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Thread: Natural Homes: techniques, solutions and beautiful images

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    Avalon Member Hym's Avatar
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    Default Re: Natural Homes: techniques, solutions and beautiful images

    Yes. The brick masonry heaters/Russian heaters that I've experienced are ones with the horizontal baffles and they work very well.

    The interesting correlation between the very fine ash from high efficiency, masonry wood-fueled heaters and the use of volcanic ash in "Roman" concrete is the importance of the use of ash as a soil nutrient for growing healthier crops. Volcanic and Wood ashes both make for more nutrient dense vegetation when compared to the many nutrient depleted soils now in use. Meaning that some very natural materials available to humanity have been lost to the fevered pace of industrialization and modernity.

    I've heard of and seen rocket mass heater designs but have never experienced one. I'll look for one when I'm around my building friends to see and feel what it's like. The principles of the design look much like those of the Northern European Heaters.

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    Default Re: Natural Homes: techniques, solutions and beautiful images





    this can be incorporated in the construction of the burning chamber of the fireplace. the fan circulates the air around the house and back in the tubes. there should be enough air velocity in the tubes to prevent orange hot tubes other wise the heat will eat up the tube in a short time. There should be air ducting that delivers the heated air to the spaces to be heated. All heaters with heat exchanger should have air ducting but if the fan produce enough air velocity to deliver the air to the space to be heated then there is no need for air ducting. the heated air must be discharge on the upper part of the space, and will travel to the opposite side of the room goes down at the opposite side as it cools and back to the heat exchanger making a "U" loop.



    this is shell type heat exchanger, this is how tubes are arrange. The flue gases enters the tube while the air circulates outside the tube. In other applications flue gases can be outside the tube and the air passing inside the tube. But in the case of fire places flue gases must be on the inside of the tubes for ease of cleaning. cleaning can be done by removing the end covers and use tube brush to remove the soot. ideally for use in fireplace a square shell heat exchanger be constructed and located directly above the fire. Again no red hot tube.

    we are gonna need something longer than this




    horizontal baffles are type of heat exchanger but less efficient.

    sorry but the image wont appear. I must be doing it the wrong way

    fixed it
    Last edited by Bubu; 9th February 2019 at 13:58.

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    Default Re: Natural Homes: techniques, solutions and beautiful images



    http://naturalhomes.org/permahome/ro...ter-basics.htm

    cross section of a rocket mass heater. the exhaust vent should be higher, with chimney

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    Default Re: Natural Homes: techniques, solutions and beautiful images



    this is only to convey the idea of cooking but is actually not very good. there should be a depression where the pot goes in.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version

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    United States Avalon Member wavydome's Avatar
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    Default Re: Natural Homes: techniques, solutions and beautiful images

    I truly appreciate all posts inspiring one to build,
    and to share ideas afar, the world around.
    My thanks to all who read or comment freely.
    “Natural “ and “Beautiful” may take on many senses.

    Yet getting to the point, of building, is a much bigger matter,
    as how to grow opportunities, find deals and commitments,
    concerning every sense, from the starting to the finish point.

    I fell into salvaging a run-down junk yard at age 21.
    Vital needs followed successionally, growing in scope.
    I worked the trades, watched the dreams and pitfalls,
    solved by other people, which jump started daydreams,
    while consensus tranced the herd, and youth puts that off.

    I eventually tried to summarize my building adventures,
    with a focal strategy, of measured geometry, to see what fits.

    http://harmoniouspalette.com/PAHSgreenhouse.html


    Many years working at various kinds of skills,
    Sufficient errors, raising emotions, reaped through endless labor,
    to eventually learn about the “self HVAC house” studies.
    Love of earth moving jobs, exited the possibilities,
    but fate afforded just one small structural experiment:


    http://harmoniouspalette.com/EyelidG...lizations.html

    The need for heating and cooling also dazzles a plan.
    A master plan could possibly integrate house synergy,
    it seems impossible to diagram the full living-effects.

    http://harmoniouspalette.com/BuildGreen.html

    I summarized a lot of research, but never found such a client.
    Life as a prototyper and dreamer was already sufficient.
    I couldn’t regret things as a 48 year wood fired experimenter:

    http://harmoniouspalette.com/Furnace...edFirebox.html

    This winter I have experimented with our new heat pump,
    for a heat source to reduce or replace the wood burning.
    Building this, is all about heat storage, in this case water based.

