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Peter
user 11164950
Antioch, IL
Post #: 1
I thought that I would try and use the message board to compile a "wish list" of workshops/meetups. Please feel free to join the discussion. I know that we have a meetup suggestion area, but I thought I would try a little different approach. Even if suggested ideas do not come to fruition we can still have some great online dialog none the less. I would like to start with a few ideas but I really am interested in what kind of meetup/workshops the rest of the members are thinking about. I know some of my suggestions have happened prior to me joining the group but maybe there is interest in doing them again.

Here are a few that I have been thinking about:

Cob oven building workshop,
straw bale garden wall/ garden bench experiment,
cob bench buildtogether,
rocket stove buildtogether,
Cob sculpture small scale meetup, (make something out of mud and take it home concept)

So get typing and join the discussion,

Pete
A former member
Post #: 1
Hi there...

So, I would like to say I was given a great book called "Shelter" as a gift, can't seem to see who it's written by, but it was published by Shelter Publications Inc if that helps... (totally not trying to spam everyone here, bear with me....). The book is all about (you guessed it) what we define as shelter BUT, more specifically, it covers some of the vast variety of styles and ways of building what people all over the world call Home. Even more specifically, it champions people and communities that build their own homes and appears to look at the fundamentals of how these different styles of homes can be built, what it says about the people that live in them, the resources they use, etc. Pretty big scope, right?

Obviously a realistic meetup couldn't involve us all getting together and building our own dream homes, or even building some sort of collective dream home (at least, not full-size)... but perhaps a purely discussion-based meetup to talk about types of home/shelter that someone could DIY using natural materials... or even a miniatures-workshop, where we could build something of a crude model of a shelter/home (a sort of mini-human version of a birdhouse-making workshop), like Pete's 'cob sculpture' suggestion?
Not sure if it's too grand of an idea to be accomplished in an afternoon (or during winter) since I haven't been to any meetups yet to see the time fly, but maybe the idea itself could perhaps be used as something....well, useful?

Also, I know this isn't by any means a book club, but if anyone knows of any natural-building-based books or literature or even notable, local places to visit to recommend to others here, or stuff like it that could be material for discussion maybe that might sprout some meetup ideas?
Peter
user 11164950
Antioch, IL
Post #: 2
Great Ideas Paul!

Natural Building Book list of suggested reading, maybe also website links? I like the shelter mock up scaled down idea too, thats going on the list. (Kinda like a fort from the childhood years with a twist on learning, fabulous)

If we started a spot for suggested books I would think it would fit best in the files area, Lets run it by Anna W. Keep the ideas flown'.

Thanks,

Peter
Heather
HeatherNBMeetup
Group Organizer
Chicago, IL
Post #: 1
It looks like 2010 is providing opportunities for at least some of the projects on the list!
Mike
user 7034503
Elgin, IL
Post #: 8
Tough deciding whether to use an old thread or create a new one - low traffic here, so I chose the old one.

I don't know if building passive solar structures fit this group? I have 3 projects I will be building this year -2011.


  • Rocket Mass Heater for Garage & future greenhouse
  • Solar air heater panels
  • Solar pond water heater


I know some people like seeing how stuff like this is built. I am willing to let people come and 'help' when I make them, whether's it's sitting in a lawn chair and watching, or getting dirty themselves.

The rocket mass heater will actually be of 'pocket rocket' dimensions, and will be built in the garage, but chimneyed out under ground across the area where I want to put a greenhouse. Using the ground as the thermal mass. Trying to figure out how to heat a greenhouse here in the winter for cheap.

The Solar air heater panels will be 4 insulated panels of roughly 3 foot by 6 foot in dimension of foam board construction and plexiglass glazing. I am thinking about building all 4 in different 'styles' so I can do a comparison of results. These will be portable units, so I can set them up in the fall to heat the garage over winter. I don't expect these to make it shirt-sleeve comfortable in the un-insulated garage, but warm enough that the rocket mass heater can easily make it comfortable. One will also be used in the summer to 'power' an outdoor solar food dehydrator.

The solar pond water heater should be read as 'solar pond' water heater. This is a small insulated pool that is set up to pump a small amount of water out into shallow water tray to warm up, and flow back into the pool. It has a cold-frame built around it. I plan on building this against the foundation of the house to soak up some of the lost heat from the foundation & be able to vent the dryer vent 'through' the pond to recover some of that lost heat. It's primary use will be as a thermal mass to keep a cold-frame warm for winter gardening, and possibly as a aquaponics tank heater in spring and fall.

If any of these fit the intent of this group, I would be glad to share the building experiences with everyone. I am out in the Fox Valley. Let me know, and when I pick a weekend for a project, I will post it as an 'Idea'.
Heather
HeatherNBMeetup
Group Organizer
Chicago, IL
Post #: 2
Tough deciding whether to use an old thread or create a new one - low traffic here, so I chose the old one.

I don't know if building passive solar structures fit this group? I have 3 projects I will be building this year -2011.


  • Rocket Mass Heater for Garage & future greenhouse
  • Solar air heater panels
  • Solar pond water heater


I know some people like seeing how stuff like this is built. I am willing to let people come and 'help' when I make them, whether's it's sitting in a lawn chair and watching, or getting dirty themselves.

The rocket mass heater will actually be of 'pocket rocket' dimensions, and will be built in the garage, but chimneyed out under ground across the area where I want to put a greenhouse. Using the ground as the thermal mass. Trying to figure out how to heat a greenhouse here in the winter for cheap.

The Solar air heater panels will be 4 insulated panels of roughly 3 foot by 6 foot in dimension of foam board construction and plexiglass glazing. I am thinking about building all 4 in different 'styles' so I can do a comparison of results. These will be portable units, so I can set them up in the fall to heat the garage over winter. I don't expect these to make it shirt-sleeve comfortable in the un-insulated garage, but warm enough that the rocket mass heater can easily make it comfortable. One will also be used in the summer to 'power' an outdoor solar food dehydrator.

The solar pond water heater should be read as 'solar pond' water heater. This is a small insulated pool that is set up to pump a small amount of water out into shallow water tray to warm up, and flow back into the pool. It has a cold-frame built around it. I plan on building this against the foundation of the house to soak up some of the lost heat from the foundation & be able to vent the dryer vent 'through' the pond to recover some of that lost heat. It's primary use will be as a thermal mass to keep a cold-frame warm for winter gardening, and possibly as a aquaponics tank heater in spring and fall.

If any of these fit the intent of this group, I would be glad to share the building experiences with everyone. I am out in the Fox Valley. Let me know, and when I pick a weekend for a project, I will post it as an 'Idea'.

The Rocket Mass Heather would fit right in to the focus of this group. Please let us know when you start your projects!
Mike
user 7034503
Elgin, IL
Post #: 9
The rocket mass heater will be the last one on the list to get done, probably this fall. I am going to need to mock up a few iterations of it before I do it 'for real' as it will be difficult to fix if it's not right the first time.

I will let you know when I will be working on these things.
Heather
HeatherNBMeetup
Group Organizer
Chicago, IL
Post #: 3
That sounds great. Fall is a good time to be thinking about heaters anyway- it gets people inspired
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