Graham Chiu wrote:So, I've mostly read Mike's book and it doesn't seem that solar gain is that much part of the equation for his earth integrated houses. He talked about hillsides being best for building but didn't specify a gradient. I've read a bit about the wofati concept which differs in that there's an attempt to create a seasonal heat store around the house with dirt but as far as I've read it has not been demonstrated yet i.e. you can't store the heat in the battery without making the living spaces too hot.
I presume water is mainly a problem if the water table is very close to the surface. If it's not, then the polyethene or pond liner should divert rain water away from the house.
Anyway, I'd like to brainstorm what it would take to build a number of earth sheltered community houses. Most existing housing here is crazy expensive and is poorly insulated.
Graham Chiu wrote:From what I recall from reading Mike Oehler's book, he also didn't believe in the thermal storage idea. He just wanted to take advantage of the earth sheltering that provides a base temperature higher than ambient air temperature that reduces the heating cost to raise it to a comfortable level in winter.