Living Center Oregon

Sustainable Living Center Oregon

Greenhouse or Tiny House

Moveable,,, Build here – Move it there. It is built on skids.  It may place on a flatbed trailer making it like a Travel Trailer. It does not have to licensed like Travel Trailer.

Tiny … lIt is less 100 sq ft …  (8  ft  X 12 ft).  Usually, this size of the unit does not require a building permit,  A loft may be built for a sleeping area.

Super Insulated … The floor is insulated with Air Crete.  The insulating R-value of Air Crete is controlled by the ratio of cement to foam mixture.  This ratio can cause the R-value will be 3 – 6 per inch.  The floor has 6 inches of Air Crete.

1_domeAircrete Heat Storage …. The north end of the Basic Module can be a heat storage area.   It will be a five (5) 5 inch thick  Air Crete four (4) deep arc.  It will store either 15 gal-barrels of water of a Rocket Mass Heater, depending on the heat requirements of the Module.

Flexibility of Design ….  The rest of the Module (8ft  X 8 ft) may be either Greenhouse or living area.

Rain Water Harvesting … It is free; the only cost is the collection,, saves money on utility bills and reduces the contamination of surface water resulting in cleaner lakes, rivers, and oceans.  Click for Secrets to Saving Rain Drops

Earth Auger Toilet© …. The Earth Auger was designed based on work by a retired professor at the University of Washington and is being funded by a Gates Foundation Grant.  This is a pedal-operated dry toilet. Urine is diverted and stored.  The feces is also stored.  The main innovation with the toilet is the mechanized, foot-pedal-actuated dry-flush system and sawdust delivery system that uses no water.

Farage Cage ….  Click for AirCrete as a Faraday Cage

Living area

th3The rest of the Living Area Modules may be

  • Connected side by side
  • Placed on trailers like a Travel Trailer
  • Extended lengthwise
  • Each module may have an Air Crete heat storage section or not
  • Each module may have a Rain Harvesting systems or not.


or a mixture of Living & Greenhouse sections


The Workshop will be hands-on.  You will be working at the Workshop, bring your work clothes and gloves.  We will be building an 8 X 12, Air Crete Heating, Greenhouse with a Rain Harvesting System..

We have discovered a low-cost method of building tiny homes.  It is called Air-Crete.  It is Portland Cement and Dish Soap.  Non-skilled workers can use this method to build affordable housing.

Click Hear the AirCrete designer’s Ted Talk 


The north end of the AirCrete Tiny House Module

It consists of a 4 X 8 Aircrete Arch to house either the Rocket Mass Heater or the Solar Wall of Water.  The arch provides its roof.


Rest of AirCrete Tiny House Module

The Workshop will be built as a greenhouse.  Two (2) 4 X 6 dual panel vinyl sliding windows will be installed. for solar gain.   The windows will be installed on the inside of the House Module© with Solixx installed on the outside.  There will be two (2) people doors installed, in order to connect to other Pods.  These may be opened for ventilation. The roof will be the same combination of windows and Solixx.

The center 4-foot section can be either be used for solar gain or by using siding and AirCrete foam for insulation be used as living quarters.  The roof will be the same combination of windows and Solixx.

The AirCrete Tiny House Module© will be using six key elements necessary to make a DIY liveable space: solar; heat storage; and conservation.

  1. Orientation
  2. AirCrete
  3. Double Wall Glazing
  4. Thermal Water Heat Storage
  5. Super Insulation
  6. Venting

The AirCrete House Module© is designed to uses these features to be an off-the-grid self-contained passive solar pod that would only need, soil, sun, and water to grow plants,sun


The AirCrete Tiny House Module© takes advantage of the changing angles of the sun throughout the seasons.

The coldest months (winter) the sun heating is increased.  The Winter Sun travels in the southern portion of the sky, rising in the east and setting in the west. Therefore, it is important to face the AirCrete Tiny Pod© s big windows as close to true south as possible.  The path of the winter sun will always be lower in the sky with a shorter path than the summer sun. The winter season has the least sun, so we want to make the most of it.

The tilt should be designed so that the windows point directly at the sun at noon. To calculate, we multiply our latitude of Lincoln City, Oregon 42 degrees by 0.9, and add 30 degrees. (42 X .9 + 30 ) = 67.5 degrees tilt from horizontal.

The hottest months (summer) the sun heating is reduced.

The design acts as a thermostat. It produces heat in the winter during clear days.  When the seasonal temperatures warm, the structure reduces the solar heating input.

North Wall built of AirCrete

The north arch will be built with aircrete.  AirCrete is made by making air bubbles and mixing them into the concrete. There are other techniques similar.  They are called by many names such as cellular concrete, foam concrete, lightweight concrete, aerated concrete, ACC  etc.   They are made by putting something in the concrete that will make the gas bubbles. Aluminum powder is introduced to the concrete and reacts with calcium hydroxide and water to form hydrogen. The hydrogen gas foams and doubles the volume of the raw mix creating gas bubbles. At the end of the foaming process, the hydrogen escapes into the atmosphere and is replaced by air.  Regardless of which method is used, the performance characteristics of the end product are nearly the same.

