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9/19/10

The Zero Energy Prefab House Kit Has A Guest, And More Off Grid Systems!

My childhood friend Lauralyn came to visit us in the zero energy prefab house kit.


Lauralyn is an artist.
Lauralyn runs around nekkid and takes pictures of herself.

I do not run around nekkid. I take pictures of off grid zero energy prefab house kits.
But I did laugh and talk alllllllllllllllll weekend-long with a great, dear friend who was experiencing the zero energy prefab for the first time.
We had adventures.
Yet finished the weekend rested and relaxed.

What is new in the off grid zero energy prefab house kit?
Jason Dorris installed the composting toilet, bathtub, concrete pad (to be poured this week) for the battery bank and (optional, future) generator.

So, the composting toilet was installed... but: there was a glitch.
I read the directions Friday on how to set up and use the toilet about a hundred million zillion katrillion times.
Then, confident, went to follow through the set up (dumping in the starter peat, etc.) and realized... 
Remember when we stored the composting toilet in the shed and a mouse made a nest in it with the manual and hopped out all indignant when we moved the toilet from the shed to the prefab house and we thought it was really funny?

Well, it was in the dark, on a Friday night, with guests, and children eager to try out the system, when I realized that not only did the mouse eat the manual, but the mouse also ate the composting toilet paper mat that's supposed to prevent the soil from falling all the way down as well... Well, I wasn't laughing anymore.


I frantically searched online for, "What Happens If You Remove The Paper Mat From The Composting Toilet" in the dark, lined the bottom with toilet paper, crossed my fingers, and continued the setup.
And then the rush of people eager to use the composting toilet commenced.


Saturday we had a Very Serious Zero Energy Prefab Team Meeting to plan out the next two weeks.  This is what our Very Serious Team Meetings often look like:

[What we don't mention in the video is that this group includes a talented contractor, a licensed architect, and a certain couple who, er, know a thang or two about green building... ; ) ]


So, next? This week the racks for solar power and solar hot water will be mounted on the roof.
We have a systems cabinet we are mounting externally between the two sets of clerestory windows to house the solar combiner box and to protect the penetrations into the building envelope for power and plumbing.
And Pat Root might show up and start working on electric!

I thought I'd take a moment to list some favorite key, non-electric off grid appliances we are finding valuable in the zero energy prefab house kit:
- non-electric coffee grinder (new!)
- composting toilet
- solar shower slung over the limb of an oak
- solar cooker (invaluable!)
- backup camping stove
- scythe

Now that we're in this stage of the off grid project, we can take a step back and start to think about finishing the interior of the SIPs (structural insulated panels) as well as FINALLY addressing the home site, working our way towards plumbing and irrigation.
We are very excited for fall. The zero energy off grid prefab house kit evolves, and we enjoy every single stage of it. 

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