Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about the C.O.R.E. Technology:

Q.     Is the ICF the heat sink? 

A.     No, the ICF (Insolated Concrete Form) is the container for the thermal battery.  EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) would work just as well.  The ICF or EPS constitutes the shell of the thermal battery, acting as insulation for the thermal battery.  Depending on the thickness of the ICF or EPS, and the placement of the thermal battery, we can utilize the property of thermal diffusivity for greater temperature regulation.  The pipes, which are a part of the structural flow system for the air transference, are layered into the thermal battery inside the EPS or ICF foundation.  Permeations of the design use an aluminum hose in the thermal mass as the heat exchanger rather than ridged pipe.


Q.     Is the ISF a concrete monolith or high moisture content sand buried under the floor system? 

A.     Micro encapsulated PCM’s (phase change materials) will soon be the wave of the future.  This is because wax and salt can store about ten times the thermal energy of water.  The size and storage medium desired for the thermal battery is a variable based on: what the heating requirements are, location of the structure, and available local materials.  In this respect, a myriad of materials can be employed for the thermal battery, including PCM’s, dry or high moisture content sand, a poured monolith, or other viable thermal storage mediums.  The size of the thermal battery will vary depending on the needs of the building and location.  The storage battery itself doesn’t necessarily have to be in the Earth, but an exterior mound or earthberm can also function as the thermal battery.

The difference between the energy signatures of geodesic construction compared to standard construction also plays a part.  On average, a traditionally built home will consume roughly 80,000 BTU’s of energy a day.  A standard geodesic, as is, with no energy recall system incorporated, consumes roughly half that of traditional home, or 40,000 BTU’s of energy a day.  Our system is designed to maximize the thermal energy recycling, to maintain a constant temperature inside the structure with minimal depletion of the thermal battery mass.

The reality is, the Sun will be shining more than just in the summer; constantly imputing energy into the system.  With this abundance of thermal energy, the availability of running lines for water heating into the thermal mass becomes another viable function for the thermal battery. 

Q.     If piping is buried within the thermal battery, how is the medium pumped?

A.     On examining current systems of heat exchange and storage, it is often the practice of using a plastic tube, and pumping extremely hot fluids through the tube in order to achieve the desired energy transfer from the collection area to the storage medium.  This requires high temperature pumps, tight seals, maintaining a liquid fluid loop, and maintaining liquids at extremely high temperatures to transmit the energy through the plastic tube at very low conductivity rates: Polypropylene plastic has a thermal conductivity rate of 0.1 - 0.22 - k - (W/mK). 

In contrast, the C.O.R.E. Technology focuses on greater thermal conductivity to achieve our thermal collection, transfer, and ultimate radiation back into the desired heating area.  For instance, aluminum has a thermal conductivity rate of 250 - k - (W/mK), with even oxidized aluminum having a thermal conductivity of 30 - k - (W/mK).  This offers us an exchange rate of thermal energy 30 to 250 times greater than that of plastic.  Additionally, we get a much higher exchange rate out of a much lower temperature medium. 

In the case of the C.O.R.E. Technology, air is our thermal medium of choice, and the method of transferring all of the thermal energy from the structure, is one fan; either on a gridded electrical system, or a photovoltaic operated fan.  The system itself is designed to allow the thermal energy to do exactly what it wants to do:  follow the path of least resistance to gather at the center of the top of the structure. 

With the energy gathered at the zero point, the rotation of one fan delivers this heated air into the thermal battery, via pipe work, in such a way that we achieve the maximum amount of energy transfer for the least amount of energy input.  A principle Buckminster Fuller refers to as the trim-tab principle.  This is why when Mark Victor Hansen, prodigy of Buckminster Fuller and the #1 selling author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul Series, saw the C.O.R.E. Technology, he exclaimed, “This is genius.  You’ve completed Bucky's vision for geodesics.”

Q.     What are the structural and facing components made of?  What is the fastening system? 

A.     The structural and facing components depend on the desired use of the building.  When constructing a home, the structural components will be fabricated from aluminum alloys or stainless steel.

