Adding Mass for Solar Gain

Adding thermal mass increases the ability of a material to store heat energy. Brick, adobe, rammed earth, and earthbags are all great examples of mass used in building. To understand how mass works think about an adobe dwelling in the desert region (New Mexico, Arizona). The heat of the day travels through the walls at…

Straw-Clay Insulation

Stray-clay, sometimes know as Light Clay is a natural insulation far superior to conventional types because it is non toxic, reasonably self supportive, and resistent to rot, vermin, or fires. It also has a low impact on the environment because it made from an agricultural waste product and clay. This combination of thermal mass (the…

Adobe Brick Making

Adobe is an ancient building technique dating back to 8300 BC. The bricks are fireproof, durable, biodegradable, and provide excellent thermal mass to a building. In the fall of 2012, I gained experience building with bricks, including making the mortar and constructing walls; however, the adobe bricks were already made at the time. Luckily, I was…

Wooden “Sandwich” Doors

Building your own doors can further enhance the design of a handmade house. They are made to fit any size and are cheaper than ordering a custom door from a store or mill. Exterior doors are at least 1 3/4” thick while interior doors are 1 1/2”. When building the AAC walls we left an…

Installing the Corrugated Roof

Metal Sheet Roofing is extremely durable and relatively simple to install. Once the roof framing was finished the next step was to add the proper layers to withstand the elements and insulate the building. The layer system is as follows: 1.) Tongue and Groove Pine 2.) Ice and Water Shield 3.) Insulation (Rigid Foam) 4.)…