Prefab Green Home Takes On The Wind Chill. And The Passive Solar Net Zero Prefab Fabulously Triumphs.
Wind chill of 14? Actually, I was corrected: The wind chill was FOUR.
It's a windy day at the prefab green home.
net zero modern prefab (still with no heating / power systems installed) is to compare the outdoor temperature with the indoor temperature.
We have no heat. We have no electricity.
But we certainly have fun measuring the effectiveness of the structural insulated panels + passive solar design in the prefab house kit on a dinky (one arrow missing that's supposed to indicate humidity) thermometer.
A Lovely Lady From Leeds : ) asked,
Mel, I don't know. We certainly can (and should) have someone measure it, but because it is our private home despite my being the founder, well, I previously thought, "Eh. It's more fun doing the dial-y thermometer thang."
Your interest has prompted me to take it more seriously and add it to the "to do's."
[I have a similar attitude towards LEED accreditation. Don't kill me! (The firms are all LEED accredited; I just don't see the benefit for the consumer to certify a house they don't intend to sell, and am approaching this house as an "average" consumer of my own house kit. ]
This is all stuff we as professionals know, documented by passive haus, passive houses, SIPs manufacturers, etc., but when I (even though we intelligently know it) put it into practice by turning a thermometer into a family game... oh, it's so much more fun. : )
In summer, we marveled at 100° harsh heat in the fields, yet inside the off grid prefab green home, it was a comfortable 85°, and the cross breezes from the open windows made it even more pleasant. Now we test the prefab house kit in icy, bitter temps with a few intermittent days of overcast skies.
Handsome Husband reports: "Windchill is 4°. Last night it went down to 18°, today's highs will be 27°. Yet the prefab green house kit is 45° on arrival."
Yes, that's cold.
But it has been overcast for days in temperatures in the teens and twenties. This proves that despite daily temperatures being such, the interior of the prefab green home will not freeze. This is great news.
After spending a day researching modern supercoolio wood stoves after discovering the promised family wood stove was mine no longer, I admit defeat: Why would I spend $1,500-$3,500 on a modern, cool wood stove we will use so little in the energy efficient, passive solar SIPs house?
Yet the wood stove is comforting as back up once our solar systems are installed, there to dry wet mittens and sopping snow clothes and to cook on if need be.
It's 11:00. Handsome Husband calls to say the prefab house is already 49-50° from him just moving around. Imagine how fast a big wood stove would heat that efficient, insulated space...and then overheat. If it's easily 50s inside when the temperature outside will not rise above freezing today, our original concern is correct - we would easily overheat the house with a big stove.
I researched battery-powered heaters, but they were either too small or not exactly safe for indoor use. [Understaaaaaatement!]
So... we bought a wood stove.
It's ugly. It's not a nostalgic family hand-me-down.
It's definitely not modern.
Handsome Husband is consoling me with, "Well, you could kinda cook on it..."
After spending the past 24 hours frantically researching what new products have come on the market since I last looked (a lot of nice modern wood stoves now), in the end I said, "Fine, solve the issue NOW, let's pay someone to install this NOW, so we can freaking enjoy our prefab modern house kit NOW."
Each dollar we spend on something unexpected (like the unexpected cost of a $1,000+ wood stove) is a dollar that should be going to off grid solar systems and hiring local labor to install them.
We will now bemusedly note how many years the original, "free" wood stove given to me will sit in my parent's basement until Mr. Wil "I Will Sue You For Everything You Own" Sakowski claims it... IF he ever does.
[Readers: Please bear with me in these last two posts as bitterness tinged these references... My life, and my dear, lifelong friends are an entirely happy different story. It's all good. : ) Besides, being a bandit is much more rewarding and adventurous. ]
Handsome Husband calls:
"I'm leaving! And in the prefab house kit it's 54 degrees." (3:40 p.m.)
Me: "What'd you do?"
- Met with the roofers
- Unloaded the modern bed and put it together
- Installed the Danish mid-century daybed
- Drove to Appomattox and bought a wood stove
- Examined the scouting camera (Awwww, Bambi!)
- Sorted some of the VMI basketball wood
The next post is where I rearrange all the furniture.
Labels: casa ti, construction, green home, green house, green modern kits, house kit, interior design, net zero, off grid, off grid house, off grid systems, passive house, passive solar, prefab, systems, zero energy