Could Your Compost Bin Heat Your Home?
For example, passive solar design with thermal storage exposes a thermal mass behind large windows on the south side of a home, uses the heat of the sun soaked into concrete or adobe, and given off slowly.This utilizes natural elements, sunshine, and the tendency of certain materials to hold heat for a long time.
This garden shed does that of course, but what if we took using nature one step further? Compost also gives off heat.
Why not capture that free heating – an idea first proposed decades ago (but using manure-based compost – smelly!) – and use it to warm a building?
Greg Denisiuk of Wachter Architects in Chicago worked with Michael Waechter, Charlie Friedlander and Peter Bowman at Waechter Architects to design a prototype as a garden shed – ideally in a community garden in a park, and using vermiculture (composting with worms) as the type of compost. Vermiculture does not smell at all, or rather, it gives off a wonderful fresh earthy smell.
As you see in their detailed diagrams, the heat is supplied both under the floor and in the back wall. Yard waste is easily shoveled in, and forms a ground layer of warmth beneath the floor.
A park was chosen because plenty of fallen leaves, grass clippings and yard waste can be endlessly supplied in such an environment.A restaurant that chops up a lot of raw fruit or vegetables could also make a lot of compostable material. (A vegetarian restaurant or fruit shake purveyor in a park – perfect!)
So many ways to build green!