Inexpensive Home Building

Cut through the jargon and nonsense of home building and house construction by starting from zero dollars and trying to figure best-value bang-for-your-buck when choosing construction methods or construction materials. My research might answer some of your questions and at other times perhaps you have the knowledge or experience to post the answers to my questions and thereby help others too. The goal is an affordable and sustainable home for all.


Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Energy Efficient Home Design Update

Please comment on the current thinking for a cost-effective home in a primarily cold climate:
  1. Concrete block (steel reinforced and concrete filled) with either reinforced concrete roof or structural steel roof.
  2. Earth-sheltered, walk-out-basement-style (exposed south side).
  3. Integral garage buffers exposed side from living area.
  4. Passive solar gain for exposed south side; dark colors for exterior walls, roof, garage floor.
  5. Instead of the complication of radiant-floor plumbing or conventional ducting, the concrete home would be an open plan with a massive Russian hearth (masonry stove), with brick oven, at the center of the living area that naturally can radiate into the concrete floor.
  6. The earth-sheltered, concrete structure would contain 100% of a home (kitchen, bathroom, i.e. all plumbing underground to prevent freezing), topped by a smaller, stick-built, 3-season, uninsulated "cabin cupola" (belvedere/widow's walk/lantern) with summer kitchen (solar oven or charcoal grill).
  7. Electricity is undecided but I seek information on practical Stirling engines.

4 Comments:

At 7:52 PM, Anonymous Don Stephens, said...

Hello,

Your provided Personal info/experience seems a bit evasive and incomplete....and how many folks tend to read your blogs?

On efficient home design, I'd put in a vote for an earth-integrated desing (NOT concrete, but rather smartly designed, perimeter and roof insulated and waterproofed wood, gabions/bastions and/or salvaged-materials), heated in winter by incident heat and Annualized Geo-Solar (see my website). One good example of this, done for under $40/primary-living square foot, is the "Mica Peak AGS" residence (see page of that name on my site.) Enjoy...

(And, on lighting, LEDs provide good task-oriented lighting for use with a PV system... : )

 
At 6:07 AM, Blogger J said...

Hello. I'm no expert and I don't track the traffic, I just blog to share information.

Mica Peak looks good. I like the $40/sqft and I agree with your checklist except I'll need some persuasion to give up the concrete.

Yes, I did mention LED lights in another post. There's a debate about the performance claims with some people saying that they're no better than CFL but that still would make LEDs a good candidate.

Thank you for the comments.

 
At 12:15 PM, Blogger Windows, Siding, Roofing and more... said...

Inexpensive building demands some cheap products. But, the quality level should never be compromised.

Queens windows

 
At 5:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

See all the alternatives mentioned but what about moladi
www.moladi.net

 

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