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Thread: Building homes that make more power than they take

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    Re: Building homes that make more power than they take

    Quote Originally Posted by notquiteright View Post
    Since the OP is about given the choice- not what can you do with the more conventional house you have now- let's stay with that.

    SW Oklahoma is all about high heat and low rainfall. Most years we can go 90 days without a rain and more than 90 days of 100+ temps. So it's thick walls and window designs to minimize solar gain. I'm out past the sidewalks so there are fewer restrictions on us. We are in the planning stages for our last house. 2000 sq ft, thick concrete/tornado resistant walls, bermed 1st floor, a wind tower to draw heat up and out like in the Middle East. We are over an aquifer so geothermal is the way to go there- not everyone in the state is as fortunate as we are with a large aquifer underneath. Our own well, solar panels as a stand alone, with the ability to put a wind gen ontop of the tower. A well insulated stick house would be cheaper, but my wife doesn't like being so exposed out on the flatland our new home is to be built on.

    Now we heat with a wood stove, two are in the plans for the new house. For resale value a central heat and air system will be installed. Propane for the stove and central heat.

    I don't think you need to go smaller- just design better.
    Good point on building different ways for different environments, there is no one size fits all construction technique.

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    Re: Building homes that make more power than they take

    Quote Originally Posted by sawyerloggingon View Post
    Great Idea and I am all for using existing roof tops rather than bull dozing deserts for massive solar farms.
    Agreed. Damn it's just so much easier, ain't it?

    My job involves research in construction. I have little doubt that more and more new housing developments will be self-sustaining, like the OP and your house. Much better for our wallets and for the enviroment. It's a win-win situation and it's just a matter of time.
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    Re: Building homes that make more power than they take

    They do provide heating in the winter. They like to sleep on top of me and those little 101 degree bodies do the job.


    Quote Originally Posted by GottaGo View Post
    Make the cats purr and harness the vibrations for energy.

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    Re: Building homes that make more power than they take

    Quote Originally Posted by Middleground View Post
    Agreed. Damn it's just so much easier, ain't it?

    My job involves research in construction. I have little doubt that more and more new housing developments will be self-sustaining, like the OP and your house. Much better for our wallets and for the enviroment. It's a win-win situation and it's just a matter of time.
    I would love to see new housing developments built around solar efficiency, the sun is free and clean and passive heating and roof top solar is the future I believe.
    Last edited by sawyerloggingon; 07-24-13 at 02:57 PM.

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    Re: Building homes that make more power than they take

    Quote Originally Posted by notquiteright View Post
    Since the OP is about given the choice- not what can you do with the more conventional house you have now- let's stay with that.

    SW Oklahoma is all about high heat and low rainfall. Most years we can go 90 days without a rain and more than 90 days of 100+ temps. So it's thick walls and window designs to minimize solar gain. I'm out past the sidewalks so there are fewer restrictions on us. We are in the planning stages for our last house. 2000 sq ft, thick concrete/tornado resistant walls, bermed 1st floor, a wind tower to draw heat up and out like in the Middle East. We are over an aquifer so geothermal is the way to go there- not everyone in the state is as fortunate as we are with a large aquifer underneath. Our own well, solar panels as a stand alone, with the ability to put a wind gen ontop of the tower. A well insulated stick house would be cheaper, but my wife doesn't like being so exposed out on the flatland our new home is to be built on.

    Now we heat with a wood stove, two are in the plans for the new house. For resale value a central heat and air system will be installed. Propane for the stove and central heat.

    I don't think you need to go smaller- just design better.
    The wind tower is my favorite.

    Are you doing the underground "feeder" as well?

    Where you dig a long trench and bury a big clay pipe with a shady inlet that comes in at the bottom of the house. Air is drawn in and cooled by the 62(?) underground temp by the wind tunnel.

    I've seen a setup where they had no underground but set up passive swamp cooling at floor level using the wind tower air draw. Worked pretty good for only the small water pump power.
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    Re: Building homes that make more power than they take

    No, these are townhouses. A townhouse is a single or two story unit that shares 2 common walls with the adjacent units. So, yes, I have a roof but CC&Rs preclude modification. I never thought of our rate as cheap but you made me look and you are right. Of course, my LED bulbs have a long payoff rate also but I like to be "greenish" if not "green".

    Newer construction offers Energy Star homes but all the new houses are in BFE and I'm a inner city type. I live in walking distance of UNLV and the CC Library. This area, "East Las Vegas" was built out from the 60s through the 90s.

    My unit is 3 bedrooms, 1.5 baths, 2 story, 1220 SF. I also own and rent 8 other units in the same complex, smallest 1048 SF.

    I also replaced my windows with dual pane gas filled more because of noise (I'm in a perimeter unit) than power but it helps.


    Quote Originally Posted by CalGun View Post
    In Vegas?

    Do you have a roof? I know some condo's only have ceilings and someone else has a roof, and I love condo living. I assume your association pays for ourdoor lighting. The issue with Vegas is your juice is SO CHEAP that solar does not pay. Solar will cost about .20/.23 cents a kilowatt hour to produce (over 20 years). You are probably paying .12? So solar makes no sense. There are people in California paying .52 a kilowatt hour for extremely large homes so solar makes plenty of sense for them.

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    Re: Building homes that make more power than they take

    Quote Originally Posted by GottaGo View Post
    Make the cats purr and harness the vibrations for energy.
    Or give the kids a monster energy drink and put them on a treadmill...

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    Re: Building homes that make more power than they take

    If you have a set budget for a house, you either chose 1 foot thick poured concrete walls, geo-thermal heat and cooling, triple pained windows, solar panels, and air-tight construction - or a BIGGER "conventionally built" house that has none of the above.

    That's the choices. No debate on that.

    I'm not asking if things can be done that are more energy efficient. That's a given.

    But it's not the question.


    Carry on please.

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    Re: Building homes that make more power than they take

    Quote Originally Posted by specklebang View Post
    No, these are townhouses. A townhouse is a single or two story unit that shares 2 common walls with the adjacent units. So, yes, I have a roof but CC&Rs preclude modification. I never thought of our rate as cheap but you made me look and you are right. Of course, my LED bulbs have a long payoff rate also but I like to be "greenish" if not "green".

    Newer construction offers Energy Star homes but all the new houses are in BFE and I'm a inner city type. I live in walking distance of UNLV and the CC Library. This area, "East Las Vegas" was built out from the 60s through the 90s.

    My unit is 3 bedrooms, 1.5 baths, 2 story, 1220 SF. I also own and rent 8 other units in the same complex, smallest 1048 SF.

    I also replaced my windows with dual pane gas filled more because of noise (I'm in a perimeter unit) than power but it helps.
    Dual pane windows are a huge energy saver and probably the most efficient bang for the buck upgrade anyone can do. I have heard about the gas filled thing but don't know enough about that to have an opinion.

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    Re: Building homes that make more power than they take

    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonfly View Post
    If you have a set budget for a house, you either chose 1 foot thick poured concrete walls, geo-thermal heat and cooling, triple pained windows, solar panels, and air-tight construction - or a BIGGER "conventionally built" house that has none of the above.

    That's the choices. No debate on that.

    I'm not asking if things can be done that are more energy efficient. That's a given.

    But it's not the question.


    Carry on please.
    Bigger houses use more resources to build though and if you are the green type that should factor into your decision on house size.

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