Passive Solar COB Aquaponic Greenhouse

Detroit, Michigan

Desired Services
Facilities Needs Assessment,Building & Space Identification,Accessibility & Code Compliance,Healthy & Sustainable Environments

Project Description

The Aquaponics passive solar greenhouse will change how food is grown. Across the midwestern US and southern Canada, commercial greenhouses are going belly up due to heating costs based on fossil fuels.

By building with COB and straw bale, a thick heavy "L"shaped wall will serve as structural support and thermal massing. In thermal massing the heavy wall, in this case COB, converts the shorter wavelengths of light into longer, hotter wavelengths. The mass is very slow to heat up and is very slow to cool. Another way of looking at this is It draws in heat very slowly and releases heat very slowly. This is what is needed to counteract the extreme temperature swings in traditional greenhouses. The COB ingredients are subsoil, water, and some kind of fibrous organic material such as straw. The COB wall will be a very thick thermal massing wall then straw bale then COB.

The north side could have a shed type storage area or spent shipping container. Such a storage area would help protect cold north winter winds as well. The "L"Shape would have the foot end towards the west to help prevent overheating in the afternoons. We are designing a unique aquaponic system to occupy the interior of the space. We are seeking assistance with space identification, and exterior design work to allow for maximal natural lighting as well as structural integrity.