Mudroom/Greenhouse/Leach Field Thing Sketches

August 25th, 2021

Dear Readers, 

Tired of technicalities and just want a glimpse of what this mudroom/greenhouse/leach field thing might look like??? Totally me too. 

Unfortunately, what it looks like does depend on the results of the technicalities…so I am going to try to keep it brief and just outline a few of the essentials we kept in mind as we drew these preliminary sketches: 

~ We don’t want this mudroom/greenhouse/leach field to be ridiculously large. It is to serve as a small addition positioned at our front entrance. For future prefab endeavors, it will have to arrive on its own trailer. But we don’t want it to take up the whole gosh darn trailer… We were thinking no wider than 12’ (that’s about the max width for a trailer bed), and no longer than 20’. 

~ While maintaining a reasonable size, it must be ADA accessible. A wheelchair user must be able to easily access, and tend to, all of the plants in their individual beds/ leach fields. For that purpose you will notice that we are thinking of using the ADA T-Shape requirement instead of the 5’ diameter turning radius. 

~ The addition will be a part of our home’s envelope, and must meet Passive House standards. The greenhouse will have thick walls, just like with the rest of the house. This of course decreases our interior square footage, but having a well-insulated and air tight passive solar greenhouse that harbors an advanced and dedicated ventilation system is key to growing plants with little extra energy. 

~ The windows will have to be efficient and thoughtfully placed to increase solar gain. They may even be light diffusing windows to more evenly distribute light throughout the room.

~ The plants. We need to have a conglomerate of plants that require an average of 210 gallons of water per week. The species of plants and their specific requirements will be taken into consideration with the design of the space. 

~ Each bed will be its own individual leach field with its own water input. That way, if maintenance must be done on a specific bed or with a specific plant, the other individual leach fields can continue to function. 

~Oh! Ha, and I almost forgot about the Living Building Challenge’s Petal of Place. The Petal of Place requires us to provide our own food by a specific square footage based upon the location of the home. We could potentially consider our home being built in a ‘Natural Habitat Preserve’ (as defined by the LBC, that is mostly untouched woodland). That means we must set aside 5% of our home’s total square footage towards agriculture (growing food, raising chickens…). .05 x 1,608 square feet = 80 square feet dedicated towards cultivating our own food. IF done correctly, and IF this idea works out, then we could make our mudroom/greenhouse/leach field thing part of meeting that food requirement of the Petal of Place.

As of now, those are the main technicalities that we took into consideration with our designs. Before I can think of any more and bombard you with additional requirements for this mudroom/greenhouse/ leach field thing…here are some preliminary sketches!!

A sketchy sketch of mudroom/greenhouse/leach field floor plan. Approximately 48 square feet of planter beds available in this itteration.

*Just as a heads up, this floor plan has dramatically increased in size. You will see the rather larger rendition in next week’s blog…*

Sketch of the addition from the southwest.

How  the mudroom/greenhouse/leach field would act as our initial entry. Up the ramp, through the greenhouse, open the hobbit door…and BAM! In our main room.

Elements of a passive solar greenhouse! Maybe even utilize a trombe wall as another means to store heat and use greywater?? Also, note the nifty insulative curtain for cold winter nights. Maybe a way to automate that?

The greywater engrossment continues! Until next time!!



  1. Your Trombe wall should have a way to vent out the top so that you can control the flow of heat in the wall.

    • That’s brilliant Frank! Thanks! We shall make a note of that. And thank you for reading so many of our blogs 🙂


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© 2020 Sustaining Tree