Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Zero Energy Homes

My poor Mister now has even more to plan for if/when we build our "dream home".

I've been reading about zero engery homes, where the home is built to be extremely energy efficient and then solar panels are used to provide much of the electricity the home needs (and sometimes extra, which is sold back to the power company as credit).

I wonder if my current favorite house plan would be adaptable....

Here's a story from MSNBC about a Zero-energy house that was build in california.

And Here is an interesting website with a list of things that you should consider when trying to make your home more efficient.


derekstaff said...

Allie, I really respect your interest in zero-energy homes. That is an area in which my wife is deeply involved. She is currently studying architecture at University of Utah, and is focusing on “green” architecture (aka environmentally-friendly architecture). It has become quite a passion for her. Maybe someday she can design your dream home!

In the meantime...I love sharing information on topics I have in common with others. I hope you don’t mind if I present some ideas and info here.

Have you visited USU’s Utah House in Kaysville? It was designed to serve as an example of an environmentally-friendly house, including the landscaping. Go spend a couple hours there some afternoon.

There are a couple stores here in SLC you might be interested in visiting (if you haven’t already). One is the Green Building Center, a “Home Depot” for the environmentally conscious. The other is Underfoot Floors, a small flooring company focusing specifically on sustainably harvested or produced floors.

And here are some books you might find interesting:

Green By Design, by Pamela Dean--an architect produced and practicing right here in Utah.

Good Green Homes, by Jennifer Roberts. Both this and the preceding book were published in Davis County, fyi.

The Green House: New Directions in Sustainable Architecture by Alanna Stang and Christopher Hawthorne

Green Remodeling : Changing the World One Room at a Time,
by David R. Johnston and Kim Master. Particularly good if building new isn’t really a possibility (and remodeling is considered by some to be better anyway--after all, you are “recycling”)

Of course, there are many more books on green architecture and small homes (small homes are considered much more environmentally sound, because there are fewer materials going into the construction, and we really don't need such big houses--did you know that since the '40s, family size has almost halved, but the total floorspace in the average home has quadrupled?). Just check out some of the related books at these links (of course, support your local economy and buy at a locally-owned, independent bookstore if possible).

Hopefully your “mister” is as interested in sustainable living as yourself. I’m very fortunate that my wife is just as passionate about liberal ideals as I. Good luck putting together your green dream house!

- Derek (aliberalmormon.wordpress.org)

Allie said...

Thanks for the info. It seems silly to NOT build a house that is as efficient as possible. :)

I saw your picture on utahamicus, and you look very familiar. Did you go to Viewmont high school?

derekstaff said...

Nope, Davis High, and that was long ago. It seems like it, anyway.

- Derek