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PSP Floor Plans

Bradon Wesche


Joined: Dec 20, 2009
Posts: 38
Hi everyone,

I wanted to introduce myself and say how glad I am to have found this forum.  It's really great to see other people talking about these concepts.  I thought I was alone all this time.

I have been drawing 3D models and floor plans of structures following Mike's 13 Principles as a hobby and I'm wondering if anyone else here does as well.  I would be very interested in seeing anything you might have come up with and possibly colaborating.  I plan on building a wonderful PSP house someday.

Here is a picture of a small house.  It has a 'ships prow' uphill patio, Royer Foyer, Holywood Wing, and a Lateral Window Well (sort of).  It's pretty basic and minimal.



Like I said, this image was generated from a 3D model and I have a whole bunch more.  I'm happy to share my work with people here.  Is there any interest in seeing more?


http://www.bradonw.com
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 14873
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
Yes!

What are you using to draw this stuff?


sign up for my daily-ish email / rocket mass heater 4-DVD set / permaculture playing cards
Bradon Wesche


Joined: Dec 20, 2009
Posts: 38
A view from the uphill patio:


An imposibly hard to interpret render of just the posts:


I use Google Sketchup to make these.  It is super easy to learn, free, and it allows for collaboration through the 3D Warehouse.  You can change the way it looks, hide things, view it from any angle... it's awesome.  Anyone else here use it?

I would love ANY feedback on the design.  You can download my model from here.
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 14873
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
I always thought that the uphill patio should have a way of getting water around the structure to the other side.  Where does your rainwater go?

Bradon Wesche


Joined: Dec 20, 2009
Posts: 38
paul wheaton wrote:
Where does your rainwater go?


My assumption is that any rain falling within the uphill patio is soaked into the earth before it gets to the house by slanting the steps back a bit.  It all goes under the house.

Here is an exaggerated cross section of what I had in mind:


Is my assumption wrong?
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 14873
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
I dunno.  Maybe that is the idea.  I just don't like that idea.  I like the idea of moving the water around the house.
Bradon Wesche


Joined: Dec 20, 2009
Posts: 38
Akk!  My images are gone   I'll have to update them later.

Check out Mike's design video at 17:53 minutes in and he talks about this.  I completely agree that a way to move the water around the house sounds much more likely to work long term. 

I wish I had actual building experience with this instead of only theory and hearsay.

Here is the house with a side hill patio to help with the water.  Is that what you had in mind?


A section down the middle showing the side hill patio:
Glenn Kangiser
volunteer

Joined: Dec 31, 2009
Posts: 236
Location: Central California
Whitlock mentioned you people were interested in PSP construction.

Here is my floor plan before a few add-ons if I recall correctly.



We have been living in it for about 8 years now.

Mike's intent was to have the water drain out of the uphill patio through a walkway if necessary.

He also mentioned that a French drain could be used but water was never to flow through or under the house. The problems can change with different climates and soil types.  I may have talked to Mike about the French drain on the phone.  Mike's a nice guy.


- Glenn -
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 14873
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
bradonw wrote:
Akk!  My images are gone   I'll have to update them later.


What the .....  where did they go?

bradonw wrote:
Here is the house with a side hill patio to help with the water.  Is that what you had in mind?


Yes!

bradonw wrote:
A section down the middle showing the side hill patio:


As I fiddle with more and more drawings - especially in the wofati article, I started trying to push to the structure up.  I want to convey the message that this design is not necessarily underground - it is a pole structure with a thick earthen roof. 

But maybe that's just me - do you like the idea of the home being at grade?

paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 14873
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
The Troglodyte wrote:
Here is my floor plan before a few add-ons if I recall correctly.


Do you have a bigger version of that pic?  I'm having a hard time reading it. 

More pics?

The Troglodyte wrote:
We have been living in it for about 8 years now.


Spiffy!

So .... my questions for somebody living in one of these for eight years:

1)  If you don't heat it, how cold does it get in the winter?

2)  Do you have any condensation problems in the summer?

3)  Any musty smells?

4)  Did you do any of the PAHS stuff?


The Troglodyte wrote:
Mike's intent was to have the water drain out of the uphill patio through a walkway if necessary.

He also mentioned that a French drain could be used but water was never to flow through or under the house. The problems can change with different climates and soil types.  I may have talked to Mike about the French drain on the phone.  Mike's a nice guy.


Have you seen the two videos I posted of him?

I have some more video footage of his places and the ridge house currently under construction, but the videos don't seem to get much interest.
Glenn Kangiser
volunteer

Joined: Dec 31, 2009
Posts: 236
Location: Central California
Bigger - do now - had to blow that one up.



Note that now below the great room I added a 28'x 12'  or so wide entryway and moved the laundry down there.

Here is a link to my old pix though you can get to them from the first page of the thread.

http://s35.photobucket.com/albums/d184/glennkangiser/Underground%20update%202005-01-30/

Pix are added to the main thread every so often as I do a few more things around here.

Note that we are in a decent weather area and I am lax about getting to finishing details as I work also, so it could be warmer but in the main area it seldom goes below 50f unheated.  The bedroom pops up more so it will get into the low 40's when it is in the 20's outside.  That area is not well sealed from outside air yet as I have not finished the great room which kind of surrounds the bedroom. 

We have a wood stove in the bedroom but seldom burn it as just across the bridge is what we call the studio apartment area and the fire is always burning there in the winter.  Winters are pretty short here so what would be a priority in other places is not so much here.  Smaller would be easier to keep warm also, but again, not a problem here.  The studio apartment area labeled Kitchen/study/storage in the plan  is about 16'x28' and pretty well self contained and always comfortable.  Makes me want to sit and type on forums rather than complete the house.

