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Old 04-27-2015, 02:13 PM
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Default Above Ground concrete shelter air?



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South Louisiana here, building a new home on some land soon, and am planning on building a 30 x 30 concrete room(hubby is in concrete we know all about it) Since we can't go underground in this area, how can we go about cooling off our room? I'm planning on having nbc filters, for possible air contamination. I have the water, lights, and waste issue all worked out, but what I cannot seem to work out is a cooling system besides a fan?? Some summers it gets 100+ temps, and my family of 5 in a single room with no air would pretty much be a death wish. Any one else have this solved? Or does this seem unreasonable and unnecessary? All opinions welcome! It's not set in stone yet, so any changes would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 04-27-2015, 02:19 PM
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Im building for mainly short term, 'months', and up to one year if necessary.
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Old 04-27-2015, 02:27 PM
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If the concrete is thick enough it will stay cool. I dont know much about this but did a google search. The physics isnt that complex, but here is how I understand it:

Concrete will act as a thermal mass. It absorbs or releases heat. To keep it cool you will need an earth coupled slab. Your slab itself will release heat into the ground.

The rest of the construction would absorb or release heat into the environment and into the slab/ground.

Cold doesnt move instead heat is what moves. So you can think of it as the heat being removed into the floor then into the ground.

When it is hot outside you want to slow the absorption of heat into the building - so thick walls. Then at night when it cools off the heat is released from the wall back outside, never quite making it to the inside. Heat that you generate in the house will enter the walls as well as the floor. Because the ground is a constant cool temperature you will constantly be losing heat into the ground.

This is similar to freezing when you sleep on the ground and instead using an insulating layer to keep from sleeping directly on the ground.

The key will be to understand the ground temperatures and make sure your slab goes deep enough to get the temperature absorption that you want. Also making sure that your walls are thick enough so heat from the sun during the day never quite reaches the interior and then gets released at night.

Fans will keep the air moving which will help. The floor will pull heat from the air in the room. A fan blowing will constantly replace the cooled air at the floor level with warm air which will transfer heat into the floor.
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Old 04-27-2015, 02:35 PM
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Yeah I understand that part as well, but I figured when it was 80* at night and then 100+ during the day(usually happens about 3-4 solid mths), there would be no cool ground air to pull from.
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Old 04-27-2015, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by BCEMommy29 View Post
Yeah I understand that part as well, but I figured when it was 80* at night and then 100+ during the day(usually happens about 3-4 solid mths), there would be no cool ground air to pull from.
Have hubby lay down re-mesh in the slab, tie a grid of PEX-AL-PEX to it.



Then drill 2 wells, use one to pump from, the other to dump to (called pump and dump) Ground water should be somewhere under 70 degrees, it can be used in winter with solar hot water to heat the house.

Rancher
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Old 04-27-2015, 03:26 PM
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That's a damn good idea.. We've used it for heating, but never thought for cooling.
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Old 04-27-2015, 04:41 PM
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You could also insulate it. Like 2 to 4 inch thick foam in the middle of an 8" slab walls. Run the above pex lines on the interior side to be more efficient.

I worked in precast concrete design for a while and we did alot of insulated pa els for school and commercial buildings. Get some high strength concrete like a 7k psi blend and you can have the strength with thinner walls and the insulation.
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Old 04-27-2015, 05:08 PM
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Were going for a certain thickness for possible radiation, since we do live within 75 miles of a nuclear plant(as the crow flies). Stupid yes I know but this is home. Hah. I'm going to have to look into it more and see temps of ground water and things around here. Thank yall for the ideas! Definitely better than anything I could come up with. Everything above ground I find is for short term use.
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Old 04-27-2015, 05:42 PM
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My husband is a "coonass". But I have been told, being white, I'm not allowed to call him that.

