Sunday, March 22, 2009

House 2.0

We've been living in a yurt for the last 6+ years and have known that a house is in our future. Well, the time in neigh, and we are steadily moving towards making this dream a reality.

I've been working on the plans on and off for many months and there are still a few bits to work out, but we are largely there. The photos show a 1/4" scale model we've placed on site to study the light patterns and get an overall feel for the house itself. In terms of square footage, the house is about 3 yurts, or roughly in the 1500 sq. ft. range.

Here are a few particulars:

-We are going to build a passive solar a super insulated house. Insulation and air sealing are paramount to minimizing energy input requirements. R-40 walls; double wall construction. Damp spray cellulose insulation. Still working on the actual configuration of the wall configuration.

-Shallow frost protected foundation with slab. Out heat will be mainly wood with rennai back up propane. We're going to lay pipe for radient should we ever want to go that route, but we don't anticipate hooking it up initially. There will be no basement; we've lived without one for years, it is cheaper to build and it works in parnership with our passive solar goals.

-The house is designed to maximize passive solar, with orientation pretty much due south, glazing on the south, with minimal windows to the north. Good shading to the west to avoid harsh late sun.

-Probably an asphalt shingle roof.

The big points right now are still getting a septic plan approved. We've hired a septic engineer who is going to go to the state with the plan, but wants to wait until conditions are reasonably dry. Thats a bit stressful. we'd love to have the plan in hand. Optimal option is we reengage our old system, plan B is that we build new Presby system if state requires it. In either event, we'd have the plan for Presby in place should option A fail at any point.

We may need to drill a new well... TBD.


Erik said...

Sounds like an awesome house is in the works. Any thought to solar panels on the roof? I'm assuming there are some decent incentives for rebates on buying solar panels. I know some folks out here in Oregon have built straw bale houses or used other building materials - not sure if that would work in VT. Good luck with this project, it sounds like a huge undertaking.

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