Monday, June 8, 2015

The Grain Bin House: The Foundation, Part 2

On day two of the GBH build, (Saturday) after laying out the basic diameter and digging the footing the day before; our bin guys got busy with additional support for the concrete foundation to be poured. First they secured older pieces of galvanized bin metal against the circular base of what will be our GBH floor, with rebar bent in place as they went.  Then more gravel was added and pounded down in the GBH floor area.




 
Cutting the rebar took time as they were meticulous about spacing and attaching. The white PVC pipes in the photo below will drain water softener fluid directly into our leach field bypassing the septic tank while the other larger pipe will drain our shower, dishwasher and sink water. We will not be putting a regular flush toilet in the GBH, only our compost toilet, nor will there be a tub or dishwasher.


After the first go round they decided a second row of rebar would be even better. That's my husband Keith in the trenches to give you an idea of how deep the foundation will be. Foam insulation panels will be placed outside the rebar all the way around, backfilled with dirt and then concrete will be poured between the insulation and this older, uglier piece of galvanized metal circling our GBH floor, hiding it and all the rebar completely.

 
The grain bin body will then go on top of the concrete foundation but I am getting way ahead of myself. Last night we had nearly two inches of rain and so no GBH work was done today but hopefully they will be able to resume tomorrow. This gave us time to make our final plans for the Rocket Mass Stove Heater we will be installing ourselves in the GBH floor, before they pour the final floor, as our only source of heat.
 
Rocket mass stove heater...sounds so scientific does it not? Lets' just hope Ralph doesn't send Alice to the moon accidently. It will be our first rocket mass stove heater you know.
photo www.eathineer.com

13 comments:

  1. Too cool. I hear that they provide a lot of heat for very little fuel. That certainly is a substantial foundation. I dont think its going any where. What fun Keith will be having. So many project, so many plans, so much to do, the possibilities are endless.

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    1. They do Lynda. For every four cords of wood an average wood stove would use the RMH uses one cord plus it is much smaller pieces of wood fed into it. Less to cut , carry and store.

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    2. And precious little ash of which to dispose too.

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  2. Replies
    1. Don't be taking Brandon's wood without his permission :)

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  3. Will the rocket stove also heat your water as well as the living space? And when do the home tours start? :-D

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    1. It will heat small amounts of water on top of the 55 gallon drum that is part of its structure but because you fire it up only every three of four days (and the mass in the floor continues to emit hit those days even when the stove is not burning) we have not yet figured out how to use the RMH for hot water "on demand" But then again we all demand a bit too much anyway don't we? Well. I know I do at least.

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  4. Wow! Such progress already! I'm so excited to see how building your RMH goes. My husband and I have plans to build one this fall, so any tips you share will be greatly appreciated.

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    1. We'll be happy to share our mistakes and triumphs and mistakes with you. Stay tuned.

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  5. This looks like a lot of work but I know it will be amazing when it's all done.

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    1. All of what we are doing here is a huge amt of manual labor but in the end will save us tons of money. Since we now have loads more time and tons LESS money the equation balances for us. And we truly are having so much fun walking this new path together. The real challenge will be making soap outdoors which I intend to do next week.!

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  6. Donna, can you consider a solar water heater? I know some folks here have one, but seem to use it only in the nonfreezing weather.

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  7. Lovely to see progress being made on the Grain Bin House. That diagram was very helpful in understanding how the heating system will work, physics never was my strong point! Have you given any thought yet to external decoration, or are you concentrating on building the structure before you focus on design ideas?

    Refugia Stein @ Container Domes

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