I'll be praying for a quick fix to your issue.
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Old 04-27-2015, 05:45 PM
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Be sure to slug your blocks with gravel mix concrete and put 3/4 inch rebar in the cells!
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Old 04-27-2015, 05:57 PM
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Even in South Louisiana you can at least partially bury the structure, I've worked in electrical service vaults underground South of I-10, I think you could go about 4 feet down and the rest sticking up above ground then pile on a couple of feet of dirt.

Dirt on top would help insulate as well as add radiation protection. Plant some trees around it and bushes on top for shade and camouflage.

I've heard of people using pipes buried underground, I think they are called earth tubes, push hot air in one end and it loses heat to the ground as it travels around and comes back cooler. I know when we had open ended conduit buried and coming into the vault you could feel cooler air coming out.
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Old 04-27-2015, 06:28 PM
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Even in South Louisiana you can at least partially bury the structure, I've worked in electrical service vaults underground South of I-10, I think you could go about 4 feet down and the rest sticking up above ground then pile on a couple of feet of dirt.

Dirt on top would help insulate as well as add radiation protection. Plant some trees around it and bushes on top for shade and camouflage.

I've heard of people using pipes buried underground, I think they are called earth tubes, push hot air in one end and it loses heat to the ground as it travels around and comes back cooler. I know when we had open ended conduit buried and coming into the vault you could feel cooler air coming out.
Yeah, earthberm.
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Old 04-27-2015, 06:29 PM
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Even in South Louisiana you can at least partially bury the structure, I've worked in electrical service vaults underground South of I-10, I think you could go about 4 feet down and the rest sticking up above ground then pile on a couple of feet of dirt.
And of course you can earth berm your high ground water slab home, just tar it on the outside.

Just something more to think about...

Rancher
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Old 04-27-2015, 06:29 PM
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We actually do plan on going into ground about 2 feet. It will be inside a metal shop(camouflaged) but not to where we would have to submit for permits and other stupid gubberment bs. (just the permits for the shop itself) I've heard of the large concrete pipes used, but I wouldn't want to leave my survival up to a possible uprooting of our space. I've seen many a pools, and culverts pushed up from the rains. Lol
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Old 04-27-2015, 06:30 PM
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I'm from south Louisiana as well and I can tell you that no passive system is going to cool a building down as much as you want. We do have a plethora of ac experts down here and they can hook up filters however you like. With that much concrete though you're going to have some serious condensation issues so work on the drainage and mold control as well. For the rest of the house, tree coverage works wonders as well as big windows and big porches. And deet...lots and lots of deet.
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Old 04-27-2015, 06:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BCEMommy29 View Post
South Louisiana here, building a new home on some land soon, and am planning on building a 30 x 30 concrete room(hubby is in concrete we know all about it) Since we can't go underground in this area, how can we go about cooling off our room? ... Some summers it gets 100+ temps, and my family of 5 in a single room with no air would pretty much be a death wish. Any one else have this solved? ...
When you say 30x30' room, what is surrounding this room? Is it a freestanding structure with earth covering it, or are you talking about a first level on a house?

A freestanding structure with a couple feet of earth covering it, with maybe some bushes on top or nearby trees shading it, will have absolutely no problem staying cool. It will probably be cooler than a house with the AC running. Whatever the temp of the ground 8' below grade is, is what that room will be -- probably under 65F.
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Old 04-27-2015, 06:36 PM
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It will be freestanding in a metal shop building. Hidden of course or well, camouflaged against the rest of the build out of the shop. I don't want to run ac because obvious reasons of how to power it if shtf long term.
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Old 04-27-2015, 06:36 PM
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At least where I'm from, 8' below grade is often 7' below the water table
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Old 04-27-2015, 06:37 PM
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I didn't really want a large earth berm on our property... Kind of an eye sore, and very suspicious if you ask me.
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Old 04-27-2015, 06:37 PM
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At least where I'm from, 8' below grade is often 7' below the water table
Yeah I don't think many people realize where we live... Our dead are buried 6 feet ABOVE Ground. Haha
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