Saturday, 16 November 2013

The Natural Home - Passive Solar Construction (Online Book)

I've read the online book, The Natural Home, a couple of times now. I found it quite fascinating and ever since I first read it, I have been intrigued by the idea of passive solar homes as well as stack block construction.
.
.
Passive solar homes work on a "flywheel" type of system. They use concrete floors and walls to trap the heat (or cool) inside of them, and once they get to the desired temperature they stay warm or cool much easier because the energy is stored in the home itself. It takes a little more to get it to the right temperature, but once there, it stays there without needing much energy to maintain itself.

Stack block construction is low cost and very easy to do yourself, even if you aren't a journeyman. It would not be too difficult for someone with limited construction experience to cut costs by doing the majority of this simple labour himself. I believe the author says you could build for $50/sf, but this book was written a while ago, so I would imagine the cost has risen. But still, I figure that it should cost about half of what it costs to build a conventional home.
.
.
.
.
The blocks are surface bonded after they are in place.
.
.
They say you can use old telephone poles for the roof beams to save cost.
.
.
.
This is a fairly large house (2800sf), but you will notice that it is built in four separate sections of 700sf each, to maximize the thermal storage. You could build one section and make it into a small little pad, and then later add on another if you need more room - or get more money.
.
.


What I like a lot about this e-book's author is that he discusses a lot about live-ability and creating a comfortable home to exist in, and ideas on how to make it so.
.
.
.
.
.
.
I just can't tell you how much I would love to live in a home with a planter like that where I could grow my vegetables year round, and pluck them fresh right before dinner!
.
.
Even if you don't particularly like this house design, I would still recommend reading this book. It's got all kinds of good information about sustainable building and making it live-able.

No comments:

Post a Comment