    http://harmoniouspalette.com/Blog2019.html
    Last edited by wavydome; 9th February 2019 at 15:30. Reason: https://wikispooks.com/wiki/Consensus_trance

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  11. Link to Post #66
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    Default Re: Natural Homes: techniques, solutions and beautiful images

    I must say, this thread is absolutely great. Constance you have started a wonder. The information and videos and pictures of different building techniques and all the different parts just gets more interesting daily. Everybody posting in here has great stuff to contribute. I spent around 40 or more years of my life in different aspects of the building industry and come across many of these methods and. I liked the post and beam construction a lot and actually working the other side of the counter in a building department gave me such deeper insight into the hows and whys of codes. For the most part Most codes are stupid or just plain tyrannical to the average people that want to build in the alternative, efficient, Natural way.

    There are so many how to books and videos for folks to delve into if and when a certain way is considered to build a home. The Building codes, as I have stated before where created firstly to help with fire, life and safety. These things have morphed into a diaper code as I call it today. The regulations placed on cities and counties on how to build and what one has to use and cannot use are pure nonsense in so many ways. Made up rules and regulations to make money for the big corporations. Just a blast about the codes of today, They call them the International codes. "The family of international codes". These codes are designed and produced by the United Nations and fall directly into the Agenda 21 rules. If you all know about that and how insidious that agenda is then you will know how it really should be undone.

    Now I must say that there are codes within these books that do regulate, Strawbale construction, Adobe construction, steel frame construction. Foam panel construction, Post and beam and Heavy timber construction. The Cob houses may also be listed these days within these codes somewhere. Here is the real kicker for most folks that want to build these methods.

    The Jurisdictions have increasingly shed their responsibilities to ensure things are built to their regulations and methods prescribed in the code books and just tell anyone building anything anymore to get it all engineered. So the standard drafter who is trying to make a small business run is faced with the fact that his drawings will have to be engineered thereby costing him and the customers many times the average price. It would seem that the Architects and Engineers are the only ones allowed to design and create plans anymore for the average person to build. Just a beginning starting point for most folks.

    Our dear sister Constance and I see others on this thread our listing the different issues that must be dealt with in any type of construction. From foundations to floors to walls to roofs which are the main components of any structure. These are the superstructure. The other components are the windows, doors, wall and roof coverings. and of course sealing and waterproofing is so very important. There is a lot of info in this thread about all of this and that is why it is so well done.

    The Mechanical systems are very important also and I see above a whole ton of posts about different systems dealing with air conditioning and heating. Great stuff. The waste and water systems are very important also and I suspect that is next to be posted by all you intelligent folk. Bubu had great stuff, You must be a builder yourself mate.

    So this is just some stuff from me about this thread. I suppose I could post some of the thousands of building I erected over the years but I sure am liking what is being posted here now. I finally gave up my Architectural career a few years back which was a fine extension of my physical building career and the years I spent being a building inspector and plans examiner filled in some holes also. I do so like to write these days and you know very well dear sister. Keep up the good stuff on this thread. It is great. tons of good and great ideas and information.

    Steven

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  13. Link to Post #67
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    Default Re: Natural Homes: techniques, solutions and beautiful images

    Quote Posted by Lost N Found (here)
    I must say, this thread is absolutely great. Constance you have started a wonder. The information and videos and pictures of different building techniques and all the different parts just gets more interesting daily. Everybody posting in here has great stuff to contribute.
    Thank you brother. You know how much I love you and everyone else contributing here It is very exciting to have so many professionals here like yourself, sharing what they know. There is so much collective experience between you all!
    I'm just an amateur with an absolute love of natural living, a passion for sharing and a love for mother earth and all her beings.

    Quote I spent around 40 or more years of my life in different aspects of the building industry and come across many of these methods and. I liked the post and beam construction a lot and actually working the other side of the counter in a building department gave me such deeper insight into the hows and whys of codes. For the most part Most codes are stupid or just plain tyrannical to the average people that want to build in the alternative, efficient, Natural way.
    What I find incredibly heartening is that there are folks out there who are finding ingenious ways of working around and with government/local council/building departments so that people can continue to build natural homes.
    There is an entire community out there who are incredibly innovative, fantastic at improvising, who know their stuff inside out, and who are motivated by their love of natural homes.
    There is cadray of wonderful dedicated people like Oliver Swann of Natural Homes (Hi to Oliver if you are reading this!) who keep the passion of natural building well and truly alive.
    I'm so deeply appreciative to those people who continue to support and to build and to teach workshops for natural homes.
    For anyone that wants to do a natural home workshop around the world, please visit Naturalhomes.org

    Quote There are so many how to books and videos for folks to delve into if and when a certain way is considered to build a home.
    I am currently compiling a very big list of books for anyone interested in technical and background reading. Watch this space.
    I can't tell you how many "how-to" videos I have watched when attempting something new! I have also compiled a very big cache of practical "how-to" videos that I would like to share as we go along.


