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

Alan Abrams alan at abramsdesignbuild.com
Sun Jul 28 10:55:10 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.
> 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

setting aside other objections for a moment, the flywheel notion was based
on two assumptions:

1. that the interior finish would be a vapor permeable sand and clay mix,
or a lime plaster.  ((recalling the time Jim Chaddick, my old boss and
reluctant mentor, drove us out to some quarry out beyond Abiquiu, deep in
Georgia O'Keefe country, to fill the truck with a local clay called "tierra
blanca."  (At the time, I specialized in pick axes and wheel barrows).  Jim
made this substance into a slurry which he used as a finish coat for the
interior of his adobe home.  There must have been some mica or similar
mineral in it, which gave the finish a wonderful luminosity.))

and 2. that the running bond pattern of stacked tires of odd diameters and
widths would leave plenty of pathways for moisture to pass in and out of
the tires.

All this does raise the issue of outgassing--if the finish is
permeable--and--the house is PH air tight--then will your standard issue
15-20 CFM's per person ensure good air quality?

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