Earth Tubes

With the help of Trevor Butler and his company Earth Tubes we will be installing buried earth tubes in Ethel Lane House similar to the ones in the picture.  Over the centuries this “technology” has been used around the world but only recently have designers and engineers begun to revisit these systems.

Our goal is to install the equivalent of 12” diameter duct into a trench around the perimeter of the building.  This trench will simply act as a method of cooling the fresh air supply in the summer or warming it up in the winter.  We will be using 100” of polyethylene Big “O” similar to the material used in perimeter drains.

Earth Tube Diagram
From David Suzuki Earth Tubes also may be referred to as air-ground heat exchanger, earth warming/cooling tubes, earth channels, earth air tunnels, underground air pipes.

Moving Water Systems

As noted in our last post we have had to do away with a full house craw space.  Instead we have opted for a hybrid of sorts.  We will digging a dropped crawlspace under the the bathroom to accommodate the composting toilet.  This space will hold the systems for the Black, Grey and fresh water supply.  All pumps and systems that can be damaged by water must be installed above the high water mark, which is only a couple of feet down from the ceiling.   Our composting toilet has no electrical or mechanical systems that will be damaged by water, and our backup sump pump is submersible.

We have also moved the rain water tanks out of the crawlspace to a hole to be dug under the deck.  This will eliminate the chance of hydraulic lifting that might happen in flood situations.  Our choice of tanks has also changed and we will be installing only one Super Tank from Premier plastics that will be buried below grade close to spring ground water levels, which are rumoured to be 8’ below ground in that area.


Water Tables and Floodplains

Our surveyor, Goddard Land Survey, has completed their work to locate the building at the back of the property.  And now we are left to consider the elevation of the building to the nearby Mill Creek.

The two numbers that are important are:

1. Lake level 343.6m

2. the floodplain level of Mill Creek is 347.4m.

Our survey indicated that our elevation at ground will be 347.91m.