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Re: [shs-talk] Re: Nice 200 sq ft tiny house

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  • MotherLodeBeth
    Nice thing about small houses on wheels is you can move them around so the windows in winter get the solar heat and light from the south and west sides. Yet
    Message 1 of 8 , Apr 17, 2013
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      Nice thing about small houses on wheels is you can move them around so the windows in winter get the solar heat and light from the south and west sides. Yet come summer turn the house so the side with the most windows are facing north and west so the place stays cooler.
      ~: Beth in the California Sierra Foothills:~
    • LarenCorie
      http://clotheslinetinyhomes.com/ Posted by: rjs987 rshwery@gmail.com ... Hi Bob; I am not saying that there is anything, in particular, that they should or
      Message 2 of 8 , Apr 21, 2013
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        http://clotheslinetinyhomes.com/

        Posted by: "rjs987" rshwery@...

        > the side of the home with the 2 vertical windows is the side
        > they face to the south. If you look closer you will notice that
        > side has an extra 2x6 ft window which will help with at least
        > some solar gain more than the other side. Admittedly there is
        > one 2x6 ft horizontal window on the "north" side that really
        > should be smaller but they were working with a bargain they
        > got on 3 of those windows.

        Hi Bob;

        I am not saying that there is anything, in particular, that
        they should or should not have done (I could make several
        suggestion, but did not). I just thought it would be helpful to
        point out the inaccuracies in certain claims that were made.
        It could have been design/built to be even more energy
        efficient, but such a small home with the good insulation
        that it has, will use very little energy anyway, especially
        around Santa Fe, which is a really easy Solar heating
        climate. Santa Fe houses can be designed quite far
        from optimal, and still perform pretty well.

        > Perhaps they should have added a skylight on the roof over
        > the kitchen on the "south" side.

        That could cause overheating, as it would point at the Summer
        sun, more than a wall window would. But, it would make a nice
        vent. A skylight might have a shade over it, during Summer, but
        that adds complexity, so a compromise might be an insulated
        interior covering, such as Reflectix, that would block sunlight,
        but still allow venting. A dark shade might even be rigged in
        a way to create a Solar chimney, for when daytime venting
        is desirable.

        > But then, as I have experienced in my home with significant
        > solar gain through windows in my home, they thought they
        > would over heat in the desert southwest sun.

        The difference with a passive Solar house, and just having
        some South facing windows (which most house have) is also
        having provisions for controlling excess Solar gain, not just
        with fixed overhangs, but with control of excess heating
        season overheating, usually via thermal mass of some kind.
        Without that, it is simple Solar tempered, which is orienting
        the building shape, and standard windows, to optimize a
        small amount of Solar gain. A lot of people think that their
        houses are "Solar" because they experience apricity (warmth
        of the Winter sun) through windows on sunny Winter days,
        but if those windows do not have a significant net gain, and
        especially if they are net energy losers, that is not Solar heating.
        Virtually all houses will overheat at sometime, during the heating
        season (when there are Heating Degree Days) Passive Solar
        design is about performance that significantly exceeds mere
        Solar tempering. Confusing claims distort the public perception
        of what real Solar heating is. However, as I said, that does
        not mean that it is not a nice tiny house.

        > Would still be a good idea for more northern locations.

        It is possible for a tiny house to be truly passive Solar,
        or active Solar, or a hybrid, even to be virtually 100%
        Solar heated. In fact, it is not all that difficult. Thermal
        mass can be provided by small containers of water,
        which can be removed and emptied, for moving.

        > As far as the other claims, I'm sure they feel as though
        > this home warms up faster than the average home.

        Warning up faster was never mentioned by me. Usually
        that is a sign of an oversized heating system. Their little
        Dickinson is not that. It is a good choice, if you wish to
        have to burn fossil fuel for heat. I also see nothing at all
        wrong with their wall insulation. I only pointed out that
        their claim of "super-insulation" was misleading. Though
        that term has no precise definition, it has a tradition of
        being used to mean wall Rvalues in excess of around
        R30, and roof insulation that is well in excess of the
        standard code minimum of around R38. I doubt that
        their roof has even that. Again, the tiny house is nice.
        A few of the claims, are just inflated.

        > They didn't mention anything about water catchment early
        > on other than it was an idea that could be implemented. In
        > one of their more recent posts (or maybe it was in a news
        > story about them) it is mentioned that they are now doing
        > that, but I haven't notice any new photos of the home since
        > it was mentioned and they could have added gutters to
        > collect rain water from the roof. An easy enough thing to
        > do. If it was in one of the recent news stories it could also
        > have been simply a mistake that the media often makes...
        > assuming facts that don't exist.

        The passive Solar, super-insulation, and rainwater catchment
        claims were all part of the list of features on the page of the
        link that was posted to this group. Again, there is more to
        "passive Solar" than having a few South facing windows,
        there is more to "super-insulation" than 2x4 walls, and there
        is more to rainwater catchment, than just a metal roof, with
        no gutters, or a cistern. That is all that I wanted to point out.

        > This may be "standard" for a home built on a goose neck
        > trailer or a fifth wheel trailer but there a few differences
        > I haven't noticed in others.

        Most fifth wheel floor plans are very well thought out.
        Fifth wheels are often used for more than just short
        vacations, and more are now being designed to function
        as full time homes, so they are being done very well.
        What I wanted to point out, by that comment, is that
        there are a lot of fifth wheel layouts that work the same
        basic way, with the bed in the raised section, accessible
        through the bathroom, with the kitchen and sitting area
        behind. That is very typical for a fifth wheel floor plan.
        The reason, is because it works very well.

        > I still like this plan more than the homes built with a loft
        > on a bumper pull (or dovetail) trailer.

        Yes. Fifth wheels, with their slightly raised bedroom
        are often more convenient, and even more stylish, than
        having to climb a ladder. They incorporate more main
        level living space, within the same wheelbase, by extending
        the bed area, over the truck bed, which also helps them to
        handle better on the road, and allows them to be heavier..
        Of course, many (if not most) fifth wheels now have at
        least one bumpout. It seems, for energy and economics
        that there might be an advantage to buying a used fifth
        wheel, and using an awning room as a Solar sunspace,

        <
        https://www.google.com/search?q=fifth+wheel+floor+plan+images&rlz=1T4TSHB_enUS412US438&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=qG5xUZSqEMbW2AXR6IDADg&ved=0CDIQsAQ&biw=1440&bih=710 >

        < http://www.rvzez.com/ajaxsk-fifth+wheel,wi.html >

        -Laren Corie-
        Natural Solar Building Design and
        Solar Heating/Natural Cooling/Energy
        Efficiency Consultation Since 1975
        www.ThermalAttic.com (many new
        photos and pages, coming soon)

        Read my Solar house design articles in:
        -Energy Self-Sufficiency Newsletter-
        www.essnmag.com

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        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LittleHouses/

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