Energy Free Buildings

How cool is elimination of the need for external energy altogether?  Think of a house as a free-standing energy system – without need for external energy sources to maintain habitability and comfort. So what makes a building sustainable?

Wikipedia defines Green Building here…  Does this definition make sense to you?

I hung on the word efficiency as a cop out.  Efficiency means to limit consumption of external resources – minimize waste.

Continue reading Energy Free Buildings

Sun Scoop – Solar Doubler

A typical rooftop installation of solar panels.  Points the same direction.
A typical rooftop installation of solar panels points the same direction all year long.  It rarely and briefly points directly at the sun.

Just about anyone who installs a solar panel has one simple question – where should I point this darned thing?  That silly sun moves around all the time.

It  moves sideways all day – every day, and up and down, all year – every year. Continue reading Sun Scoop – Solar Doubler

Download the Design Here

Download the sketchup model here.
Download the sketchup model here.

Here is the link to download the sketchup model of the house.  

Sketchup is a great freeware 3D modeling program formerly owned by google. It is now managed by a group out of Boulder. It’s a great program.

When I invested the 2 weeks of long days building the model, I often wondered if it was going to be worth the time.  In retrospect – yes it was – absolutely hands down one of the best investments I made.  The model enabled:

  1. Superior communications with the build crew
  2. The ability to “audit” materials – count sticks
  3. Communicate what the finished product would look like to my wife and others
  4. Helped identify mechanical defects with the engineer, Mark Benjamin, (970) 472-2394, during construction.  We were able to do electronic reviews of issues using screen sharing before we started.

You’ll need to download sketchup to utilize the model.


Chipcrete Floor Experiment

A section of my 2000 square foot floor.

This experiment is in search of an affordable floor.  At 2000 sq/ft, a 4 inch thick floor is about 25 yards, 3  truckloads of concrete, about $3K in concrete, delivered.

A week rental on a concrete sander prices out at about $1000.

So – the hard DIY price on a sanded concrete floor is $4k.  Since I have a mountain full of dead wood – maybe I can find a cheaper solution… Continue reading Chipcrete Floor Experiment