Wall thickness mindset

It’s interesting to see the different ways people will do things. For someone much *greener* than I am, that sounds like an interesting proposition.

This will sound sexist, but . . . not being a guy, I don’t want 2 feet thick walls. I’m thinking the inclination for buried houses and really thick walls might be a macho (bigger tires, higher lifts, more horsepower, etc.), fort or cave mentality, more appropriate to climates other than ours. I’m not saying it’s strickly a guy thing, but it’s gotta be mostly a guy thing.

I want my house up on the ridge where I can *feel* the wind blow. I want walls that are only 10″ or 12″ thick. I’d prefer 10″, but if I can’t make it work with 10″ walls, I’ll bend to 12″, but in my mind that’s pretty thick. Maybe that’s one of the reasons I’ve shied away from strawbale . . . okay, it’s also because it’s lots of labor intensive work I can’t do and we live in a really wet climate, but the thickness of the walls might be a key.

I’m so connected to the outdoors I don’t want the mental isolation of thick thick walls. Maybe I’m weird. Maybe it’s a feng sui thing. I want to be dry and comfortable, but I want to *feel* the outdoors. I want to be able to open the bathroom window to accommodate the transit of the mud wasps who build their nests above the vanity every year. I want to open my doors in May and close them the middle of October and live with that *outside* feeling as much of the year as I can.

I don’t want to be isolated. I want to see as far as I can see. I want openness and light, the free flow of air with my mass of house plants congregated to give me an indoor jungle when the outside sucks.

Being female, I want it all.

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2 Responses to Wall thickness mindset

  1. mcfish says:

    I’m new here and I haven’t read the whole site yet; but I’ll apologize ahead of time if the answer is already here. Why make walls more than 4 to 6 ” thick? Aren’t you doing a dome or at least a barrel vault? Even with several inches of EPS on outside of exposed walls you would still be only 9 or 10 in thick? What am I missing?

  2. ElfNori says:

    Unless you read the site from the oldest to the newest, you might not immediately catch that we’re using papercrete. Papercrete is a bit like adobe in that it requires a bit of mass to do its best work. Because I’m not using it as a structural element, I have a bit of leeway in the wall thickness. And because the climate here in the northwest is wonderfully mild, I don’t need to keep out temperatures in excess of 100, nor do I need to protect us from temperatures below 20. If we have two weeks a year with ~20 degree temps, it’s a fairly normal year for us. So, with all that said, 10″ or 12″ might be the perfect thickness.

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