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Earthship questions.

 
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HI, everyone. I'm new hear and I have a few questions about Earthships.

1. How much of the concrete used in an Earthship could be replaced with Cob?

2. I live in Southern Ohio and it gets really humid in the summer, how do you deal with humidity during those months?

3. And my final question is would it be quicker, cheaper and less toxic to build with Earthbags than tires?

Thanks
 
pollinator
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B Simmons wrote:HI, everyone. I'm new hear and I have a few questions about Earthships.

1. How much of the concrete used in an Earthship could be replaced with Cob?

2. I live in Southern Ohio and it gets really humid in the summer, how do you deal with humidity during those months?

3. And my final question is would it be quicker, cheaper and less toxic to build with Earthbags than tires?

Thanks



I don't know about your first two questions, but in my opinion, the answer to question 3. is a resounding yes.  It seems to me that using tires is a failed experiment and I've heard too many horror stories to ever do it myself.  
 
B Simmons
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Thanks

That's kind of what I have thought about number 3 myself.

What kind of horror stories have you heard about using tyres?

I just completely uncomfortable about using tires simply because you never know were and what they have been driven thought.

Thanks
 
B Simmons
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I really should have proof read my reply. Sorry for both the spelling and grammatical errors.
 
pollinator
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Basically, the tires continue to offgas into a an enclosed space.  I think you can delay the effect with thick interior walls, barriers, etc... but that ick is coming out of those tires and its gonna go somewhere eventually.  Maybe if you got a boatload of the Nokian tires made from plants (corn? soy?  something ....) it wouldn't be so bad - but good luck finding them new much less used.

Walk into a tire store... take a deep breath.  That's concentrated new tire goodness!  Extrapolate to hours and days and .... and build with something else.
 
Trace Oswald
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B Simmons wrote:Thanks

That's kind of what I have thought about number 3 myself.

What kind of horror stories have you heard about using tyres?

I just completely uncomfortable about using tires simply because you never know were and what they have been driven thought.

Thanks



Let me just say upfront, I don't know if any of the stories are true.  I have heard and read in various places that the tires offgas and lead to bad air quality.  I have read other articles that say it isn't true, but all of those were sites or people promoting earth ships built with tires.  I don't have any way to know, but it seems at least possible, and if it is, I would hate to spend the enormous amounts of labor, time, and expense to end up with a house that isn't inhabitable.  Earth bags, on the other hand, I have never heard anything bad about and don't really see how there could be any problems with them from a standpoint of creating a safe, quiet, comfortable shelter.  I guess with earthbags as a possibility, I don't see a reason to chance using tires.  Additionally, at my age, I know for a fact if I started pounding all those tires, I would quit and never finish it.
 
pollinator
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It sounds like you want to build a house that is bermed/earth-sheltered on 3 sides.
That's basically a basement with 1 side exposed. 95% of the house around me have basements/earth-sheltered walls on 3 or 4 sides.

You also want to have a 'green-roof'. What type of bond beam and roof are you going to use to hold it up?

Humidity. We have quite a few basement apartments nearby, and they seem to be okay, but the usual AC tends to help if things are really bad. That said a "earthship" is in a 360 degree plastic bag, so once that mass of earth dries out it stays try because no moisture enters from the top or bottom. As for internal moisture. By venting the bathroom with all its shows and the kitchen with its boiling pot of water it helps alot.

Before we started called them earthhship native indians called them earth pits.

Luckily someone has already done it already, so you are not alone or have to reinvent the wheel.
http://s5892.pcdn.co/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Solar-Pit-House-PDF.pdf
https://earthbagplans.wordpress.com/2011/09/16/solar-pit-house/


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earthship#/media/File:Earthship_plan_with_vertically_glazed_southern_wall.svg
 
pollinator
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The bond beam, buttresses, footings and exterior stucco need concrete.  Technically, you may be able to use steel or wood for the bond beam, but I doubt you can do it cheaper or code approved.

Everything else can be cob, with the usual care around kitchen and bath.


I think tires are a better STRUCTURAL solution than earth bags, I have seen too many bags sun rot or blow out before the project is finished.  They are definitely labor intensive, in a way that can't be mechanized or streamlined for only a couple people.  No clue as to long term off gassing specifics, but I am less worried about them than I am about modern drywall. But bags are definitely easier.  Cost really depends on how hard it is to get tires.  Some people get paid to take them, others struggle to get them.  Bags or tube is not free, but probably less than concrete.

Part of what the cooling tubes do is condense the extra humidity out of the air as it cools.  That is why they NEED to have drain slope to prevent puddles and mold.  Most tropical designs use pretty long tubes compared to what they build in Taos.

 
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I am wondering this too.

I am having a hard time finding whether (tire-based) Earthships *all* use concrete on the outside and inside, or if they sometimes use cob/adobe, and if the latter, how each fares.

We are building a tire bale house now.  We hope to use lime-stabilized earthen plaster outside, and plain earthen plaster inside.  Does anyone have any experience with this, or know of any references to covering a tire structure with earthen plasters rather than concrete?  R Scott, I'm interested in your statement:

The bond beam, buttresses, footings and exterior stucco need concrete.



Why do you include the exterior stucco as needing concrete?  [just to be clear, I'm asking for information, not arguing... :) ]

I know there are those who wouldn't use tires no-way no-how, and that's fine, but we accept the thinking that out of the sun and away from the air, the tires woudn't have a way to off-gas once covered.

I've heard it's a terrible idea to encase natural materials in concrete (straw bales, adobe, etc) because of problems caused by the trapped moisture.

But what about encasing the tires in earthen plasters?  And what about encasing the tires in concrete?  pros/cons?  Our roof overhang will be 3'.  I can imagine being (reluctantly) talked into doing the outside in concrete if there's some major problem with using earth.  But I really don't want interior walls of concrete...

I'm interested in hearing others' thoughts...
 
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