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Rufina

Glad to be here!

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Hello everyone! Very glad to be here! I am  from Freiburg, Germany, mother of 3 and a moderator on this board. The topics in this forum are very exciting to me and I look forward to chatting with you all!

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Hallo Thomas, Resilient Plan B koennen auch die Deutschen gut gebrauchen! Ja, die Freiburger Gegend ist wunderschoen! Wilkommen in diesem Forum!

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Hi Everyone,

I am Steve FitzGerald from Wichita Kansas. I have lived in an earth-sheltered, passive solar home for the past 20 years. This is my introduction. I have wanted to create a self-sufficient community for about forty years now. I spent the last thirty years in Aerospace Composites Manufacturing Engineering. However, I am ready to switch gears. I know a bit about solar, wind, geothermal, dome homes, earth-sheltered homes rainwater collection etc., and would be glad to share with like-minded people. Both my grandparents had gardens, as did my dad. I really have no excuse for not having one. GMO was not an issue then, as it is now. Currently I am looking in to dome homes, as they will stand up to about anything nature can throw at them. I am also available to work, consult, or initiate a cooperative, for, or with, anyone who may have a need for what I can bring to the table. I have a sister in Florida and am grateful she made it through hurricane Irma. I am looking forward to chatting with you all.

Best regards,

Steve

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Hello Steve,

Thank you so much for your introduction.
I am very glad that our forum started to attract people with such an experience like yours. Welcome to the board!

P.S. You mentioned dome homes and earth-sheltered passive homes. I have no idea what kind of homes those are but the part that they can stand up to about anything nature can throw at them is quite intriguing. Would love to know more about it.
Maybe you can share more about it in the "New Ideas" forum?
Thank you!

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They really are not new.  Back when people first settled in Oklahoma and the Midwest, sod homes were very popular as wood and steel were nor readily available. Earth sheltered homes are very similar to the early sod homes. However instead of a mixture of earth and grass for materials most earth sheltered and Dome homes are primarily made of concrete. earth-sheltered homes face south (in the northern hemisphere) to take advantage of solar energy provided by the low winter sun, and have overhangs to keep out the hot summer sun when it is higher in the sky. The North, East and West sides have dirt graded up the sides to just below the roof. Underground homes are very similar except the generally have a concrete slab roof which is buried with 1-3 feet of earth which is topped with grass or other ground cover. The earth below the frost line maintains a constant temperature in the mid 60's in our area. This makes it far more energy efficient to heat and cool. You also eliminate 90% of wind infiltration. Our home has a wood burning fireplace with and insert which can heat the home up very quickly. We have on occasion had to open the windows in the middle of winter to vent out excess heat. One year we never used the gas furnace just to see if we could. Air conditioning is still needed in the summer when the temperature rises above 90 degrees F. However, our bill rarely is over $100 dollars a month in the summer and far less in the winter which I should install a solar hot water system which would eliminate the need for gas. Dome homes are as, or more, efficient as earth-sheltered passive solar homes and the can also be built into the ground as well. The way they are made is very interesting. They blow up a bubble and shoot it with spray-able concrete followed by a layer of polyurethane insulation which is also applied by a spray gun which expands to 3-4" thick. Another coat of concrete follows this over the foam making a super-efficient and nearly indestructible structure. You can use passive solar as well by orientating the home to the south. That is it briefly.  

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Hi Steve, welcome to the board!
It's true, the idea of earth sheltered homes was around for quite a while already. To get the maximum amount of benefits the house has to be inserted in a southern part of a hill.

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Hello,
Thank you so much for your participation in this forum.
I really do value your input.
This part of the forum is mostly for greetings and introductions.
For all other topics, please find the appropriate topic.
Thank you!

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