    Quote The Building codes, as I have stated before where created firstly to help with fire, life and safety. These things have morphed into a diaper code as I call it today. The regulations placed on cities and counties on how to build and what one has to use and cannot use are pure nonsense in so many ways. Made up rules and regulations to make money for the big corporations. Just a blast about the codes of today, They call them the International codes. "The family of international codes". These codes are designed and produced by the United Nations and fall directly into the Agenda 21 rules. If you all know about that and how insidious that agenda is then you will know how it really should be undone.
    I totally agree with you Steven. The codes are designed so that we have to build artificial, toxic, square boxes that have nothing to do with who we truly are. Most buildings that we live in today are so toxic that if people really knew, they would sleep in tents rather than returning to their toxic homes.

    People need to be made aware of what is happening (all the agendas at hand) but I equally want this thread to focus, to inspire, to educate and to provide valuable information around how we can bring the power back to what is rightfully ours, the right to build a beautiful natural home.

    Quote The Cob houses may also be listed these days within these codes somewhere. Here is the real kicker for most folks that want to build these methods.

    The Jurisdictions have increasingly shed their responsibilities to ensure things are built to their regulations and methods prescribed in the code books and just tell anyone building anything anymore to get it all engineered. So the standard drafter who is trying to make a small business run is faced with the fact that his drawings will have to be engineered thereby costing him and the customers many times the average price. It would seem that the Architects and Engineers are the only ones allowed to design and create plans anymore for the average person to build. Just a beginning starting point for most folks.
    Do you think that open-sourcing engineerings and drawings might be helpful in this instance?

    Quote There is a lot of info in this thread about all of this and that is why it is so well done.
    Thanks Steven I feel as if we are only at the beginning and we have only just skimmed the surface. So much more to share.


    Quote ...So this is just some stuff from me about this thread. I suppose I could post some of the thousands of building I erected over the years ...

    I do so like to write these days and you know very well dear sister. Keep up the good stuff on this thread. It is great. tons of good and great ideas and information.
    Please, please do feel free to share your work and what you have learned and discovered. And thanks again. You are always so supportive.
    Last edited by Constance; 9th February 2019 at 22:42.

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    Default Re: Natural Homes: techniques, solutions and beautiful images

    Quote Posted by Bubu (here)


    http://naturalhomes.org/permahome/ro...ter-basics.htm

    cross section of a rocket mass heater. the exhaust vent should be higher, with chimney
    I also love the aesthetics of the heater. It makes for a great sitting spot. Keeps the buns warm and makes very good efficient use of wood.

    My Chinese ancestors all slept/ate/cooked on these kinds of heaters.

    Click image for larger version

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    Use up to 80% less wood
    "The thermal storage is large enough to retain heat for many hours or even days and typically forms part of the structure of a building. Rocket mass heaters have proven to be popular with natural builders within a permaculture design. They are mostly self-built and therefore not yet recognized by all building codes.

    The rocket mass heaters work on the same basic principles as a masonry heater. A fast, high heat and oxygen rich fire burn up the volatile gases and particulates, leading to a very clean combustion and turn a large portion of the fuel into usable heat. In a well designed system smoke is released only during the first minutes of a burn, until the temperature in the burning chamber is high enough to burn all gases.

    The major difference in the design of a rocket mass heater in comparison with a masonry heater is that the rocket heater has an insulated J or L shaped combustion chamber which forces the fire to burn horizontally. This leads the flame to a 90 degree angle at the end of the chamber which causes a strong turbulence [between B and C] and secondary combustion while rising up into the insulated secondary burn chamber also known as heat riser [C], creating a forceful draft which enhances the intensity of the fire even further, allowing combustion of all unburned materials and extremely clean exhaust gases."

