Friday, January 13, 2012

Fall 2011 Earthship Update!

Dense Bottled Walls-Insulation!Summer ends and the fall leaves have fallen so fast I hardly see where the time has gone. Since the end of our 2011 Lavender Festival we have worked non stop to complete our Earthship project. Many people have wondered why it has taken so long? Well fact is the Earthship has more intense labor and continuous labor overall to complete. This is not the traditional home which make up nearly 99% of homes. Earthships require more labor and hands to complete in a timely fashion. Here on Peaceful Acres it has mostly been help from friends and family and a few random volunteers contacting through the website. 
Now in November the Earthship has new additions. One a concrete steel dome entrance on our West side. This wall structure has nearly 100,000 pounds of concrete, sand, mortar, beer & wine glass bottles and tires packed with dirt to form a brick. We have also included nearly 300 feet of rebar to reinforce the concrete dome. The top is 4" thick and will hold it's share of weight with the strength. The south wall is 22" thick of solid concrete poured between to bottle formed wall and extends ten feet from the last wood post of the Earthship. This creates a huge chamber of insulation on our west side entrance. The North side of the concrete hall utilizes 24" tire foundation with nearly twelve feet of dirt back fill on the exterior side. Creating the most R-Value for your money. Two feet of dense packed earth or 4-6" of R19 on cheaper traditional builds. We'll be able to give good statistics in a few weeks when we receive our HOBB Hall gravel compacted ready for concrete!
Weather monitoring system. 
Utilizing the HOBO Weather monitoring system will allow us to collect daily data on the outside temperatures, humidity, rainfall, wind speed, and inside Earthship temperatures and Humidity all from a single system. This research will allow us to test outside temperatures to inside temps and the bounce between certain weather extremes. Maybe a freak -10 snow storm. I guess this would be only in my dreams in Ohio. 
Back to the Earthship progress. The restroom additions added just before the festival have been filled with solid cobb mixture poured between all 2" x 6" studs. This forms a dense mud solid brick between the studs. The finish will consist of powdered clay, fine needle straw, sand, and a little mortar. The mortar keeps the mixture from cracking or falling out of the frame. It hardens just as fast as normal mortar mix making handling much faster and building up easier.
Next we have completed 1/4 way back on the edges or East side of the Ship, also the bathroom and the utility area. This wall has been framed with post and frame instead of traditional stud framing. Not only is it stronger but can be insulated much easier with recyclable materials. Our wall has 24 glass beer bottle per row in the first  8' of the wall. All bottles are mortared with our special mud cob mixture. When all said and filled we have a 12" thick solid mud and glass insulated wall. With an additional 2" rigid insulation and then plywood on the exterior. This exterior will be lathed with wire and then concrete plastered and possible dyed  to our likings. 
1" Thick gas filled windows!
The windows have also been installed but not yet completed. We will be sealing the windows in the next few days and knocking out a few odd things to complete the sealing. Our casement window utilizes a 5/8 thick gas filled insulated window and our stationary solid glass windows are 1" thick gas filled. These are all designed to insulate but allow the sun rays to heat the inside up. And the same with the summer temps, cool air in and hot air out. The simple reason why we are using the grounds steady 56F degrees to keep us c13" thick walls and color bottle glass art!ool in the summer and the suns rays warm in the winter. Natural Ac and Heat! USE IT!