Mark Brunnr

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since Oct 04, 2012
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Recent posts by Mark Brunnr

Kirsten Dirksen has many videos where a house is very small and low impact. I always wonder how many "so low of an impact the building codes don't allow them" houses there are too. For example the video below is certainly super low impact, and you could pretty much walk on the roof and not know it was there if it didn't have the walking path in the front. But as soon as the Department of Making You Sad finds out it's toast, so the cautious person isn't posting videos advertising it. I'm a fan of the green roof also providing shelter from the roving eye of Google Maps- used to be that Cob Cottage Company in Coquille Oregon was only visible due to the greenhouse, but now several of the newer buildings are missing that green roof and they stick out when you zoom in. I'm not sure what kind of vegetation I'll try growing on my future green roof, probably some combination of perennial groundcover and flowering plants for bee food, which doesn't require real deep roots. Tap roots and waterproof membranes don't mix! It's annoying to think that a person would have to "throw away" money to build the minimum permitted by code setup including concrete foundation and septic, and still have to hide "accessory buildings" from view to live in a space you enjoy without it costing hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Being Paul-tall myself, I don't see this being an option no matter the shape of my knees, but more power to him! I think an Oehler-Wofati house would be great, so long as you build where there's no codes to be turned in by the neighbors!
1 week ago
Handsome Stranger you say?

Back in the day I found the movie hilarious!
1 week ago
You can even increase the number of holes so that it's around 50% of the total surface, and then put porous fabric inside and fill that to encourage the air pruning. Usually the roots will increase and you end up with a really robust root system.
HeartWater farm in southern Utah has/had (not sure if they are still going) 2 greenhouses made from geodesic domes. They definitely worked well, they had vents which auto opened based on temps using a wax inside a cylinder, so no electronics to break but it was still automatic. One vent at the top where a whole panel would lift and I think a pair of panels at the base as well. I'm not sure how old they were when I visited but they were in good shape. I'm also not sure of the material used for the panels, it wasn't glass. If you are ever near Bryce Canyon their farm is maybe 30 minutes from there and they were looking for someone to take over the 20 acres since their kids weren't interested.
1 week ago
That’s a good idea for at least a year in advance. I live about 22 hours away going the speed limit though and it’s open property. I’m hesitant to do that and the next year find the logs were taken but maybe that’s highly unlikely. Lots of hunting in the area and a 350 acre lot adjoining mine owned by a lumber company though.
1 month ago
He mentions liking to dig but just a couple hours per day and it took quite some time for the original smaller space. I plan to rent a small excavator to dig out my area (less than 3 years till retirement!) as it’ll be say 500 square feet and 4 feet down in a pretty flat space is around 74 yards of soil to move, not including the additional patio. Full of stone from what I’ve found, so renting the tool for a week will let me dig all that out plus put a drain trench around it all for the PAHS umbrella.

In theory, I could also use the excavator to lift the logs as well, as they will be full of water in the spring and too heavy to move by hand, even after sitting a couple months after cutting. Or if I can drag them chained to a truck then I could lift on end using a block and tackle. Plenty of hard labor, so trading money for time or in this case overcoming physical demand that one person can’t handle.
1 month ago
At least with an Oehler design (unless I'm remembering wrong) and with a lot of earthen/cob floors, a plastic vapor barrier is put on the floor so radon would be rather limited. A wofati is built on/above grade so there's no accumulation. Being totally air tight for extended periods is pretty uncommon as well.
2 months ago
The bricks will absorb that radiant heat from the barrel, and could still get hot enough to slowly "cook" the wood in the wall, over time this makes the wood burn temp drop. Erica and Ernie's RMH Builder's Guide book suggests a piece of metal (I think) that stands off the wall by 2 inches (I think) so you get the insulation layer of air between metal and wall which can rise and keep the wall itself from being subjected to baking.
2 months ago
Edible Acres posted a video or two about heating a high tunnel with an attached compost pile and it kept the temps noticeably warmer. Getting a pile of sawdust or finer ground browns, that you could say add urine to regularly to keep it cooking, might work well. As long as it's ventilated it should work, but will certainly be variable in heat output.
2 months ago
I think it would be critical to either include full instructions or links to them and examples.  A person would read this book with the idea that there are people out there wanting to pass along land to someone who knows how to manage it as proven by completing there badges. But if a person isn’t already familiar with what to do they could be left lacking the knowledge.

I’d also focus attention on the idea that there are people out there looking for a steward to inherit land to prevent it from becoming more suburbs- where does a person find these people and is there evidence that more than a few anecdotal people are there? That kind of info, so the reader then has the mindset of proving to those land owners that this stranger is worthy of being given the land instead of their children. Also what legal challenges you may face as the children take you to court expecting their parents were conned into changing their will and all that.
3 months ago