No condensation problems in the summer.

Musty smells - seldom as we keep the stove going during the winter, but since I deviated a bit from Mikes instructions and rerouted drainage to give my wife more view - a bit like Mikes ridge house design, I have a couple areas that could have used a French drain and get a bit of moisture.  It is not much problem and is not bad enough to make me work on it.  The bathroom will get a seep at the floor level and the wall that continues past it gets a bit of seepage but not major.  A Royer Foyer or wraparound would take care of both places but the problem is not enough to make me do it.

PAHS.. I didn't read about John Hait's methods before doing my place - I recommend extending the umbrella to those who are able though.

I enjoyed the videos of Mike you posted.  Thanks.

I enjoy the videos also and will watch themn if they are posted.

I was actually holding back on these threads as I don't like to waste my time typing if no one is interested in what I have to say.  I don't mind teaching what I know about if there is interest though.
Bradon Wesche


Joined: Dec 20, 2009
Posts: 38
paul wheaton wrote:where did they go?


I had them in my google images but something happened and I lost them.  No backup either

paul wheaton wrote:do you like the idea of the home being at grade?


I do like the idea of the house blending in well with the grade and becoming very hard to find.  But if pushing it up gives a benefit, I'm all for it.  I'd love to see a drawing like that.

paul wheaton wrote:I have some more video footage of his places and the ridge house


Where are they?  I would give them some attention.
Bradon Wesche


Joined: Dec 20, 2009
Posts: 38
The Troglodyte wrote:I don't mind teaching what I know about if there is interest though.


Glenn,
Thank you for your knowledge.  I've read all about your house elsewhere and would be glad to read your thoughts.
Glenn Kangiser
volunteer

Joined: Dec 31, 2009
Posts: 236
Location: Central California
Thanks bradonw.  I'll try to keep up with answers here too.

A further note on the musty smell comment - we had a rug get wet once and not get dried out so once we figured what it was we got it taken care of.  As Mike mentioned, gophers don't seem to want to eat or damage the plastic, but they will sometimes re-route a bit of the drainage and give a bit of a moisture problem.  They do like to check out the garden on top of the house.

The clay here will reseal the holes once we find them but it is not often a problem.
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 14873
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
I know that I would like to learn more.  I should probably read through your other thread first.  In looking at your pics, I see that I've seen some from looking at the thread before. 

Mike has written a few posts here.  Once in a while he stops by. 

Glenn Kangiser
volunteer

Joined: Dec 31, 2009
Posts: 236
Location: Central California
I will try to tell you what I know -- got 5 minutes... no seriously,  I  have experimented a lot and am willing to share with those who are interested.  I have this on notify so will try to drop in for questions you may have and randomly check in once in a while. 

The other forum keeps me pretty busy in my spare time but most there are interested in small conventional houses and buildings..

I am mostly alternative rustic building with structural steel, welding and well drilling as my main lines of experience.  I am also a general contractor.

Let me know if you come up with more questions from the other thread.  I'll try to answer them.
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 14873
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
My first question is:  have you read my wofati article? 
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 14873
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
For this pic:



http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d184/glennkangiser/Underground%20update%202005-01-30/23e4.jpg

Is that light from three directions?

Are you building on a ridge or on a slope?

Why is that one wall slanted like that?

Glenn Kangiser
volunteer

Joined: Dec 31, 2009
Posts: 236
Location: Central California
That is where the bedroom pops out of the ground and there is light from the uphill patio area also from the glass on the greenhouse, so 4 directions.  Behind the stove pipe is the roof of the great room with soil and garden over it.  Over the top is a foot of soil and garden over it. 

Behind the bed the soil comes up to the bottom of the window and slopes down sand around the bathroom for drainage down hill.  It is about an 8 foot pop out so the slanted wall is insulated with straw bales all around the window.

I wanted to keep the span at the top 8 feet to match mikes engineering tables but wanted more room at the bottom for the bed so it is about 11.5 feet at the bottom giving me a bit of diagonal bracing also.

We are on the south side of the mountain at the ridge so I have sloped it south and west on this side with the Bobcat for drainage.

The entrance tot he bathroom is behind the rockingt chair - curtain - no door. 

The signal light window is from a WWII ship surplus given me by a friend.  The shutters close and that door it is mounted on goes to the outside.  Roof of the greatroon is left from the door - wall of the bathroom is to the right and straight out goes to outside access at the raised level of the great room (to the outside right of the wall.  Through the left windo the beam of the great room sunscoop can be seen slightly - .
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 14873
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
How cold does it get there?  And .... how cold does it get in your place if you don't heat it?

Glenn Kangiser
volunteer

Joined: Dec 31, 2009
Posts: 236
Location: Central California
Normal coldest is mid 20's but that is uncommon.  Usual coldest is mid 30's and 40's f.

The more protected studio apartment area seldom would get below 50 unheated.  The more exposed bedroom popout hits the low 40's.

In a more severe winter climate I would not have as many areas that pop out of the ground or would bring the earth higher around the popouts.  We are in a banana belt area here also with areas in the valley below us getting into the teens daily.  We average 15 to 20 degrees warmer than the valleys 1/2 to 1 mile away by line of sight.  Cold air sinks - as Mike mentioned in the greenhouse video.
 
Consider Paul's rocket stove mass heater.
 
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