Cold flows to hot, don't forget that, it's important.
The easiest way to achieve what you're talking about is to change the
way you think about comfort.
Until about 1970 hardly anybody had air conditioning but now its
considered mandatory everywhere.
Until about 1900 just about everybody used wood to heat their
building, today, not so much, cept in northern climes.
Vary your comfort zone and the goal becomes easier achieved.
After the sun goes down below the tree line the temp quickly drops
from the mid 80's to the low 50's.
It was dark at 9pm and I leaned back against a large (3'x3') solid
concrete column that faced west and it was still quite warm and would
stay so for an hour or more.
Personally I think storing heat is a lost battle for the most part, at
least on a large scale.
On a micro or nano scale, maybe.
Rather than heat and cold I'd like to redefine the term into an
inclusive comfort zone.
What seems cold to you may not to me, so we can never come to a
meeting of the minds because of our differences based on the old
paradigm. What if heat and cold were equal and somehow could be made
to balance on a minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day basis
playing off each's strong points?
Floor, walls and roof made out of peltier effect material.
In the article Rico posted right away the author mentions the costs
associated with *green* design.
Slightly tangent from that I've been thinking lately of skewed pricing
and how it has effected things overall.
I purchased an item awhile back and paid what I thought was a fair
price for it.
Now, 2 years later, that item has failed and cannot be repaired for
reasonable cost so presumably will be thrown away and I am back where
I started 2 years ago but lighter in the ass pocket. In considering
this, and keeping inflation in mind, I should have paid much more for
that item than I did to get the same quality of design and
manufacturing from a time when such things were standard. You may not
remember it but there was a time when things were built heavy duty to
last as that meant credibility to the manufacturer. Now, it's a given
that things will fail and you just throw it away and buy another one.
Transpose that line of thinking to residential design and
construction. I have been educated along the lines of the latter way,
to cut costs and think short term rather than long. Because of skewed
costs resulting from inflation we must pay more for less and this
results, to the intelligent person, to thinking along the lines of
Susanka. Less is more in the long view. Design, construction,
materials and methods. Tied back into this is the notion that the
average person or family changes residence every 7 years so the idea
of longevity doesn't carry much weight.
IOW, if you positively plan to stay in the residence long term than it
behooves you to spend the most to get the best, done right as your
*investment* will pay off 20-30 or more years from now, in overall
efficiency and longevity of materials and maintenance. These are
important considerations in not only how one will live, now, but for
the rest of their life. Unfortunately, the money thing rears its ugly
head again in that we mostly aren't in control of our income and must
rely on the interaction of others and thus where we live may change at
any time and therefore our *investment* could become invalid. To
offload a home as I described is not welcomed by the masses and
especially now with all things being as they are, so your quality
built home will be appreciated by less than 1 out of 100 potential
buyers, narrowing the already very narrow market in the first place.
The natural consideration would be a complete overhauling of the
entire economic structure as it relates to you so you are not
dependent upon others for your income, to the degree that you now are,
and do what it takes to exclude as much money/people exchanges as
possible and transfer that effort into things that mean something to
I have been designing my *tiny house* for some 2 years now and this
journey has caused me to slow down and carefully inspect everything in
my life, and others, so as to create an environment that is aligned
with what I described. Choosing what is important and then figuring
out the steps to get there from here. For me it has been incredibly
insightful to pull the whole thing apart, to reverse engineer a life
and examine all of the things that added up to a life complete, but
wrong, and then recreate that life in a more proper light. The tiny
house was just part of the picture, or, the last chapter of a book.
It will take some more time to complete this project if it will ever
be complete because with each step forward more baggage is encountered
and must be dealt with. I wish I had started this when I was about 25
years old because in the 30 years hence nothing but more obstacles
have been placed in the path and all of them must be moved to continue
the journey. Five acres and a mule.
No pond yet, it was too costly at the time, about 6 months ago.
However, since then someone has given me an idea on to get it done for
far less money so early next year I will take another look at it.
It MUST be done, no two ways about it.
Your home is only as good as your water suplly and around here its
almost as expensive to put in a pond as it is to have a well drilled.
We have a natural water source on site, a small stream, and an
indication that most of that stream is subterranean, so it seems
prudent to straddle the stream with the pond and create dams at both
ends. Drilling a well doesn't insure that it won't run dry or clog due
to the clay nature of the soil here. I can continuosly feed the pond
with rainwater runoff from the roofs of the house (2000sf) and my
garage workshop (1000sf).
After that, or right along side it, is the task of clearing some of
the forest for farming, growing food.
I only need 1/2 acre but that means probably removing at least a few
hundred trees. I estimate there are around 10,000 trees on this 5
I won't get into all the details of how all of that is going to work
but its rather comprehensive.
After secure water, food is the next matter of importance, but I'm not
I need to excavate some of the crawl space under the house to create a
root cellar/safe room.
