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11/17/09

Another Net Zero Off Grid Weekend In The Prefab Modern House Kit


After a week of rain, the sun broke out and the skies were blue as we headed to the net zero prefab modern house kit!  Still with no systems installed, our net zero off grid prefab was cozy, and lovely to visit.

I know better but I did it anyway: I am starting to slowly drag furniture out there, knowing full well the construction dust that will soon ensue.  Years ago my Handsome Husband discovered this stackable bookcase in a thrift store. He thought it terribly expensive ($30), but loved its soft curves and that it was solid wood.

It was then reused in my home office, then reused in an infant's room, now to be reused by all of us in the prefab house!  I will give it a fresh coat of paint this spring, but in the meantime it anchors the east side of the south room, beginning the interior design and use of that area as I envisioned: the reading corner. 




When I thought we would have a wood stove (no longer necessary as we installed radiant heat in the polished concrete foundation), I mentally placed the stove against the center wall, then a circle of floor pillows and books within cozy, languid reach.  The bookcases you see are open on each side; so I envisioned mid-century Popular Mechanics, books on "How to do XYZ (insert something fun, educational, practical here)" and Countryside Mags facing the casual reading area, then on the other side of the bookcase and facing the south view grouped with the more adult furniture, you can discover high design / architecture magazines and books.

I am still mentally working on these groupings... In the meantime the bookcase will stay against the wall and be a bookcase / kitty cat climbing cave for a certain 5 year old.

The purple Steelcase chair was found for $3, a 1970s contract furniture piece. We have two in purple, and two in mustard.


I added books that we have been collecting:

- Mid-century volumes of encyclopedias and United States history for children (the illustrations are *incredible*)
- Old Countryside Mags (full of reader tips and wisdom!)
- Mid-century Popular Mechanics (again, the graphics rock AND it's fun to learn!)
- Lots of Civil War and Virginia history books, written from many perspectives
- A large volume on historic Charlotte County
- Brochures and guide books on cool Virginia state parks and history sites to visit
- The usual Dwell and Metropolis Mags

Without my having to explain my interior design intent, I turned around and the furniture and area were being used exactly as I imagined.




On Saturday we emerged out of days of cold and rain to see highs of 60ish, and dropping into the low 40something. (40-42)  Inside the modern prefab, *still without systems*, we arrived to find the temperature reading 62; and, after an evening of 40ish, awoke to find the house at 59.

We will further insulate the passive solar prefab by adding foam around the exterior of the foundation before infilling the earth around the prefab house, and adding sealant around the windows before finishing the interior walls.


Next we will add more recycled, reused furniture little by little, bringing something out with each trip; and of course start the interior walls and systems.  We thought our first quote for finishing the off grid electrical / plumbing to be high, so we are still gathering quotes. Stay tuned...






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