops bad for feet, life safety ... (was Re: Heat pump vs radiant)

RT archilogic at yahoo.ca
Sun Jul 28 09:41:25 MDT 2013

On Sat, 27 Jul 2013 08:07:24 -0400, Alan Abrams  
<alan at abramsdesignbuild.com> wrote:

> 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.

(Or so the woman (a New Yawker BTW) on a CBC radio program argued, last  
week sometime.)

I think that AA-man's (and Ross Elliot's) first reactions to the idea of  
the Earthship in NY state were accurate. Those off-the-cuff reactions  
(which in Ross's case was construed as being smugness) were based on  
expertise gained through knowledge gained through a lifetime of experience  
so not at all unreasonable.

I would have been far less charitable than either if I had offered any  
comments since having dismissed the notion as a bad one for Cold Climate  
regions, in the previous millennium.

The first clue that the proposal was on the wrong track was that the  
owners had already made the typical mistake that aspiring Earthshippers  
make more often than not -- they think that because they're using free,  
salvaged tires into which they use their onw "free" labour to pound  
dirt-cheap dirt, combined with the hyperbole about ES's minimal space  
heating/cooling requirements ... they can afford to design a building that  
is often a minimum of three times larger in area than anyone designing a  
responsibly-Green building would contemplate.

So then, within a decade or so down the road, after having spent a good  
portion of their recent lives performing the thoroughly unpleasant  
drudgery of hauling/schlepping/stacking discarded petro-stew waste product  
and pounding tonnes of dirt into them (while not even having had the  
pleasure of being able to sing prison work gang songs) after the let-down  
of reality sets in and being unable to find anyone willing to buy the  
thing, it ends up being yet another abandoned, man-made carbuncle on the  
landscape .

Unfortunately, the carbuncle, being comprised of a large quantity of  
discarded tires which in most jurisdictions  is officially considered to  
be "harzardous waste" and as such becomes a legal liability for whomever  
gets stuck with the property.

Hygrothermic flywheel ?  Ehhhh... don't think so.

For hygro-anything contribution to space conditioning, the hygro and the  
therms would first have to make it past the thick,  
air/moisture-impermeable petro-chemical stew barrier that has been  
reincarnated into condoms for dirt ... and that's after assuming that they  
first make it past the thick layer of plaster (which optimistically would  
be detailed to be an effective air barrier) first.

If the owners are keen on having pounded dirt for their walls, rather than  
looking at a model designed for the desert southwest, they might give some  
consideration to a model designed for a climate with which they have more  
in common ... say like the insulated-core rammed earth buildings that  
former GB listmember Meror Krayenhoff developed for British Columbia in  
the early 1990s and has had the opportunity to fine-tune in the interim.


And unrelated to the above, please consider signing this petition:


=== * ===
Rob Tom					AOD257
Kanata, Ontario, Canada

< A r c h i L o g i c  at  Y a h o o  dot  c a  >
(manually winnow the chaff from my edress if you hit "reply")

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