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Construction advice for sustainable living.

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posted on Dec, 14 2015 @ 10:29 AM
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a reply to: network dude
Insulation.
Use the green stuff that is fire retardant and not the pink stuff.
Its all about the insulation.

Good luck.




posted on Dec, 14 2015 @ 10:49 AM
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a reply to: DrumsRfun

I need to do a lot more research, but I was counting on the dirt being the insulation and having bare concrete walls, floor, and ceiling. (a drop ceiling below the structure holing up the dirt)



posted on Dec, 14 2015 @ 11:32 AM
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a reply to: network dude
Maybe just build a steel building(insulated) and put an RV in it. Radiant heat in the floor, an attached shed with the wood boiler. You can cool it some with water also. The RV has a kitchen, generator, LP fridge, water storage & pump. Pay cash for all so you only have the taxes to come up with. solar panels on the roof or a windmill to supplement grid power, or maybe enough to be off. You can leave in the RV if you have to.

You are going to have water problems being underground, or even covered in dirt. And to avoid that will mean extra $$.



posted on Dec, 14 2015 @ 11:35 AM
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originally posted by: SolRozenberg

You are going to have water problems being underground, or even covered in dirt. And to avoid that will mean extra $$.


I see that differently. It's a challenge and engineering something that would eliminate that problem with be fun, and providing a cool place to dwell during the dog days of summer in Eastern NC without AC would be amazing. I appreciate the ideas though.



posted on Dec, 14 2015 @ 11:36 AM
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a reply to: network dude

It seems like a simple solution to the draining issue would be to pile crushed rock against the walls. This would allow the dirt piled over the structure to drain efficiently right up against the house. That's just a thought that seems logical for this purpose.



posted on Dec, 14 2015 @ 11:42 AM
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a reply to: network dude

Factor in building, plumbing and electrical permits where they may apply--that means built to PASS inspections. Where I live in a rural area they like you to pull the permits (just for the money) but they inspect only septic systems (and increasingly, they are expensive and strict).

Best he learns from local others about what he needs to do to met local requirements.

Waterproofing a concrete block, dirt-covered structure is not a simple matter nor necessarily is it cheap to do.

Final word, the collecting of materials seems well in hand, but careful planning before the first shovel is picked up or maybe even before the first building area is purchased. ...And is the wifey aboard?



posted on Dec, 14 2015 @ 11:43 AM
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originally posted by: Gazrok

I would recommend including a root cellar into the design (old fashioned fridge use), as well as a large area for storage for food, weapons, etc., and building a nearby game house (place where you could butcher hunted game). Don't forget the bathroom needs! The large glass wall though, kind of a security risk. At least make it high-rated storm glass, and may want to have some kind of shuttering or other protective cover than can be put in place (maybe some sliding walls that can be used when needed?)


On this front, If the sides and back will be covered with dirt and it's pitched away from the main structure, I could put some cement boxes at ground level, maybe 4 feet high and have access doors to the storage. Do you think they would need any ventilation?

And as far as the glass wall, www.plywoodalternative.com...

I like the outdoor building idea for game processing. I was thinking of having drains in the floor in the laundry room and bathroom, as well as the outdoor building so cleanup would be easier. Maybe let that drain into a separate catch basin.

I could have the drainage all funnel to a storage tank for watering the plants and all, put it up a bit and use gravity to distribute.



posted on Dec, 14 2015 @ 11:48 AM
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originally posted by: SlapMonkey
a reply to: network dude

It seems like a simple solution to the draining issue would be to pile crushed rock against the walls. This would allow the dirt piled over the structure to drain efficiently right up against the house. That's just a thought that seems logical for this purpose.



I had a house down here that had a basement and we havd lots of water issues. After we sold the house, I spent some time researching ways to waterproof something like that, should we ever encounter the same scenario. Using drainage techniques from professionals make good sense. Crushed rock, drain tiles, waterproof membrane and tar on outside walls. As long as it was well planned, I think the water management would be easy and useful.
edit on 14-12-2015 by network dude because: bad spler



posted on Dec, 14 2015 @ 11:50 AM
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a reply to: network dude

You could also potentially use any water to supply a gray water tank, waste not want not is the key to sustainability.



posted on Dec, 14 2015 @ 11:51 AM
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a reply to: Aliensun

Yes, planning will be key. I keep compiling ideas and possible problems so hopefully the bad stuff can be minimized.

as far as the wife, see here. But I love a good challenge.

edit on 14-12-2015 by network dude because: bad spler



posted on Dec, 14 2015 @ 11:53 AM
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originally posted by: network dude
While speaking to a friend recently, we came up with an idea for a simple structure and I wanted to see if any experts here could suggest improvements, find fault with the design, or generally offer any advice.

First off, location. We are in eastern NC. Summers are hot, spring and fall perfect, and winter has a few months of chilly weather, but overall, not really cold.

The plan is a cinder block building, cement floor, cement roof. Three sides with the 4th side being all glass. (sliding doors with screens.)
Pile dirt over the structure and plant shallow root shrubs and other similar type plants on top. (to hold the dirt together)

There would be a few skylights that extend up past the dirt, along with a few vents, for plumbing and air circulation.

The overall idea is that the dirt would insulate the building, helping keep it cool in summer hot weather. We talked about a small solar farm for the power, and a simple well and septic. So the entire things would be off grid and sustainable. (as long as the solar equipment lasted)

The structure itself would be simple, 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom, laundry room, with an open floor plan including kitchen, dining, and living areas open to the large glass wall.

