Author Topic: Mike Oehler's 500 dollar underground home and earth bermed greenhouse Video's  (Read 3850 times)

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Offline speedfunk

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I was very excited to stumble on video's of the houses and the greenhouses that I've seen and read about in books, this man has inspired me a great deal.  I'm way to far to ever visit.  I know a lot of you would enjoy this as well..

peace
Jeff

Mikes House Video


Mike Greenhouse Video


oursideofthemountain.com

Offline glenn kangiser

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Whitlock just sent me the link to them on the Permaculture forum.  Paul Wheaton did these -from the permie forum.  Good to see ol' Mike on video again.  I also wish I was closer to his place- I would like to drop by there.  I bought his videos on the Underground house - he did a three tape video.  I haven't met him in person.  He has called me twice and I called him at least once.  He likes to keep track of where his designs are used.



Whitlock got me started making a couple posts to the Permaculture forum.  http://www.permies.com/bb/index.php?board=5.0

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Offline speedfunk

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damn..wanted to get something fresh for you all in the winter months  d*  doesn't mean I will stop trying ! ;)

I'll have to look into getting his videos!   I know they cost a bit..although 6 years since buying the book..i might actually have enough money.  :P  I'm sure you've done Mike proud Glenn.   c*

interesting ... was just on the the permaculture forum, didn't see your posts though so gives me something to check out.  Expanding the electronic compound walls ? Growing our own food VERY important to us ...(next part of eradication of the man :)  I found the links on a post paul made on backwoodshome magazine forum btw.

Mikes greenhouse design very good book.  Still trying to see how to work out how to integrate into our home.  
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Offline glenn kangiser

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You did get something new, Jeff.  Neither of us linked it here.  :) 

Should have - thanks to you for that.

I just post under "The Troglodyte" there.  I'm only in the Alternative building section there- for now at least - can't keep up... [ouch]
"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

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Offline glenn kangiser

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I haven't bought the greenhouse book yet, but funny --- they are going used for around $48 in some places and Mike sells them new for 20 something. rofl

"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

Glenn's Underground Cabin  http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=151.0

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Offline speedfunk

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I saw the name and figured it out  8)

20 bucks is very reasonable.... for a book of the quality.  That is funny..maybe people don't know where to get it from?  I bet the hippies survival guide to y2k you can get for cheaper c*
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Offline glenn kangiser

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Mike's problem is that he never charges enough for his books so people don't take him seriously.  They should as he knows that of which he speaks. :)
"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

Glenn's Underground Cabin  http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=151.0

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Offline glenn kangiser

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Mike is a talented writer.... funny.  I read a bit of that and a bit of One Mexican Sunday - don't have the books though as I recall - just online excerpts I think.

The book would be worth a read even though Y2K did not end the world as we know it - or hoped it would. :)
"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

Glenn's Underground Cabin  http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=151.0

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Offline bayview

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   I remember reading Mikes $50.00 underground book over 25 years ago . . .

   Rob Roys Log-End Cave was also good reading . . .

   Along with the original Mother Earth News, before the magazine became commercialized.   It taught me simplified living, making due with what you have. 

   It is a lot less stressful than having to try to keep up with the “Jones”.

   We have friends that had the McMansion, the new cars/SUVs, new Harleys, the private schools for the kids, the new motorhome, the holidays in Hawaii . . . They were living paycheck to paycheck.  It has all come crashing down.  He lost his job.  They lost basically everthing.  Ending with a divorce.



/
    . . . said the focus was safety, not filling town coffers with permit money . . .

Offline Mike 870

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Thanks for posting this, I have the book and have been fascinated with the concept.

Offline speedfunk

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It has all come crashing down.  He lost his job.  They lost basically everything.  Ending with a divorce.


wow isn't life grand at the top.  constant stress, endless need for fulfilment.

in contrast....Ah... the good life ..being cash poor and life rich   ;D.  It's going to be real interesting times coming up.  Peak oil is here and the developing nations will increase demand for oil/energy sources even more. Inflation drivin by the corporation "federal reserve" printing press.  Those who adapt will prosper those who hold on to old models will have a tough time.   8)


Paul Weaton mention he has another video he's thinking of uploading ....(hint maybe we can help coax him! ) of mike with his ridgetop house project that he's been working on this summer.   
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Offline glenn kangiser

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That would be cool - I hinted
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Offline paul wheaton

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And I found my way back here. 

I never did get a straight answer on what you thought of my wofati article.

I did upload a new youtube video about a e ...  I should start a new thread for that.

Offline poppy

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Paul, very interesting article on the wofati house.

My cabin design and build is too far along now to consider your design, but it is an intriguing idea expecially for a north facing slope like I have.

Offline speedfunk

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Are you thinking of building something like this Paul?  Or was this more of just an exercise in design?  Good questions in your interviews as well.   ;D 

I'm not sure who you were asking if we liked the article.  I like it.. I'm glad I stumbled on your page in general.  I just ordered rebel farmer from amazon.   