It is a lightweight material that contains stable air cells uniformly distributed throughout the mixture. It is a block of concrete which utilizes a stable air cell rather than the traditional aggregate.AirCrete is an eco-friendly building material, made from natural raw materials such as sand (or fly ash), cement, lime, gypsum, aluminum powder, and water. This mix creates a product that provides insulation, structure and fire protection in one lightweight product.

Air-Crete is easy and inexpensive to make yourself with a small AirCrete machine that you can make for about $100.It is waterproof, fireproof, and insect proof. It offers good thermal and acoustic insulation. It will not rot, warp, or corrode. Unlike concrete which is hard, heavy, cold and difficult to work with, Air-Crete is easy to work with. It dries overnight and can be cut, carved, drilled and shaped with wood-working tools. It accepts nails and screws and is easily repaired. It had good compression strength to make excellent foundations, sub-floors, building blocks, poured walls, domes or whatever. It can be molded or formed into practically any shape. Air-Crete can cut the cost of conventional methods of construction by a factor of 10 for several reasons.

Lower building cost less than $10/foot under roof

buildingDue to AirCrete’s low weight, the structural load will be very less and in turn, the structural members can be designed accordingly. In turn, the requirement of concrete and steel will be less for foundation and all structural members of the building. Since AirCrete can be made into larger Blocks the number of joints will be less and in turn, the requirement of cement mortar will be less. The labor required to lay the Air-Crete blocks will also be considerably lesser and time.

With Air-Crete you can form it to any thickness to suit your climate. Just two cups of dish detergent with 5 gals of water and 94 lb bag of cement produces enough foam to produce about 50 cubic feet of Air-Crete.  The foam expands the volume of cement by a factor of 5 – 7. It eliminates the need for aggregates, gravel, sand, or rock which are costly, take space on site and require heavy equipment to deliver and requires hard labor to work.

Lower Operating Cost

preeywinkle_greenhousePerrywinkle Farms is actively using an Air-Crete type of product for its greenhouse.  All the transplants at Perrywinkle Farms are grown in this passive solar greenhouse constructed from blocks which are very strong and lightweight with excellent insulating properties..The thermal efficiency stems from three factors.

  1. Air-Crete structures result in solid wall construction with integrated insulation.  Entire wall coverage prevents the thermal bridging associated with conventional stud – framed walls, which essentially leave cold gaps around every stud and header.
  2. The solid wall construction of Air-Crete structures creates an airtight building envelope, minimizing uncontrolled air changes while helping maintain desired indoor temperatures and maximizing the efficiency of HVAC equipment.
  3. Air-Crete structure benefits from the added value of thermal mass and low thermal conductivity. Though an eight-inch wall has a steady state R-value and the benefits of thermal mass, however, vary by location and greatest in regions where the outdoor temperature fluctuates above and below the desired indoor temperature over a 24 – hour period.

Since the manufacturing process creates millions of tiny air cells, they provide excellent thermal resistance.  These air bubbles products are the only wall system currently available that meets Germany’s stringent energy codes without adding insulation. This material outperforms a conventional wood framed wall system, reaching an R-value of 30 when used to construct a 12″ thick wall.heat


emoAir-Crete is fireproof. You can build a furnace with it. It will not burn.  Air-Crete is inorganic, non-combustible, and virtually fireproof.  In a test, Air-Crete received a 4 hour UL fire rating and has a melting point of over 2900 degrees Fahrenheit. As a result, the use of Air-Crete eliminates the need for additional fireproofing materials.  Moreover, because Air-Crete is completely inert, it does not emit toxic gases even when exposed to fire.


rotOn the Oregon Coast, water damage is a constant threat to wood, adobe, cob, straw bale, compressed earth, and even metal buildings. Air-Crete will float, you can build a boat with it.  It will not rot, rust or decompose in water.


Insects and rodents are another annoying threat. They find every nook, crack, and cranny. Conventional homes are riddled with seams, joints, and layers that invite pests. Regardless of the initial quality, as your home ages, it becomes more accommodating to pests.


AirCrete … The insulating R-value of an Air Crete block is between 3/inch & 6/inch.  You control the R-value by the ratio of cement to foam mixture.  This ratio can cause the R-value will be 3 – 6 per inch.  Be aware that the overall RValue of the Pod will be diminished with fewer air bubbles and more cement.

Solixx … Solexx will be used for the outside glazing.b Solexx has an R-value of 2.1.1-r value

Windows … We use vinyl duel panel windows R-value of 1.72 on the inside of the Pod to increase the R-value, but any windows can be used.

