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View Diary: Energy from the Moon (165 comments)

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  •  OT, but so cool, innovative, do-able (4.00)
    Have you heard of architect Nader Khalili and his California Institute of Earth Art and Architecture?  He has developed a system of construction based on traditional earth buildings in his native Iran.  These amazing structures withstand natural disasters, and take advantage of the "thermal flywheel effect", a 12 hour delay in the energy transfer from the exterior to the interior of the building--they're coolest at the hottest part of the day and warmest at the coolest part of the day.  Because they are constructed of earth, polyethyline bags and barbed wire they are inexpensive to build (but labor intensive).  They can be very beautiful, too.

    Check it out:
    http://www.calearth.org/

    Mother Earth magazine had a great article on earthbag construction, too, Oct/Nov 2005, here's their site, unfortunately I don't think you can pull up the article there without a subscription, but there are so many great alternative energy articles and resources there...

    http://www.motherearthnews.com/

    Listening is where love begins: listening to ourselves and then to our neighbors. Mister Rogers

    by station wagon on Fri Nov 11, 2005 at 08:35:32 AM PST

    •  elaboration in order-- (none)
      Khalil's technique uses polypropylene (correction, sorry) earth filled bags stacked or stairstepped--check the link, beautiful!--with barbed wire in between the bags, resulting in great tensile strength which makes the structures very sturdy and able to withstand earthquakes and other natural disasters.  Khalil is widely respected for his work, has written many books, and has been widely recognized, including by the U.N., for his work to provide designs for emergency shelters and housing alternatives for poor people.  One aspect of the practicality of his method is the option for using arched or domed elements, reducing the need for wood products. How cool is that?  

      What does this have to do with the moon you may ask:  Khalil worked with NASA to design moon homes for the lunar landscape!!!!Check out the link from my comment directly above...

      Listening is where love begins: listening to ourselves and then to our neighbors. Mister Rogers

      by station wagon on Fri Nov 11, 2005 at 11:15:08 AM PST

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