The land under the house slopes in 2 directions and the right rear of
the house provides the most clearance, almost 5' in height in that
On the opposite corner, catty cornered, there is less than 2' of
height from the ground to the underside of the floor joists.
I will excavate an area about 12' x 12' to a height of 6 to 7' clear,
and create a floor from palletes and stud walls that are heavily
insulated and sheathed and I will also insulate the entire underside
of the first floor. shwew. Alot of that part will done laying on my
back on the ground. I just love insulation work. I was gonna go with
the spray on stuff but there is no guarantee that it will stick, and
because its rather expensive I don';t want to take the chance that it
will fail. So I'll just use R19 roll batts and be done with it. I also
then have to staple visqueen over the underside of the batts. shwew
My 5 year goal is taking a little longer than I thought and much more
difficult than I had imagined.
Oh yeah, there are a myriad of other little things I've told you about
that still need to get done too, outbuildings, solar, waste
I expect to spend the rest of my life doing this stuff.
Don, unless you're already up on this, before you indiscriminately
clear your forest, which may be of benefit in different and unexpected
ways, if you haven't already, you may wish to consider permaculture
principles. Here're 2 very good videos that come in parts that can be
selected from the righthand list. One is of food forest gardens that
form part of permaculture; the other is the permaculture concept. Both
are on our Transition Ottawa location BTW:
Also, about your work, you may also wish to considering some help,
maybe barter or volunteering or something like that. I imagine that
the skills you have that you may take for granted someone else may
There appear to be little costs to anything, just a whole lot of greed
that, over time, ratchets up the illusion of costs to everything.
It's like, so the theory goes, "What can I sell you that costs me as
little as possible that you're willing to pay as much as I can sell it
for?" or, "How low an investment can I go for the highest returns?".
Normally that shouldn't work, but then, the nation-state ensures that
it does through the police, military and (media-/etc.-)manufactured
ideology, etc.... and the 40-hour workweek lie.
Apparently, the true cost of something should be next-to-nothing (or
we're not doing it properly). For a decent timberframe for example,
just a week or month in the sun with the village hands, or maybe about
a year, solo/with relatives. Food grows on its own. Some maintenance,
added seeding and harvesting and that's about it. The rest of the
time, minus family obligations and whatever else, is yours.
"Hyperinflation is when the money creator, the Federal Reserve in this
case, prints money nonstop and technically goes over 100% inflation
rate. This means that at the end of the year, your money will only buy
half of what it did at the beginning. It quickly spirals out of
control as the government prints more and more and more to cover its
obligations which get harder and harder to do because the money gets
worth less and more worth less until it is worthless (note the
spaces). If you want to see a good example, look at Zimbabwe now,
Wiemar Germany post-WW1, and some others. Toilet paper will literally
be worth more than a dollars. There will be so much around you will
have no problem keeping warm in the winter cause you can burn it."
Edited for fun:
"Slightly tangent from that I've been thinking lately of skewed
pricing and how it has effected things overall... In considering this,
and keeping inflation in mind, I should have paid much more for that
item than I did to get the same quality of design and manufacturing
from a time when such things were standard... Unfortunately, the money
thing rears its ugly head again... The natural consideration would be
a complete overhauling of the entire economic structure... and do what
it takes to exclude as much money/people exchanges as possible and
transfer that effort into things that mean something to you overall."
How's that coming along?
Talk to this guy:
In the article, it says that children mistake him for a wizard, and it
inspired me to ponder along the lines of all wise older people as
being wizards in a sense... and that perhaps our culture, through its
diminishing of many values (like the value of older people, or 'the
tribe'), has lost much of its wisdom, its wizardry.
Interesting article, and thanks.
Benson's often mentioned in a book on timberframe post-and-beam that I
had read some of last fall, so I guess he's one of the ones on top of
The funny drier they mentioned, BTW, seems a bit of a pointless
To elaborate on the question, though, its intent concerns only the
(relatively) natural use of the sun for energy, (so photovoltaics, for
example, what with their apparent reliance on multiple layers of often
non-local infrastructure, is discluded) with maybe the sustainable
burning of wood/beeswax/? for, say, cooking, cleaning and candles;
with materials that are as local as on the same property and/or within
the same town/village and reasonable biking distance, maximum; and
completely natural, as in unmanufactured, unless sustainably, using as
"natural" a process as possible, and still within said vicinity.
"Leftover" mechanical/hand tools and garbage is acceptable.
This is offered in the context of a "no-nonsense" ecovillage-style
setup in mind. IOW, what can we best do with what is available? "Low-
I realize that this may beg the old ways of doing things comments, but
then, so be it, since it appears we've lost some knowledge of and from
it, and since it might be interesting and insightful to see if we can
come up with better, if only on paper for now.
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