Dead Air Space …. There is a dead air space between the inside window and the Solixx.  The R-value of that is 1.0The R-value of the roof of the Pod is

  • Solixx = 2.1
  • Dead Air = 1.0
  • Windows = 1.72

Total = 4.82The glazed walls will be the same unless you use AirCrete, then the R-value will be increased to 11.1

South Wall Outside Glazing

Solexx will be used on the outside glazing of the South wall. By using Solexx glazing, with an R 2.1 rating.  It is intended by using  Solar water storage or Rocket Mass Heater the need for heaters, fuel tanks, and fuel will be eliminated.

South Wall Inside Glazing

Glass dual panel windows are used on the bottom half of the south wall because glass allows in more light.

When you use glazing like Solexx, polycarbonate, plastic greenhouse film or fiberglass it diffused light. We will not use glass on the outside of the south wall or roof because during summer the sun would be coming straight down through there.  But if you do not diffuse and scatter the light it will get too much heat in the greenhouse.  Diffuse light means there are no shadows and will penetrate to the back wall.

Heat Storage

Water is four times more efficient than rock or any other thermal mass.  Using water is a perfectly available item and it is actually quite sustainable because you only fill the water containers once for the life of that container.”It is recommended using 2 to 5 gallons of water per-square-foot of glazing, typically stored in milk jugs or 15-gallon plastic barrels.  If you want it to run cool in the winter and warm in summer – meaning grow some tomatoes in the summer and grow all some greens and broccoli and all that good stuff that we love in winter – then 2 gallons is enough. But if you want to stabilize the heat and cold, then go 5-plus gallons per-square-foot of glazing.

To stabilize, the glazing of the Go and Grow House is 10 ft X 10 ft or 100 square feet and needs 500 gallons.

Wall of Water

wallIt is anticipated that there would be 164 gallons of water stored in 164 milk jugs lining the north wall.

Disposable jugs or barrels are painted flat black and filled with water.  When placed in the AirCrete Module series of bookshelves.

According to authors: David Whiting (CSU Extension, retired), with Carol O’Meara (CSU Extension, Boulder County), and Carl Wilson (CSU Extension, retired)with enough milk jugs it has known to raise the nighttime temperatures to 39°F with no supplemental heat when outside temperatures dropped to -17°F. Night curtains may add an additional 30 to 50% energy conservation.

In front of the jugs or barrels is a black absorber heater screen.   This will complete the Faraday Cage and provide more heat collection.

Venting – The top windows are designed to vent hot air on hot sunny days with automatic window openers.  Humidity levels are kept low to prevent plant disease.  Natural convection works when there are low windows and high windows are in equal size  The lowest vents are as low as possible, the high vents are as high as possible. They should be sized to from 15 to 20 percent of floor space. When those vents are open, you want air moving freely throughout the greenhouse. Use common sense to picture how that air is going to flow to make sure all the areas of the greenhouse are getting ventilated.

Moisture – Moisture and mold in the walls is a problem in Oregon.  Therefore all the walls are built to have air space on both sides of the wall.  The outside of the walls must have a cavity between the outside surfaces to keep the rain away from the insulation.

The “Go” factor – Manual Composting Toilet


The second feature of the Go & Grow House© is a toilet option called the Earth Auger©.

The Earth Auger was designed based on work by a retired professor at the University of Washington and is being funded by a Gates Foundation Grant.

This is a pedal-operated dry toilet. Urine is diverted and stored.  The feces is also stored.

The main innovation with the toilet is the mechanized, foot-pedal-actuated dry-flush system and sawdust delivery system that uses no water.

When the pedal is operated, the feces, paper, and sawdust are mechanically processed through a big pipe with an auger inside, which mixes, aerates and moves them through a chamber for storage.

For more details on the toilet

Human Waste

Pathogens, which are the disease-causing organisms, gradually die off during the period of time the feces stay in the Earth Auger’s storage pipe.

Health organizations suggest about 4 months in warm climates, and possibly 6 months in temperate climates.   Storage of feces is detained in storage for 1-6 months. The time is dependent upon the number of uses.  The storage container will store 120 uses.   Direct handling of excreta by the user is not required as the whole process is pedal-operated until harvest.

At that time of harvest, the material is totally dry. This material can be used on nonfood producing soils.

Urine is high in Nitrogen and is sterile when it exits the body.

The separated urine can be used on food-producing soil when mixed with 1:10 with water.

A study conducted by the Stockholm Water Company diverted urine from four housing projects to a grain farmer outside the city. The scientists concluded not only that urine could replace quick-acting mineral fertilizers, but also calculated that one adult’s urine provided enough plant nutrients to grow 50 to 100 percent of a person’s food requirements.

  • Sustainable Living Center of Oregon
  • 82 Siletz Highway,  Lincoln City, OR 97367
  • 541-765-2109

For more information email:


This entry was posted on March 16, 2019 by .