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Old 06-26-12, 11:24 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by DirtFlinger View Post
I'm starting a project that involves digging out a root cellar here:


My questions are:

1. Corrugated pipe is obviously a bad idea, yet all of the contractors are using that stuff and huge rolls of it. This is a small, one room, space that the tubes will underrun. So, can't I just use ABS? It's smooth-er than that corrugated stuff.

2. What size of pipe and how long should it be for a small application like this? Anyone know of an online calculator or something for this?

3. Can anyone please point me in the right direction for finding info on how to build a "drain" for the earth tube project? Contractors seem to talk about a drain like it's something more than a hole in the ground filled with gravel. If not, what exactly is it? If yes, what are the average dimensions of the thing?

If you insulate the cellar walls and above grade walls of the structure (or use an self-insulating material) but leave the cellar floor in direct contact with the subsoil - would you even need the earth tube? The temperature of the earth 8 feet below grade should be quite consistent and suitable for a root cellar.

With the rest of the structure well insulated (or with enough thermal mass e.g. adobe, rammed earth, etc.) the structure should be comfortable year-round. Insulate the floor and you can have a cool root cellar and the above ground sun room (with good shading) could be comfortable for people too.

It's worth your time to talk with a local architect/builder, especially someone who has built structures similar to what you are considering. There is a definite learning curve to designing a building with good passive temperature regulation.

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