|Re: Design process & energy/heating/design issues||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: HeyHoskin (HeyHoskinaol.com)|
|Date: Tue, 13 Dec 94 21:04 CST|
Rob mentioned that he would like to see a list of some of the ecologically sound/energy efficient technologies and practices currently being employed or planned on in CoHousing communities. I am with a group called Broward Commons, we are located in Broward County, FL (Ft. Lauderdale) and as such many of the ideas we plan to implement are oriented to a tropical climate. That being said here is our wish list. * Proper building orientation to sun, wind, local topography, and local vegitation. This not only helps create a buiding which requires less energy it also helps it be integrated into the site instead of just put on the site. * Solar Energy (lots of sun down here!) Solar Domestic Hot Water- it is my feeling that nearly every household will utilize solar hot water heaters. This is the solar energy technology that pays for itself the soonest- in fact for a family of four (or more) it may be the least cost option over the long run. Photovoltaics- depending on cost (of course), units will be built PV ready. That is to say that the electrical system will be installed in such a way as to easily facilitate the addition of a PV system. In addition, there would be a structural component that could either be converted to or could ease the construction of a battery room. (My home will be completely off the grid, thanks to the dawn of efficient propane/natural gas central AC units) * Insulation Our primary energy load in S. FL is air conditioning. As such our buildings need to incorporate good insulation and/or large thermal mass. Thermal mass normally comes in the form of rock or concrete. It is my impression that thick rock or concrete walls are expensive and may be prohobitively so. These walls do offer the advantage of being very strong however, a real concern to us in hurricane country. We need to innvestigate this more- any input would be appreciated. We have come across two techniques for high R-value walls. The first is a product called Amhome. This is basically a 5000psi concrete skeleton/frame filled with styrofoam panels. According to the manufacturer this system results in R-30 walls and R-50 roof (I'm sure this is measured at the center of the panel and not at the beam). Personally the "foam home" is not my cup of tea but I'm willing to listen. The other technique is straw bale construction (I was very excited to see the thread start the other day and I plan to participate). As you may know, straw bale construction takes an agricultural waste product and turns it into a building material which can provide R-55 walls (roof?). It is my understanding that while wall material and construction labor may be cheaper for straw bale, the added bureaucratic hoops (engineering, over construction, etc.) bring the price per square foot into the range of traditional construction. I am personally interested in combining the insulatory qualities of straw bale walls with the thermal mass of an internal cistern. We'll see. * Heat Gain Prevention In addition to insulation, we will incorporate glazing and shading to prevent or minimize heat gain. Shading will be accomplished with overhangs and vegitation. * Water Water is a precious commodity here, increased population and the resultant developement has severely endangered the unique ecosystem that is the Everglades. Rainwater roof catchment and cisterns will be used to supply water for toilets showers and irrigation. Low use appliances will be combined with grey water systems. As there is a need for irrigation water, the grey water will most likely be used for irrigation as opposed to flushing (if we are allowed). Xeriscape and ecosystem restoration will be exploited to the greatest extent possible. * Building Size We feel that the 3000 sq. ft. single family home is not exactly environmentally friendly. As such we will strive to keep unit size as small as consensus will allow (<2000 ft. max.). I hope this is of some interest to you all. I would of course welcome any comments, questions or input. I can steer people in the direction of some great informatin if there is an interest. As I said this is a wish list- hopefully we can overcome the economic and regulatory obstacles we are sure to encounter. Thrive on current solar income! Chris Hoskin
- Re: Design process & energy/heating/design issues Eric Hart, December 4 1994
Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.