OK

I have lately been thinking and posting (mostly on G+ and here at the Monday Night Cancer Club) about legacy, and my own little absurd definition of the term. I'm not going to talk about that here, except to say that this is the start of the first of 12 creative commons releases of my ideas and designs. I came to believe, somewhere along the way, that corporations and big money don't want innovation, not truly, as it makes profits unpredictable. I believe that if we are being let down by the lack of innovation by the corporations in power, then it is going to fall on the makers and DIY'ers to make up the difference.

 I also figured out that I can't be as obsolete as unemployment makes me feel, if I can still make a contribution in some small way.

This particular project started with someone asking me if it was possible to design a greenhouse that could operate year round in a relatively cold climate while requiring little or no fuel, and could be constructed as much as possible with recycled and native materials. The design presented here represents the first steps in that direction, and will be updated as I am able, with a number of innovations that are still in the on paper (literally) stage.

The other reason for publishing at this stage, is to involve as many people as possible in the design, and hopefully the eventual open sourcing of this project, if some way can be found to open source a physical object 53 feet long.

Follow me below the orange itzl for a very brief description of the project, and a link to my blog site where I will be providing additional information as the design progresses

Quite simply the net zero greenhouse project (hence forth referred to as NZG) is a development framework for a class of structure designed to operate (ie grow food), or act as a adjunct to a micro, subterranean,  housing space located largely within the earth berm backing.

 As a development framework There is a lack of specificity in definition of building materials, as it is envisioned that they will vary from location to location, based on availability and price, with a careful eye towards meeting the design characteristics of the framework, such as heat retention and structural strength.

 For instance, the back walls structure in the above sketch is portrayed as silage bunker sections, as it was envisioned for an area with a large number of defunct dairy farms.

In New England, the preferred approach would probably be a "box of rocks" system similar to that currently used in retaining walls. The front wall is portrayed as used “jersey barriers”, as these are readily available across the US, and are usually quite cheap and easy to work with.

 Please note, the earth berms are not shown in this image, for reasons of clarity, but are important for heat retention and insulation. Essential elements include, but are not limited to specific heat characteristics of the rear wall, the various face angles and geometries (as specified for a specific latitude),

insulating characteristics of the facing materials, and the design of the overhang, which functions as both a reflector to increase insolation during the winter, and a solar chimney during the summer.

 All of these initial specifications will be released and published as time allows me, but the initial concept is being published at this time for feedback, and to allow others to extend the concept. The original prototype structure was envisioned for southern NY state, but loss of backing and health issues preclude me constructing it there, or on my farm in Massachusetts.  

updates and KMZ files are/will be available at:  http://latentsteam.blogspot.com/

Now with the hashtags I forgot... #solarenergy   #solar   #greenhouse   #greenhomes   #creativecommons   #opensource  #

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