Composting is tried and tested method of recycling organic waste, but it can also keep us warm. Heat is a byproduct of microbial breakdown of org… Read More
Composting is tried and tested method of recycling organic waste, but it can also keep us warm. Heat is a byproduct of microbial breakdown of organic material. A healthy heap can reach temperatures in excess of 50C (120F). Capturing this energy is a sustainable method of heating small spaces like the tea houses found in traditional Japanese gardens.
Large specially shaped hoppers are arrayed in a ring, forming the enclosure. The space within is capped with a transparent ETFE dome that admits daylight. Garden waste, food scraps or other compostable materials are inserted through a door at the top of each bin.
Air is circulated through sealed ducts that pass from bin to bin. As the air circulates within the walls, it is warmed by the decaying compost. A central vent emits the warm air into the interior. Occupants sit upon a circular bench surrounding the heat source. Although snug, the tea house is welcome place to sip hot green tea and relax after a walking or working in the garden.
A steady supply of rich organic compost is extracted from a door at the bottom of each bin. It fertilizes new vegetation that will eventually become fuel for the next cold season. The concept will is suited to large urban parks, community garden, or even serving as an outdoor cafe – anywhere that generates a continuous supply of organic waste for fuel.