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RE: [hreg] More on Solar House

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  • Ewert, Mike
    I applaud your idea Charlie and I hope you do it, but I also agree with Kevin s caution to be realistic. My suggestion to you is to start by drawing up some
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 11, 2000
      I applaud your idea Charlie and I hope you do it, but I also agree with
      Kevin's caution to be realistic. My suggestion to you is to start by
      drawing up some ideas for a floor plan (basic size and rooms) and then lists
      all the "extras" you might want to include. A basic energy efficient house
      really doesn't have to cost more than conventional. Then find at least 2
      builders who specialize and talk to them about bids. Besides cheering you
      on, I think HREG could contribute by helping you sort out which "extras"
      will be worth going for. Good luck!

      Here is my personal example. We had a custom 2000 sq. ft. house built 10
      years ago. My wife designed the floor plan and I added my energy
      "features". This included lots of windows on the south with a long
      overhang, few windows on the east and especially west, double pane on the
      north (front-had to have windows), high EER A/C, fans, good insulation and a
      passive solar water heater. I don't feel like we really paid extra. I've
      tried to make as many lights as possible fluorescent, but it's been tough
      (hard to find different styles with electronic ballasts - so they turn on
      right away). I should have had a ridge vent. Anyway, I was so proud that
      my monthly electric bill never went over $100. At the time we had one kid,
      a new A/C and not too many appliances.

      Now for the negative part of the example. 10 years later we have 3 kids
      (not that that's bad), a 10 yr. old AC, more stuff and the killer- a pool.
      Last month my bill was the highest ever ($280). I hope y'all don't kick me
      out of the group. I'm still looking for ways to improve. My gas bill stays
      low year around.

      More power to you Charlie (or should I say Less Power to you?).

      -----Original Message-----
      From: ChasMauch@... [mailto:ChasMauch@...]
      Sent: Friday, August 11, 2000 10:18 AM
      To: hreg@egroups.com
      Subject: [hreg] More on Solar House

      The email yesterday was kind of "off the top of my head". I'm so tired of
      trying to find the "right" place to live that when the thought came along -
      why not just build one? - it was kind of exciting and I sent it out before
      trying to work out any details. I have had some further thoughts and would
      like to share them too.

      Just researching what all should go into such a house would be a real chore,
      but since we have lots of experts here, we could probably do that pretty
      easily. Some of you guys may even have some pretty complete stuff on this
      available from your files and previous studies. It sould also be a great
      project we could all work on together and maybe even generate some publicity
      for HREG.

      Of course the big hurdle would be cost. If you include everything - energy
      efficient applicances and lighting, thermopane glass, filtered air to remove
      all allergens, a water purification system, etc. - I assume it must be
      prohibitively expensive; otherwise why doesn't anyone build such houses? I'm
      not sure how much more it would cost. Maybe someone has a guestimate? Half
      again the cost of a regular house? Twice as much?

      Anyway, I was wondering - why not make it a demo house for manufacturers,
      contractors, etc who are interested in this kind of thing? I could offer to
      have open house - say every other Sunday from 10am to 6pm or whatever for a
      year or two - and let them put out their literature and bring prospective
      clients by. Hopefully they would give a sizeable discount on their equipment
      and services in return for showing how their stuff really looks in operation
      with someone living there. If this were a really first class job with lots
      media coverage, it might be worth a lot to them.

      Or it might be a duplex with one side a demo and me in the other.
      customers could spend a few days living there just to see how they liked it,
      or some other member of this group might want to live in the other side and
      we could alternate making our units available on Sundays as a public demo.

      I could go on with this kind of stuff but don't guess there's much point
      until I see if there is much interest. So far Steve Stelzer has responded
      positively. Sure would appreciate some feedback - pro or con - from everyone

      Charlie Mauch

      Charlie Mauch
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