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Andrea Ghensi

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since Feb 22, 2015
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Recent posts by Andrea Ghensi

Thank you Tom, you confirmed my worries.
Better to stick to the humanure handbook and buld a good compost pile then!
4 years ago
Forgive me if I'm resuming a topic that has been quiet for almost a year, and also forgive me if I say something ignorant (still have to understand alla the information I got so far).

I'm trying to figure out the best way to handle humanure and organic waste in my future permacultural setup. I read the humanure handbook and I thought this was the way to go.
A few days ago I came across this product and it seems it's able to:
  • digest 6l of food scraps or (/and?) 15l of animal manure each day
  • get 5 to 10 liters of fertilizer each day
  • get 200l of gas from 1l of food scraps (or 2-3 hours of cooking gas per day if at maximum load)
  • store 400l of gas, after which the gas is released in the atmosphere.
  • work well in places where the average day/night temp is above 17°C/66°F (you can put it in a greenhouse if it's well ventilated)


  • I still have to make all the calculations (my organic waste productions and the temperatures I can operate with), but I would like to ask you if you think it could be feasible to use it also as a humanure digester (I imagine by taking out my compost toilet bucket every day to homebiogas, and forgetting about the compost pile), just to have another renewable source of energy for cooking.

    Thanks for the attention!
    4 years ago
    I'm ashamed, I just realized that the term breathable is not what I believed (in Italy we use the term "traspirante")! not it all makes sense!
    I've read all the other thread, thanks so much for providing all those informations!
    5 years ago
    Thanks Terry for your explanation.
    I've read the free materials of the book and I'll dig the other thread soon.
    I guess I have to surrender to the misuse of the word "breathing" I know that the term is explained earlier in the book, but I'm still thinking about the man next door that wants to drill holes in the wall to let it breathe

    Forgive me about WUFI, I was certain that it took in account some (if not all) of the properties of a material, but evidently my memory failed me
    I never used it, but I saw it used by a professor to perform analysis to choose the right insulation material for a building renovation. And It does a pretty good job by telling you that vapour barriers/retarders are not so good, and that moisture permeable insulation in the inside of the house (the only one permitted in a listed historical building) can help drying the existing walls!

    Thanks again,
    Cheers from Italy
    5 years ago
    Hi all, first post here, please let me share my thoughts.
    I live in Italy and just graduated from Architecture and Building Engineering, and took a couple of courses on timber constructions and and architecture, in which we talked a bit about energy efficiency/passive houses.
    Eager to know more about sustainable architecture and permaculture, I started reading Paul Wheaton site and this forum, then came across this thread. It really confused me.
    I was taught homes need to be airtight in order to prevent heat losses, and a proper layered walls avoids the moisture to be trapped between layers and mould to develops on the surface.
    Then I took a look at chapter 7 of the book, and found that the author addresses what the real problem is: vapor retarders are misused in a conventional building. It has nothing to do with air. In fact, if air could be the main vector of vapor if you don't pay attention at the connections.
    The incorrect use of the vapor barriers are the product of relying on the old Glaser model, a method that doesn't take account of the many variables of the heat and moisture "transmission" (i.e. variation in performance of materials based on humidity level and the starting humidity content in the material). I don't know how the situation is in US, but now Europe moved to a more accurate method, that involves complex calculations made only by computers. a good software to have a pretty accurate analysis is Wufi plus: http://www.wufi.de/index_e.html the bad news is it costs a lot!
    The rule of thumb, however, is to use layers with diffusion values that increases as you go outside of the wall.
    To sum up, I think the term "Breathing" is very misleading, and should be changed with "Transpirant", to avoid misconceptions.
    just my 2 cents
    5 years ago