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

Tripp Tibbetts slowfoodguy at yahoo.com
Tue Feb 2 14:18:04 EST 2010

I know of a an older, MUCH older, earth housing example in Macon, GA.  Have you visited the Ocmulgee native monument?  Obviously I can't speak for the actual living conditions in such a "house", but that area is ecotone central - rivers, uplands, piedmont, coastal plain - and drew lots of interest from Amerinds, way before dehumidifying HVAC systems (and books, shoes, and rugs).
Couple this with Paul's recent exposure of Mike Oehler's WOFATI techniques, the old native hogans, and we MIGHT be onto something.  I'm considering an addition to our little crackerbox down the road along these lines.  Anyone with information about the lack of viability of such things should please talk me out of this if it is a known disaster!

Good discussion, thanks!


The best fertilizer is the gardener's shadow.
-Chinese proverb

--- On Sun, 1/31/10, Udan Farm <udanfarm at yahoo.com> wrote:

From: Udan Farm <udanfarm at yahoo.com>
Subject: [permaculture] Question about Earth Homes, thermal mass and humidity
To: permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
Date: Sunday, January 31, 2010, 5:15 PM

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...

permaculture mailing list
permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
Subscribe or unsubscribe here:
Google command to search archives:
site: http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/permaculture searchstring
More information:


More information about the permaculture mailing list