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[Cob] rubble trench foundation questionsJ Moore applewood at hotmail.com
Sun May 1 16:22:25 PDT 2005
Hi, here in N central Washington we are building a post and beam straw bale house with cob interior walls and floor. Local inspector okayed a 2'X2' rubble trench foundation with 4"drain pipe, with the posts on 10"X34"X34" footings integral to the inside edge of this trench, but when we started digging we found one corner of the house 2' lower (so our "trench" ended being at grade!) We plan to berm it with 2' of loam up against the 3' of 2" rigid foam on the outside surface (top 1' being a 12" X16" bondbeam), and have gravel on the inside (sub floor - insulated only for the first 8' on the southside of the living rm. with 2" foam under the floor). My question is; should we dig deeper on the low side (hard to do at this point, and just increasing the thermal mass more - see concern below)? or insulate more (1"X24") with a winged/skirt around the whole perimeter(expensive but doable)? Some factors; the site is dry but on fine clay below 2' of loam, I'm conerned about the trench and the post footings being just on this loam. I'm also conerned about the increased thermal mass that the extra gravel fill has added to the house. Should I insulate under the whole house to reduce this mass (with 1.5" foam)? - we have a great passive solar site but it is the great NW after all and often snowy/cloudy in the winter with temps down to -35 F.... I'm worried about the house becoming a cold heat sink, only a good thing in the 100+ degree summers. Any thoughts, or similar experiences? Thanks for your help - in advance! James
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