[permaculture] Question about Earth Homes, thermal mass and humidity

Douglas Woodard dwoodard at becon.org
Mon Feb 1 04:47:34 EST 2010

On a tangent, from reading, white roofs have been found useful on houses
of conventional construction in the southeastern U.S. for minimizing
summer daytime heat gain.

There are some relevant comments on this website (see earth tubes):

Also, they claim to cover hot humid climates in a cd-rom book they sell 
for a not outrageous price.

There are some relevant remarks at

Doug Woodard
St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada

On 1/02/10 4:15 AM, "Udan Farm" <udanfarm at yahoo.com> wrote:

> HI Folks,
> Reading about Quail Springs and their buildings, (I've been there by the way,
> and it's really a great example of permaculture in dry climate) I've been
> wondering if ANYONE knows ANYONE who has previously already BUILT any kind of
> earth homes-cob, in-ground, earthship, cordwood, etc. homes in the SOUTH...I'm
> talking HOT, HUMID, buggy, HUMID southern USA?
> I ask because a lot of folks are looking to me and my husband, as permaculture
> teachers, asking questions about building something from earth that doesn't
> cost 200k, and I'm of the mind that those big thermal mass things connected to
> the ground DO NOT work well in the humidity. It gets cold and hot here,
> sometimes with about a 40* range in one day, add the humidity and the walls
> (even on a well insulated stick built house) SWEAT something aweful, and
> books, rugs, fabrics, clothes and shoes go quite moldy.
> I'm fond of the Cracker style house-up off the ground, wide porches, lots of
> windows, high ceilings, and a cupola on top that opens.That works for FL and
> central GA but even up into the mountains, the ONE building I know of that's
> about 7 years old-made of cob and sitting on the ground is MOLDY smelling the
> minute you walk in it. And I know everyone knows that the answer is not HVAC
> running 24/7/52...
> I would love to hear you thoughts on that subject and if you know anyone with
> an older thermal mass/earth house I could ask these questions of...
> Thanks!!Isabel

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