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9/28/09

Net Zero Prefab House Kit Open House! 1st Open House Of Our Modern Energy Efficient Home

Did I mention it rained?

I will NEVER complain about rain.
But it's admittedly inconvenient for a Prefab Modern House Kit Open House.

We awoke, it was drizzling.
We arrived at the prefab house, it was raining.
The sun never emerged.
Actually, it's still raining, heavily. I think I just saw the Porta Potty float by, waving and gallantly saluting farewell like a Captain downed with the SIP, er, ship.

We were soaking wet at the prefab open house.
"Well," I looked on the bright side, "at least we'll be able to hang out and spend some quiet time together!"
The green building architect of our net zero off grid prefab, David Day, smiled, agreed.
Ron, Our Fabulous Contractor, stormed in, stomped the mud off his feet and stated with a scowl, "Rain."

I was sad because I really wanted for people to make "a weekend" of it- to enjoy the beautiful sights, the camaraderie of our friends, the bike ride past historic farms...

I knew other children and dogs would visit- and imagined the chases that would ensue!
I envisioned us walking the fields, wearing everyone out on a hike on the property, people relaxing in fold out chairs near the south tree line and contemplating the modern house kit for their own purposes...

I didn't want people to travel and not get to know all the kind people and wonderful, historic, fun things to do in our area. I mean, who are we kidding? - We have history throughout, and, heck: A WINERY minutes away!

But... it rained in buckets.
Oh well, people would just come to the next Prefab Open House and then really enjoy it in the spring, I could show them around...

Or so I thought.

It was 1:02.
"Well, we haven't seen you in *forever*," I started, turning to David, "we can at least have a nice, quiet day hanging out together!"
As the words came out of my mouth, a pair of headlights turned onto the field.
"Ohhhhhhh my gosh. "
As soon as I said that, the second set of lights rounded the bend.
And right behind them... it was a line! And one after another, they parked!

I just can't even start to talk about the day after that.
I hope that those whom attended will share their pictures, video, thoughts here.
(Yes, I lost my camera the night before at Richmond's InLight...)

I want those that came to know... thank you all so much for coming.
Just as you say you read MY voice, I have enjoyed following your own stories through email and our exchanges via the internet.

A lot of beautiful, honest, open faces.
Farmers, families, designers, international colleagues traveled SO far, and... we had rain.
Oh, not just rain: A MONSOON.

But on the SUNNY SIDE...


Heck yeah, we crammed people in, unstacked chairs (isn't that what we bought 'em for?) and it was still airy!

And, on a rainy, no sun at all, Almost October chilly day... inside in the prefab, thanks to the SIPs, it was HOT!

Speaking of outside in the rain... people were walking around in that muck taking gray wet pictures of the prefab house kit in the RAIN!
"No, don't worry, sweetie! I already took & blogged those pictures on a nice day! Don't get cold!!!!! I don't want you to get sick! Dontcha want to come in?"
Inside? 75 to 72-ish degrees.

I asked, "Now that y'all have noticed the difference of passive solar energy efficiency WITHOUT systems in the prefab, do ya mind if I crack a window now?"
They voted, "Aye!"

And talk about putting Small Footprint to the test - after seeing about forty people in that front room, I now know what Thanksgiving will be like with a bunch o' friends & family!!!

I enjoyed so much putting the emails to the faces. I want y'all to know I wanted this to be more than a Prefab House Kit Open House.

Thank you all for coming from far-flung states and cities.
It was a pleasure to meet you all, thank you for bringing all your fun moments I will always remember: a gifted child playing music, all of your kind eyes, a pair of basketball and bow enthusiasts (to whom I proudly showed the VMI basketball court and my Fred Bear recurve), European and Africa connections, sweet dogs I *wished* could have raced about and played across the field with our own dogs, all of your great questions...

I felt like we were wearing you out when we spoke but then the attendees had one question after another- well researched, it was a dialogue, not a lecture, which is what I had hoped.

Thank you all so much for driving so far on a miserable day to visit us in the prefab house kit.

--Copeland Casati

P.s. Sharing comments from visitors:
(I will be adding comments, photos, etc. as they send them in here.)
"It was a pleasure to meet you and your family, Mary Beth and I enjoyed another adventure...the weather didn't bother us but I wish it could of rained the day before or after for your sake....I loved the house, before seeing it in person I always felt it wouldn't have enough light for me but on the contrary I felt very good in it, very comfy.....it seemed solid and tight.....it will be a couple of years before I build, I have 2 lots connected to the lot I live on in an 1861 money pit I will be following your blog I'm definitely interested in all aspects of the project, edible landscaping is important and I see your doing that, very smart and innovative team.....thanks for your warm hospitality.....
--Elaine"

"Copeland,

Thank you for opening up your house (future home) to us strangers. We really enjoyed the visit even with all the rain. Seeing the house in real life is quite different than following your blog.

We really enjoyed our visit and look forward to the read your progress on your blog. I did notice on the landscaping design that you are building a root cellar. I was wondering if you had any more information on it that you can share with us.

Again thanks for opening your house to us.

James and Robin
Baltimore, MD "
*Thanks to George Geier, who shared his pictures with me so this blog looks nice!*

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