Using permaculture ethics & design principles to transform an old energy guzzling bungalow into a showcase of sustainable design. It's about energy cycling, building community, self-reliance,creatively using & reusing materials... all without spending heaps of money.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Keeping water out of the cellar

Principle 12: Creatively use and respond to change

The wettest Autumn in over 20 years has demanded some immediate attention to some unfinished projects. I have built a cover for the entranceway of the cellar which sheds the rain away from the stairwell. The cover has been built with materials recovered from the original house, and left over materials from the construction of the new house. No new materials were purchased for this job.
With the ground sodden, water has been weeping through small gaps in the mortar in the walls, and the cellar has needed the water to be pumped out regularly. A heavy duty electric pump, that was kindly donated to me by my plumber, was installed and pumps water out to the laneway. The hose can be moved around to direct water to plants if needed.
Along the edge of the stairwell I have built up soil with a slope that diverts water into the laneway. I planted a male and female kiwi along the boundry which will eventually grow up the (yet to be built) fence and shade the cellar from the morning sun, while drawing moisture from the soil and providing yummy fruit.
When the ground dries out I plan to fill all gaps in the mortar and paint the walls inside the cellar with polyurethane paint left over from the polishing the slab floor. Hopefully this will reduce the weepage.

Cellar / Tank Stand entrance cover. Cellar bilge pump outlet pipe runs along the right hand side and out to the laneway. Male and female kiwi vines planted along boundary of property.
Cellar / Tank Stand entrance cover. Door made from corrugated iron with a pole used to hold it open.
Side detail showing frame made from hardwood studs recovered from original house, with roof battens along the sides. 6mm mesh used to prevent materials being blown into the stairwell.
Waterlogged soil surrounding the cellar weeping through walls.
Bilge pump used to remove water from within the cellar. Air intake (400mm) for the cool cupboard to the right.



1 comment:

Chris said...

Rain, Rain and more rain! We love it, but better in small bits often. Congratulations on the new baby and the amazing job you have done on your new/old home. It's been fascinating reading your blog in one hit tonight.

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