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    Default Re: Natural Homes: techniques, solutions and beautiful images

    Quote Posted by Lost N Found (here)
    I Bubu had great stuff, You must be a builder yourself mate.


    Steven
    Yes mate I am a builder all my life and I designer fabricator as well. But I have to clarify I have not build a heating system before as I am in a tropical country. But I did built almost all kind of stoves and biomass burners. I have good knowledge in thermodynamics so much so that by hearing the idea I can come up with a good design. I believe I have one of the most efficient biomass heater ever, but I intend to patent it. I was in the Netherlands and Germany before and have to sleep 1 meter from the fireplace

    To expand on the rocket mass heater. As you can observe the inverted drum acts as a heat exchanger as the air hits it, its heated upon contact and rise to the ceiling where it disperse like a cloud .Now imagine a room with temperature gradient hottest on the top coolest below. We would want to heat the coolest air the bottom most. As you can see the inverted drum is not at the lowest part so we can presume that its not heating the coolest air in the room. As i have mentioned temperature transfer from one fluid to another is dependent on temperature diferential and also the velocity of heated and heating medium. this is where the shell and tube heat exchanger works wonder. You can position the intake at the lowest portion. By employing a small fan of say 60 watts you can speed up the velocity and actually direct it to where it is desired, say a room. Also the shell and tube HE has far more surface area for heat transfer than a single 200 liter drum. I have actually design this while sleeping next to the fireplace

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  19. Link to Post #70
    Australia Avalon Member Constance's Avatar
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    Default Re: Natural Homes: techniques, solutions and beautiful images

    Here are some of the more common roof materials that are used in natural building. If you have a great idea for a roof material, or something that you have built yourself that you would like to contribute, please feel free to share!

    Green Roofs
    Green roofs or living roofs, can be described as a system on the roof that supports vegetation. Green roofs provide a myriad of benefits
    • Cooler homes during summer time (You still need to insulate your roof however)
    • It extends the life of the roof and there is less maintenance required
    • You can grow food on it
    • There are reduced heating and cooling costs
    • They are pleasing to the eye
    • They filter the rainwater runoff
    Click image for larger version

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    Adobe

    Adobe roofs are best suited to arid climate conditions with little rainfall.

    Click image for larger version

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    Shingles


    A wood shingled home
    Click image for larger version

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    Wooden shingles are cut with a Froe.

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    Froes are best suited to the softer timbers such as oak. I tried using my froe to make shingles on Australian timber, only to discovery to my dismay that Australian timbers on the janka ratings are amongst some of the hardest timbers in the world!


    Click image for larger version

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    How to make wood shingles

    Last edited by Constance; 11th February 2019 at 04:21.

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  21. Link to Post #71
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    Default Re: Natural Homes: techniques, solutions and beautiful images

    slate shingles

    Name:  slate roof.jpg
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    Thatched roofs

    Take your pick from seaweed, reed, straw, palm branches, bracken root, heather
    Click image for larger version

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    Source: Watch on Vimeo




    Bamboo Roofs


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    Default Re: Natural Homes: techniques, solutions and beautiful images

    Turf or Sod roofs

    The sides of the house and the roof is covered with wood first and then the sides of the house are backfilled with earth and covered in vegetation.

    Click image for larger version

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    United States Avalon Member wavydome's Avatar
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    Default Re: Natural Homes: techniques, solutions and beautiful images


    RE: Image posted by Constance

    Yes! Sleeping on heated platforms built with
    easier local materials, laboriously moved,
    from nearby surroundings, should provoke
    us to integrate house functions, simplify life,
    if we seek a harmonious life style.

    Adapting to modern times…

    Electric fans can almost work, except for smoke:
    Eventually smoke is leaked into a home,
    or natural drafts are easier to build and use,
    or if used on chimney top, the fan deteriorates.
    If an electric fan is tried out, in an practical system,
    high-tech materials for openings and seals are wanted,
    (but high-tech-airtight-seals co$t too much ).

    For the outdoors, centuries of experience,
    forming systems with mud and stone,
    far outperformed extensive uses of metal parts,
    in my personal experience of my younger years.
    Warmer climates developed much simpler self
    powering chimneys, simple to build without $.

    The vertical firebox takes many forms,
    the word ‘rocket’ spoils the essence, IMHO.
    The age old dampers switching chimney use,
    easily outperforms electric exhaust fans,
    in that natural drafts are easier, all around,
    when we consider decades of durable use.

