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Old 06-27-12, 01:20 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by TimJFowler View Post
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.

Thanks Tim, But if I felt like paying some overpriced yahoo I wouldn't be here asking questions. I'm usually handy enough to not need someone to do it for me.

Isn't it crazy that the first thing people try to do is discourage you from doing anything? Radon? Don't you think I would have thought of that before even considering this? Thanks for your concern, but no there's no radon here.

I like the idea of not even needing the earthtubes but that again is just trying to discourage what might be a good idea.

The idea is to have air constantly circulating in both rooms. Earth tubes seem like a great way to do that and possibly even passively, though I might pressurize the tubes slightly to increase airflow, like in the hot summer months, to help cool the sunroom at least, even if the root cellar doesn't need it.

I hope that settles all this discouragement nonsense now and I can start getting some real input.

Thanks again Tim for the thing about the mold. I didn't think it should be a big concern here in the desert either. I wonder if you have any actual experts here yet though? They do seem to live in this general area and Taos.

Although, so far what I can find online is just rich old hippies trying to make more money off all this so I'm not holding my breath.

Last edited by DirtFlinger; 06-27-12 at 01:34 PM.. Reason: nicer?
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