From our vision statement: We are devoted to preserving, protecting, nurturing and regenerating the natural environment. We are committed to learning about and adopting practices that minimize consumption of energy, water, and other natural resources.
We are building for energy efficiency.
Our homes are designed for passive solar heating. This means all of our homes and our common house face south. The southern walls have large windows that will absorb the heat of the sun during the winter months.The sunlight will directly heat the solid concrete floors. In the summer, a slight roof overhang will shade the windows so the homes stay cool.
We will be using modern technology to heat and cool our buildings.
Electricity will run air source heat pumps which have been proven to work even in our low winter temperatures.
Each house will have the option of adding a small masonry wood burning stove. These stoves have been used for decades in Europe.
They are filled with wood twice a day to provide steady, consistent heat for hours. We will definitely have a large masonry stove in the common house.
The single most important factor in building an energy efficient home is creating a tight envelope—well insulated walls and roofs that can retain heat in the winter and stay cool in the summer. Our insulation exceeds the R-value requirements of standard building codes.
Our architect’s energy modeling software predicts that total energy usage will average about $1,000 per year (depending on home size), an amount that can be significantly reduced if photo-voltaic panels are added. That’s a small fraction of what conventionally constructed homes consume