The facing material is composed of EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) with a coating of GFRC (Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete), which can be created to have stucco looking finishes.  In homes, desired finishes or façades can be chosen from a myriad of available products to give traditional or modern feels to the exterior of the structure, with the interior maintaining its spherical nature in order to maximize the thermal benefits of the shape.  Thermal benefits aside, the geodesic offers maximum internal area for the least amount of external material; which makes the geodesic a practical application for even the largest of spaces. 

The fastening system for the structure is built into the hubs themselves.  With the utilization of our easily labeled C.O.R.E. hubs and struts, assembly is literally as easy as connecting A,B,C hubs and struts together.  To some, a geodesic structure may appear extremely complex; however, it is actually one of the simplest structures to erect.  Where the exterior of a traditional home may have hundreds of cuts, and dozens of angles and dimensions of lumber being used, with the C.O.R.E. Technology there are two different hubs and three different lengths of struts for the framework, and two triangle sizes made of EPS for the facing. 

The first geodesic Sarah and I constructed was 14 ft high, 22 ft in diameter, and took less than a day, roughly 5 hours, to cut all the material and erect the exterior framework.  This was achieved by a crew of 3 workers.

Q.     How is the piping system integrated into wall/ceiling system to take advantage of radiant properties?

A.      The structural framework of the building is the active heat collection and redirection system that channels the thermal energy to the thermal battery.  In warmer months, the system works in an open loop charge schematic that draws air through a geo cooling coil in order to cool the air.  This cooled air, pulled through the structure with our one fan, achieves a two fold process. 

The building is being cooled, while simultaneously gathering the excess heat and redirecting it into the thermal battery.  When the battery is charged and at the onset of colder months, the system switches from an open loop, charge schematic, to a closed loop, recall dynamic.  The one fan is utilized to draw air from the thermal battery into a spiral of flexible aluminum pipe under the first floor, and any additional floors; allowing the flow of radiant heat to the floor of a desired area.  The heated air flowing in the closed loop C.O.R.E. cycle is re-collected at the top of the structure to be returned to the thermal battery, and begin its journey once again.  This recycles the thermal energy of the structure, rather than allowing the energy to bleed out of the top of the structure. 

Q.    What types of fenestration are used?

A.     Depending on the style desired by the customer, many window layouts are compatible.  From geodesic triangular windows, to flat exterior faced windows with standard sizes and dimensions.

Q.     What is the proposed R-Value of the thermal shell?

A.      The R-value is a variable that depends on the buildings location.  EPS thicknesses range from 4 to 18 inches thick.  EPS has an insulation value of R-4 per inch thickness.  With 8 inch thick EPS facing, we easily meet standard building code insulation requirements for construction.  EPS is 98% air, extremely strong, and with a geo-polymer coating like GFRC, it makes a low cost structural and isolative construction material.

Q.     How wind resistant is the structure?

A.      With advancements in EPS technology and geo-polymers, there are coatings that give a vertical wall a 250 mph wind resistance.  Couple this with the spherical elements of a geodesic, and even the strongest of winds become a breeze. 

Q.     Are there solar collectors, PV or solar thermal?

A.      With the C.O.R.E. Technology, the structure itself is the solar thermal collector.  Flat plate solar collectors can also be added to increase the heat input into the thermal battery.  The C.O.R.E. design reduces the energy consumption of the building itself by up to 66%, the average percentage that usually goes into heating and cooling a structure.  With this energy signature reduction, it makes the other 33% (lights and appliances) easily augmentable with fiber optic lighting, PV, or active, solar panels.

Q.    How are you satisfying Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality, and Innovations and Design process requirements of LEED-H program?

A.      Our homes can be assembled with a myriad of eco-minded styles and products to maximize the benefits of the C.O.R.E. structure:  from rainwater collectors, to solar fiber optic lighting, from LED’s, to Living Walls.  The innovation and design of C.O.R.E. structures simply begins with the heating and cooling of homes, but it pertains to much more. 

Our C.O.R.E. Technology has been designed with cradle to cradle foresight in every aspect of production, assembly, and longevity of the home.  Designs have been examined by LEED professionals that have exclaimed the model would meet Platinum certification standards.  Members of our team are versed in sustainable agriculture and landscaping, bringing elements of site development, such as permaculture, to a whole new level of sustainable living systems.


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