I see mostly that your using a lot of oehlers designs of water management ( which you give credit for).  I like all the idea's of plenty of light from all direction which is what were doing in our house project now, light from all 4 windows.  Even with our attempt to be completely heated by the sun I felt that I could overcome the compromise of increased windows on the north side (going against the grain of conventional solar design) .   Using cheap natural substances to keep price down. 

The marriage of PAHS and Oelher is a bit tougher.  I see your extending an umbrella out 20' however only downhill.  I can see why your doing this as it you also went up hill I could see the potential for living in a pond :)  This of course will compromise the ability of the surrounding mass to moderate temp as the house is in direct contact with the flowing water coming from up hill.   I'm sure you would still gain some benefits...my guess is that they would be diminished, to what extent is hard to say.   You COULD run the umbrella ( Insulation and water membrane for everyone else reading  ???) however it would add a lot of excavation (but could be done!)

I don't see any earthtubes for ventilation.  Is that something you decided against for your designs? 

I hope that helps....?  I like oehlers designs and haits so overall I like it.   nice job. 





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Offline glenn kangiser

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And I found my way back here.  

I never did get a straight answer on what you thought of my wofati article.

I did upload a new youtube video about a e ...  I should start a new thread for that.

Sorry about not getting a good answer , Paul.  Lately I am going six ways at the same time and not a lot of time to dwell on one thing.  Currently on motel wifi as I am working out of town.

I think you speak for the majority when saying that Mikes book turned people off by mentioning Underground.  Not that you are wrong as likely you are right, but....for me... That is what I Googled when I found his and about six other books.  I went through reviews of  them online -then bought the ones I was most interested in - dismissed the expensive and impractical and settled on Mike's book as the only one with answers for me.   You see - I am one of the weird ones who loves underground living and Mike's book has exactly what I was looking for .  In two words, safety and cheap.  The engineering tables and natural resources makes it exactly what I wanted.


While his title caused you to avoid the book, it pulled me to it, like flies on stink... :)  Possibly a bit of a more devious approach could have lured more readers in for Mike though.

I like how after you got over your initial shock at the U word you went on to use and expand on Mike's information and methods.  It sounds like you also have some great ideas to add to the cache of knowledge to consider when building underground economically and sensibly.

For me, Underground is not a shock or something to try to get away from.  It is home and my kind of normal. :)

"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

Glenn's Underground Cabin  http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=151.0

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Offline paul wheaton

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(sorry for the delay in responding - i pushed out another video)

Are you thinking of building something like this Paul?   

Yes!

Good questions in your interviews as well.   ;D 

Thanks!

I like it.. I'm glad I stumbled on your page in general.  I just ordered rebel farmer from amazon.   

Excellent, and ... excellent!  Unfortunately, that book is more a biography than anything else.  I've heard that one of his books that are more content focused will be available in english soon.


The marriage of PAHS and Oelher is a bit tougher.  I see your extending an umbrella out 20' however only downhill.  I can see why your doing this as it you also went up hill I could see the potential for living in a pond :)  This of course will compromise the ability of the surrounding mass to moderate temp as the house is in direct contact with the flowing water coming from up hill.     

I think the extended uphill overhang, combined with the wrap-around trenches will minimize water on the uphill side. 

You are correct that I have very little umbrella on the uphill side.  My thinking is that it just doesn't do well uphill and that the downhill umbrellas will act as my primary mass heaters. 

So I might not get the full PAHS effect - but I think I'll get quite a bit.  I am curious how this will be on the third or fourth year after being built.

I don't see any earthtubes for ventilation.  Is that something you decided against for your designs? 

I haven't decided for sure yet.  I am thinking that it could be wise to exhaust a RMH through a downhill umbrella area.   And then, on a cool day in spring, one could open that vent and warm outside air should rush in.

I hope that helps....?  I like oehlers designs and haits so overall I like it.   nice job. 

Thanks!

Offline paul wheaton

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I like how after you got over your initial shock at the U word you went on to use and expand on Mike's information and methods.  It sounds like you also have some great ideas to add to the cache of knowledge to consider when building underground economically and sensibly.

Thanks glenn!

Offline glenn kangiser

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Paul, on earthtubes it is my thought that they need to go uphill above the house  for cooling as the earth cooled warm air should be denser and want to flow downhill.

Results from one that was done wrong - downhill - confirm that - as you mentioned - heated air will com into the house from downhill tubes.

Do  you or anyone else have more info or confirmation of that?

I hear of experimentation with them but usually no results.  Thanks.
"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

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Offline paul wheaton

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My thoughts so far in this space have been rather idle thoughts.  I need to get my land and then design something that fits the land.

So!  My thinking is that with a RMH, the exhaust is steam and CO2.  Plus, when you run a fire, aren't you trying to warm your environment?  And if you are trying to warm your environment, that suggests that your thermal mass isn't doing the trick.  So it might be nice if your thermal mass was a little warmer.  So if I route my RMH exhaust through the downhill umbrella I'll be warming my thermal mass and getting of my heavy exhaust.  It seems that once the fire is out, all of the exhaust is gone and the combustion chamber has cooled (hours after a fire) then the airflow would reverse.  Fresh, warm air would come into the house.