Net Zero Off Grid Prefab House Kit Update: Finishing Around Foundation
So before we poured our concrete slab foundation, we laid down foam.
(Which you can order from the factory if you like...)
Now we haven't yet infilled back the dirt from the home site, and it is time to finish the final insulation not only *under* the foundation, but *around* it.
With temperatures in the 50's, we headed out to the off grid, net zero passive solar prefab house kit for a weekend of work.
Here is what we're doing:
[In case you are reading this years from now, this winter was The Winter - snow snow snow, wet wet wet, and because of that we're taking extra steps in waterproofing so that the next Hundred Year Dumping Of Slush will allow us to remain dry and clear of the wetness that came down from the fields this time and against our unfinished / unsealed foundation.]
4. You can also dig a trench around the house kit so that any water that would fall off the roof would fall into the center of the trench. Infill with gravel and soil, and even better- put some perforated drain pipes around edge. To prevent dirt from filtering down the gravel and into the pipe, after you add a layer of gravel cover that with landscape cloth before adding the remaining dirt and gravel.
5. Grade slopes minimum 6” down within ten feet.
Here's pictures from our lovely but hard working weekend:
Make sure you read the captions, it explains more what is going on in each picture:
And more detail on site work:
Explanation of what the heck he's doing.
All these little things you do when under construction to add to the air tightness and energy efficiency of your home really will add up to long term savings and success!
In getting the gravel for the site work around the prefab house kit, we had a quarter of the load dumped near the prefab and used the rest of the load to be dumped along the trail we have driven over the fields.
So now, after YEARS, we have a road.
We are VERY excited - it's kind of like Follow The Yellow Brick Road except it's the Magic Gravel Road, OUR Road, leading to the off grid net zero passive solar prefab!
We have a ROAD! And it leads to a modern prefab house kit!
|Tired, muddy, happy dog...|
They took pity on my recent Sickness Postings and not only fed us a *delicious* dinner with great company, in their cozy warm wood-stove heated home, but sent us home with a care package containing a young rooster, home made cheeses, and lard!
We are so grateful to have so many close friends here, it always makes the drive home so hard - you're happy from a weekend of hard work, feeling the sun on your face, happy exhaustion, the feeling of having "Gotten Things Done" - yet as your car drives, your heart saddens, you already miss the winter sun against the fields and trees and even though you return to a house with systems, with heat, it's just not the same as the crisp reality of being on the land, with good friends.
Fortunately, Steve and Chris were able to take this farmhouse and REBUILD it over ten years, from the foundation up, adding insulation, new windows, all kinds of structural work, and refabbing it to current standards. I'll go back and take some pictures of that renovated farm house soon - I didn't get an opportunity to do so last night.
We may still have no systems, but on the drive back to Richmond I thought about how so many people, especially in rural homes, are still in structures with no insulation. Driving home, we pass so many homes where generations of families live, in trailers or drafty 1800s farm houses and you know: there is NO insulation.
Thanks to the structural insulated panels, passive solar design, and all the little extra things we, as house kit purchasers, do to accelerate its performance: foam around the windows, the door frames, and around and under the foundation, we should have a happy, warm home for (hopefully) generations to come.