The ceiling would be metal truss, with corrugated steel, then cement poured over the top so the entire box was concrete, less the glass wall. A Fireplace would offer heat when needed, and with vents and open wall at front, some fans would offer air movement and hopefully cooler air.


If anyone handy in construction/design notices any obvious flaws with this, please say so. Thanks for looking.


ETA: this is the general idea, but the land is really, really flat here, so it would just be a mound in the woods.



I read the other posts and they 've given some good advice. I would suggest you check out local codes before making any firm plans . I did this back in the '80"s , but didn't build in the ground. I read a lot about underground construction and thought the water seepage and lack of light problems ruled it out for me. I'm a retired carpenter and felt above ground was best for me. Just do some research and go for it !!
Are you going to fill concrete blocks with concrete ? I'm concerned with your roof idea....metal trusses supporting a relatively flat roof with a lot of weight ....depends on trusses and length of span between support walls. Look into square foot requirements for your home ......here in Grant county Wi., 800 sq. ft is minimum . Good luck !



posted on Dec, 14 2015 @ 11:56 AM
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a reply to: nonspecific

That's what I was thinking with the drains and runoff collection. My friend is good in the garden, so we could use it for irrigation. And I'd love a cool aquaponic system for herbs and such.

Oh and for entertainment, I have weened myself and wife off of the need for 2000 channels. We have an HDTV antenna and only get what is broadcast for free. Once you get used to that, it's amazing how you don't miss the cable or satellite. (or the bill) We just need good internet for the KODI firestick and I can watch anything about the time I want to.

ETA: and believe it or not, this area for this is HUGELY rural, but they have fiber internet available.
edit on 14-12-2015 by network dude because: added thought



posted on Dec, 14 2015 @ 11:59 AM
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originally posted by: conspiracytheoristIAM

I read the other posts and they 've given some good advice. I would suggest you check out local codes before making any firm plans . I did this back in the '80"s , but didn't build in the ground. I read a lot about underground construction and thought the water seepage and lack of light problems ruled it out for me. I'm a retired carpenter and felt above ground was best for me. Just do some research and go for it !!
Are you going to fill concrete blocks with concrete ? I'm concerned with your roof idea....metal trusses supporting a relatively flat roof with a lot of weight ....depends on trusses and length of span between support walls. Look into square foot requirements for your home ......here in Grant county Wi., 800 sq. ft is minimum . Good luck !


A post early on showed a company that sells wire molds for concrete walls and structures. (rebar framing) So I think just poured concrete walls will be what we do. I will have to engineer the roof structure so it can support what we need. I have several friends in that business, so hopefully a few well placed bottles of good hooch will provide some incentive for them to draw out something.



posted on Dec, 14 2015 @ 02:19 PM
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So a couple of places you might want to check out is;

Cal-Earth
Natural Building Blog
Earthship Biotecture

In many states you can't just build using methods involving earthbags, but there are ways around that (such as using wood post and frame constructions, but using earthbags as the main wall fillers.

The earthship site has many many solutions for basic issues you may be concerned about.



posted on Dec, 14 2015 @ 02:41 PM
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I just found something to make your life a whole lot easier!!!

Greenmagichomes.com

This is perfect. Not sure of the cost but you can contact them.

But it cuts down on time, engineering, they supply building code drawings.

Good luck, let me know if you find out anything from them. My significant other sent me this for an idea for a root cellar type design because we have a hill at the back of out property. But I don't think you have to have a hill.



posted on Dec, 14 2015 @ 02:55 PM
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originally posted by: Wetpaint72
I just found something to make your life a whole lot easier!!!

Greenmagichomes.com


Amazing! This is perfect! THANKS!!!!



posted on Dec, 14 2015 @ 03:21 PM
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a reply to: network dude

As I read your post, I remembered a friend who lives in Colorado.
He built a dome house and covered it with earth. Every time he had guests over in the winter for some skiing, he noticed his power bill went up. It turned out it wasn't for the heating unit to keep them warm; it was for the air conditioner to cool off all the body heat generated by his guests.
I don't know if this would be viable for you, or if you had considered it, but I have sent a couple of links to peak your interest.

[url=http://dome-homes.com/construction

www.dirtcheapbuilder.com...

Just hoping to help out.



posted on Dec, 14 2015 @ 03:46 PM
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I could give you all the info you need
But I would first suggest you find out if you are allowed to do this. Most counties in the USA have laws which prevent people from building a residence underground (even partially). So you need to find out what your local building laws allow you to get away with. You could probably get a permit to build a shelter, but it couldn't be a residence.

a reply to: network dude

It's hard to come off the grid in N.C. as solar panels can't generate enough electricity in that area. You only have on average 4-5 hours of direct sunlight a day Source so a small house wouldn't offer enough roof space for all the panels you would need. Homes in Arizona barely power themselves with solar at 7 hours of sunlight a day and a "standard" 1600 sq ft home. They also require less heating and cooling due to the dryer weather.

I have solar panels on my home in SE GA and combined with a propane generator can produce all my own power but it's cheaper in the summer to just pull what I need from the grid. I went from 300 a month bills to around 120 for the middle of the summer. So being on the grid isn't a bad thing. I don't even come close in the winter months. Without the grid I would freeze

edit on 14-12-2015 by raymundoko because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 14 2015 @ 03:47 PM
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a reply to: misskat1

Not legal as a permanent residence.



posted on Dec, 14 2015 @ 05:56 PM
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a reply to: raymundoko

Sad but true, here in California, the oldest structures still standing are adobe, yet today its nearly impossible to get a permit to build one. They are extremely energy efficient so of course they would be illegal.



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