    For very cold climates, the ideal wood-heater
    out to be sized for the whole 24 hr period,
    translating to sizing wood pieces just right
    and cutting, drying and storing enough wood.
    Or solitary wood stoves can dust up a house,
    with last minute drying and ash removal,
    which thus favors proportioning objectives
    just right, and balancing whole house priorities.
    An electric water pump provides the next level.

    The art of living off-matrix demands plans,
    especially of balancing obtainable resources.
    Using Tesla's rural power utilities if easier.
    Going stoic if we like, a full range of zones,
    in a house, from just above freezing, to cozy,
    each part of a house with a function solved,
    each hour of a day serving the whole,
    is a huge mastery to begin at a young age,
    much harder to jump start late in life,
    unless some hands on experience was tested,
    and it’s never too late to experiment on the side.

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    Default Re: Natural Homes: techniques, solutions and beautiful images

    In the post above, #70, and in the video on "How to make wood shingles" they are using a pull knife to shape, trim, flatten wood shingles. I've used these over the years to shape wood and remove the bark off of the posts/"vigas" and smaller timbers/"latillas" before use in construction. These "shavers", pull knives come in varying widths and pull/shaving capacities.

    The one I favor the most is one a friend made out of the leaf spring of an older truck. It has the perfect curve for pulling. He ground out the metal ends to make grips for the hands and sharpened the pulling edge to a long, sharp curve. The weight of the flat metal piece is much heavier than the average pull knife and for me this makes peeling the wood much easier.

    The use of oak for making wood shingles proves to last many times longer than most of the cedar shakes we use in the states. For safety purposes it must be noted that these wood roofs are highly flammable and cannot be used in many high fire areas. Even the treated FTX wood shakes/shingles are not worth the cost, double the price the last time I used them, as the treatment only last a short time, invalidating the extra initial cost for the so-called "fireproofing".

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  29. Link to Post #75
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    Default Re: Natural Homes: techniques, solutions and beautiful images

    Quote Posted by wavydome (here)

    RE: Image posted by Constance

    Yes! Sleeping on heated platforms built with
    easier local materials, laboriously moved,
    from nearby surroundings, should provoke
    us to integrate house functions, simplify life,
    if we seek a harmonious life style.

    Adapting to modern times…

    Electric fans can almost work, except for smoke:
    Eventually smoke is leaked into a home,
    or natural drafts are easier to build and use,
    or if used on chimney top, the fan deteriorates.
    If an electric fan is tried out, in an practical system,
    high-tech materials for openings and seals are wanted,
    (but high-tech-airtight-seals co$t too much ).

    For the outdoors, centuries of experience,
    forming systems with mud and stone,
    far outperformed extensive uses of metal parts,
    in my personal experience of my younger years.
    Warmer climates developed much simpler self
    powering chimneys, simple to build without $.

    The vertical firebox takes many forms,
    the word ‘rocket’ spoils the essence, IMHO.
    The age old dampers switching chimney use,
    easily outperforms electric exhaust fans,
    in that natural drafts are easier, all around,
    when we consider decades of durable use.

    For very cold climates, the ideal wood-heater
    out to be sized for the whole 24 hr period,
    translating to sizing wood pieces just right
    and cutting, drying and storing enough wood.
    Or solitary wood stoves can dust up a house,
    with last minute drying and ash removal,
    which thus favors proportioning objectives
    just right, and balancing whole house priorities.
    An electric water pump provides the next level.

    The art of living off-matrix demands plans,
    especially of balancing obtainable resources.
    Using Tesla's rural power utilities if easier.
    Going stoic if we like, a full range of zones,
    in a house, from just above freezing, to cozy,
    each part of a house with a function solved,
    each hour of a day serving the whole,
    is a huge mastery to begin at a young age,
    much harder to jump start late in life,
    unless some hands on experience was tested,
    and it’s never too late to experiment on the side.
    Thanks beautiful summation very informative. I will add however that while we want to be as natural as possible new techs that could be exploited should be incorporated. Like natural houses quicker and easier means to build. And while earth wares are far durable than metals and fans we have to consider also the efficiency that it will bring into the equation, say if using fans and metals can save 50% of fuel. How much would that be in 1 year 20 years. how much labor will be save chopping tress and of course how many tress will be save. tress are far more important today that more and more people needs them.

  30. The Following User Says Thank You to Bubu For This Post:

    Constance (16th February 2019)

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