Yes. It’s a privileged thing we’re doing. Planning a home with an off-grid electrical system. It’s not something everyone can afford. We hope to live in the new house long enough so we get paid back for the investment. With rumours that Hydro rates are set to get much higher, we might more easily live to see that day. I was pleased, therefore, to hear CBC radio cover this story from California, where civil society organisations are seeing the benefits to us all of offering solar systems to people who can’t immediately afford them. http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/solar-panels-low-income-california-1.3917318. For us the choice is not only an adventure, but part of the greater energy revolution happening around the world. There’s plenty of energy in the sun and wind to power us all. The challenge is to democratize our power grids.
We’re spending a lot of time thinking about windows and air flow these days. Here’s Maggie drawing the south view from inside the floor plan. We’re aiming to spend a good bit of cash on high quality windows and doors. That’s a bit stressful for us – having lived with reused and gifted ones till now. So we want to get all the variables right.
The back part of both the main floor and loft are potentially dark – most of the time. Here’s an idea we’re considering. Sun Tunnels.
I sent the following link out on fb a while ago. We offer it so you get a glimpse at how a Rammed Earth wall can look. We’re not quite as evangelical about it as the person in the video, but it does show how local soil can be made into an impressive insulated, heat absorbing rock wall. Well, not quite rock, but certainly very solid. http://www.cbc.ca/beta/arts/disruptingdesign/this-retired-physics-teacher-wanted-the-most-sustainable-house-possible-and-it-looks-great-too-1.3886762. I hope I can report on the work I’m doing this month on testing of the soil we dug out of the hill – to see if it is suitable as is for the walls – or if we need to add gravel, cement, etc.
If you want to keep up with what’s happening in Canada and abroad in renewable energy, consider subscribing to Clean Energy Canada for their emails – or liking their fb page. http://www.cleanenergycanada.org/
Finally, I’m collecting names and contact information – if you’re interested in helping us with the wall construction or solar panel/power installation next spring and early summer. Text or call me at 204.305.0528 or email at email@example.com or tap me on the shoulder at the grocery check-out. I’m not looking for commitment at this time, only interest and willingness to learn with us.