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Posts Tagged ‘earthbag greenhouse’

Earth-sheltered Passive Solar Earthbag Greenhouse (click to enlarge)

Earth-sheltered Passive Solar Earthbag Greenhouse (click to enlarge)


“Harmony of human habitats with nature, the use of soil and solar energy enables us to build energy-efficient shelters, produce healthy food, process waste and meet the material and spiritual needs in a sustainable manner and in accordance to the local environment. Join us during the earth sheltered passive solar greenhouse building workshops and explore the world of eco-design!”

Source: Cohabitat.net

Sorry we didn’t see this workshop announcement until now. It was in September, 2011 in Poland. You might want to write and see how it turned out, and check on future workshops. Or if you’re one of the organizers or designers, please drop us a note with an update. Remember we have a free Workshop page and Bulletin Board to post announcements.

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I found a very good greenhouse design by Bill Mollison (co-developer of Permaculture) in this video called Intro to Permaculture 12 – The Industrial Egg vs The Permaculture Egg. This video is a part of Midwest Permaculture’s Free Internet Webinar Series. It is one of eighteen segments from the first webinar of the Foundations of Permaculture Webinar Series. (Skip ahead to 1:12 if you know the background of industrial chicken farming and want to go right to the greenhouse info.)

Is anyone interested in building something like this with earthbags? Do you want to help design an open source plan? Ideally, a few of us can work together on the design and then build one. The design part is easy. We mostly need someone who has the time and money to build a greenhouse/chicken coop fairly soon. Leave a comment below if you’re interested in working on this project.

Midwest Permaculture YouTube channel
Midwest Permaculture home page

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Mike Oehler’s pit greenhouse design

Mike Oehler’s pit greenhouse design


I see at least two main approaches to building a pit house with earthbags:
1. Mimic Mike Oehler’s greenhouse design using earthbags instead of poles and shoring.
2. Mimic conventional walipini pit greenhouses. That’s what I’ve chosen to do in the following drawing. It’s very similar to typical walipini’s, so follow the directions in the link. Which one is best? It would be good to build both designs and measure their performance to see how they compare.
Earthbag pit greenhouse insulated with scoria or pumice (click to enlarge)

Earthbag pit greenhouse insulated with scoria or pumice (click to enlarge)


Related:
Earthbag Pit Greenhouses
Note: high quality greenhouse plastic film is recommended, not ordinary plastic sheeting.

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The Earth-Sheltered Solar Canadian Greenhouse

The Earth-Sheltered Solar Canadian Greenhouse


The Earth-Sheltered Solar Canadian Proposed Structure

The Earth-Sheltered Solar Canadian Proposed Structure


Follow the adventure of building an earth-sheltered structure in Canada, six hours north of Winnipeg. In brief, they’re exploring how to optimize Mike Oehler’s earth sheltered concept using earthbags. Their greenhouse was a success (an amazing feat that far north), and now they want to build a larger structure. Their plans remind me of ancient Native American designs in Alaska (minus the glass, of course). So the challenge is how to improve upon the indigenous designs that evolved over centuries.

“It will take a couple of years, but in the end we are going to put up an earth-sheltered solar structure that will serve as a shop, wine lab, and hopefully a diesel distillery, along with a small apartment. It will be built in the same fashion in which we built our underground greenhouse, except that it will have a dirt roof, and an atrium between its front wall and a retaining wall uphill. This week we slowly started clearing trees from this area…an hour in the morning and an hour of cleaning up. When this is done I shall survey the plot. Then we will call in a track hoe which will excavate the hole for us.”

Source: The Earth-Sheltered Solar Canadian

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Greenhouses are very popular for extending the growing season, but heating them in cold climates is expensive. In contrast, pit greenhouses — greenhouses built into the earth — use free solar energy from the sun for heating. The temperature of the earth (usually around 55-58 degrees Fahrenheit) helps stabilize the temperature in the greenhouse.

One option for pit greenhouses is to use earthbag walls with about 2’ (60cm) of scoria on the outside for insulation. This design would be more energy efficient than uninsulated walls of earth and should maintain growing temperatures year-round. Watch over the greenhouse and provide adequate ventilation to avoid overheating.

Walipini
Underground greenhouse with geothermal heating system
Low cost greenhouse in Texas using hoops of “cattle panels”
Mike Oehler’s earth-sheltered greenhouse

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The year-round greenhouse at Sandhill Farm is built with sustainable materials, including earthbags for lower walls and light straw/clay in upper walls. Greenhouse segment starts at 1:12.

Maybe someone from Sandhill Farm can chime in here and leave some comments.
More info:
Sandhill Farm
Dancing Rabbit TV

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Earthbags are ideal for building greenhouses due to their resistance to moisture damage. Most anyone can build with earthbags, which can cut construction costs. When filled with insulation such as perlite or scoria, earthbag walls and foundations enable you to grow plants year-round.

Excess heat from a greenhouse attached to your home, like the one pictured below, can be vented into the main living space to reduce energy costs. In the summer the excess heat can be vented outdoors. This plan uses standard patio door replacement glass to reduce costs and is easy to extend lengthwise.

Attached Earthbag Greenhouse

Attached Earthbag Greenhouse

Plans for this earthbag greenhouse can be purchased from Dream Green Homes.

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