Jake Van

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since Jun 18, 2011
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Recent posts by Jake Van

Perhaps the hole in the door should mirror the shape of the hole at the back of the burn box. I'm thinking skinnier and taller but with a similar cross sectional area. This may help in a more even top to bottom burn.
9 years ago
oooh me me! Does it have info on the batch style?
9 years ago

velacreations Hatfield wrote:why would anyone want to pound 2,000 tires? That's a lot of work, and thank goodness they aren't paying for labor...

We use a modification of Oehler's PSP method. Earthbags could work, too.

I just read the new Earthship Global Model Operation One: Tire Work book and they say the 2 bedroom model uses 750 tires. I think the old models where they used several interlinking horseshoe shapes used much more tires. I agree that an earthship could be made from earthbags however I cannot visualize how to attach the bond beam. I think the Earthship could be made nearly as cheap as a wofati but will require different skills ( I say different because a wofati looks fairly equipment, woodwoorking skill intensive).

Tires: Free or may even get paid to take them
Dirt: Free (thermal mass, walls, floors)
Roof: Maybe less expensive than wofati (doesnt need to support living roof) but does require a metal roofing system which is expensive.
Insulation/Waterproofing/Thermal Mass: Same as wofati
Windows: Same as wofati? Maybe more unless you do some creative sourcing.
Offgrid power: wofati requires a well pump and probably water softening which have large power requirements ( a well pump cant be DC due to the head needed on the pump) while Earthship systems have very low power requirements (they recommend a 2kw solar setup - about 8000$ if you do the install and before any rebates) and run completely DC- AC is only for convenience and the rooftop rainwater catch uses gravity instead of fighting it. Rainwater needs no softening.
Sewage: Water softeners make septic tanks not work well due to the high salt content not to mention engineered wetlands.
Labor: Earthship more but possibly made up for in longevity? Wood underground just seems problematic. A wofati seems to require more digging while an earthship is built on the surface and bermed.

12 years ago
Thank you for posting this! Really inspiring
12 years ago
IMO a metal roof would be better due to the massive structure needed to support a green roof.
12 years ago
Paul, I'd be interested in your views on Mike Reynolds work (the earthship guy). His buildings address all of the issues you discuss in your podcasts. They collect rainwater for all water usage (no wells, pumps, softening, very little filtration needed), they process their own grey and black water separately, they have at least one self contained greenhouse for the processing of greywater and allow for the addition of another for the black water system, the homes are designed and built from New Mexico, Haiti, Canada without conventional heating or cooling systems (solar gain, thermal mass and convection only), and are designed to be powered completely off grid. His videos may be seen here:
Garbage Warrior
Earthship Seminar 1,2
12 years ago
The affordable electric car was already made and suppressed.
Who Killed the Electric Car:
12 years ago
Worst Blunders:

1) Getting a mortgage (did you know that it means deathgrip in french?). All my life I was told "Your house is your biggest investment". A 130,000$ house costs 275,000$ if you stay for the 30 years. If you add the taxes in for 30 years you paid 395,000$. Then you have water, power, road improvements etc. Basically buying a house even before the big housing bubble is a Guaranteed Loss Of A Lot Of Money.

2)Putting even 1 penny into the stock market (I put considerably more than 1 penny)

Luckily I'm young enough to undo the damage
12 years ago