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2/21/09

Passive Solar Modern House - Energy Efficient House Kit Update

It was in the low- to mid- forties when we arrived on the land and incredibly windy... but inside the modern passive house kit it was a cozy mid-sixty-ish.

Now don't forget that while we may have the exterior weather-tight, we have not yet hooked up systems. So that nice warmth was generated purely by the passive solar design.

This was the first day I have been able to take pictures of the finished structural insulated panels house kit exterior, so I went a little overboard- any of you whom have wondered what the completed outside looks like, well, you have more pictures than you could ever want to satisfy your curiosity. : )

I hope you enjoy 'em as much as I do!

I also apologize for some of the blurred photos- I will take better pictures and buy another 'cheap land camera I can get muddy and not cry about when the 6 year old drops it *again*'- it is clear it has been dropped one too many times.

As I mentioned, it was a very windy, brisk, February day; but inside the modern house it was calm, peaceful. Natural sunlight filtered in and filled the space in a wonderful way.

Really, there's no need for lighting except in the evening in my opinion.

Even without interior walls, the family naturally groups itself in areas of that main common space- we have thrown a fold up table and chairs on the west side where our dining area will eventually be, and some chairs and blankets for sleepy children on the east side where they naturally snuggle down and cuddle with the light falling on them, keeping them warm and secure feeling, as they rest.

I loved how I could (finally!) sit down at the card table and skim a homesteading magazine *while* having a nice view of the children and dogs playing in the dirt, see them, hear them, yet while they ran wild, everything was so calm and cozy where I sat...

Next we paint the west door black, and finish insulating around the foundation by putting foam all around the foundation that is currently exposed in these pictures.

Once that is done, the massive hill of dirt that my children have much enjoyed (yes I rue the day I tell them this) will be pushed back to infill around the house kit.

We also move on to framing the interior, then installing off grid solar and rainwater systems.

But more on that later, in the meantime, enjoy the beautiful day!

Below you will see a slideshow (click to get the bigger version that also has more detailed captions) plus some fun videos I made...

Oh, and yes, my Handsome Husband *did* run out and get us another camera after all these blurred pictures... : )

Ironically because the light was streaming in so brightly from the windows, the camera overcompensated these interior videos so they show darker than what it was in real life. In fact, I think all the pictures are darker as well. I'll take better videos / pictures next weekend...


My dogs were trying to tell me to let them inside as I made this video of the inside...
Look at that last frame, Khan rounding the corner while Pacha is telling me to Let. Them. In!


Here I talk about our vintage camper that, for four years now, has been our sole shelter here. We camp pretty much from early March until late November/mid December in that unheated camper... but cramming four people in there was getting pretty crazy and it is going to make a world of difference to now be able to be here year round in a house. (This video was made *last* weekend hence my reference to the unseasonably warm day- this weekend, it was your typical February temperatures!)

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