When I suggested to janeAnne an experiment in Eco design for the Eco All Stars group I really wanted to know where peoples intentions lay. It's one thing to advise our clients on what we think is right as far as environmental design goes but it's another to put your money where your mouth is.
Imagine we've won the pink Environmental lottery - Yippee! Woo Hoo! WOW! Money is no object and we are going to build own houses. But the rules of the game are that we are limited to 5 elements and an explanation of why we chose them.
I'm building my ideal house with:
Element #1Passive Solar Design
Southern Colorado has approx 330 days a year of sunshine, why not use it to my advantage? Proper design will give me warmth in the winter, protection from the sun in the summer and natural day lighting all year long. With 22" overhangs and the house facing true south with no more than 20-25% windows on the south side I should have a comfortable house all year. Minimal heating and cooling necessary. Passive Solar
Element #2 Photo Voltaic
P.V's are showing up all over. My lottery house would have enough P.V.'s to afford me more than enough energy to run my house. Enough P.V.'s to return energy to the grid and lower my power bills to zero or even get money back! Say clean energy! A Quick Over View
Element # 3 Solar Hot Water
With all the beautiful weather in Southern Colorado solar hot water just sounds like a no brainier. Inexpensive to build - NO cost to run! Let the Sun Shine! Water Taps
Element # 4 Thermal Mass
An all concrete house doesn't sound like a great idea at first. I've been in several concrete top to bottom houses. The concrete holds heat evenly and distributes it slowly back into the house. The concrete only warms up if the sun is hitting it directly, this is where proper design becomes important. With concrete or title floors help keep the house and floors cleaner and keeps allergies down. And yes, it's OK to have a few rugs around. Say Sustainable! Concrete doesn't burn, think about your home owners insurance. Sustainability the other Green movement
Element #5 Xero scaping
Colorado has experienced drought for years on end. Even when it does rain or snow it isn't enough to recover what we have gone threw. So my lottery house would have low maintained, water sensible xero scaping. Decorate with statues and art, expand your mind and meditate. Confessions of a Non Environmentalist
Other factors in my custom built environmentally friendly house:
1) An energy efficient mortgage, oh wait. I WON THE PINK ENVIRONMENTAL LOTTERY!
2) Location is key for some many reasons. One very important reason to consider location was brought out in Stephanie Edwards - Musa post. Location isn't an element but a much thought about factor.
When I do build this house you are all invited over for tea and cookies!
"There are precious few Einsteins among us. Most brillance arises from ordinary people working together in extraordinary ways." Roger von Oech
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