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10/11/10

Off Grid Prefab House Kit Construction And Systems, Considered

It was a *glorious* autumn weekend in the Old Dominion, and we left the off grid zero energy prefab house kit to wade into the wonder of pony rides, carnival games, firestation competitions, cauldrons of Brunswick stew, old crafts / iron-making skillz demonstrations, bluegrass, motown, gospel, funnel cakes, snowcones and railcar tours of the trains at the Appomattox Railroad Festival.

I have no pictures of this because...... I lost my camera.
Well, I lost it until Sunday, when, after our guests departed and all the fun was over, I discovered the camera..... at the bottom of my purse.

So check out last year's Appomattox Railroad Festival pictures, what a great event!
(Wow, it's crazy to see the home site a year ago in these pictures!)


Again, as the temperature outdoors vascillates from sunny short sleeves mid-day to sweaters and socks at night, we marvel at the coziness and warmth within the still-no-systems-installed off grid prefab house.

And realize this will be one of the last weekends at this stage, with no heat except that of the passive solar house kit design, the thermal mass, the energy efficiency of the SIP (structural insulated panels)...


Zero Energy Passive Solar Prefab House Kit

Before you know it, the radiant heat will be radiating, the cookstove will be cooking, I will be making huge pots of stew to feed masses of cold, hungry chillunz seeking warmth from the frosty, wet outdoors...

I'm excited.
And nostalgic of the past years of survivial camping...
But not nostalgic enough. ; )

We had friends visit, so for the first time, our prefab house kit was graced with... a baby overnight camping-in-the-house-kit guest!  That was fun. She is at the cute babbling age, full of wonder and enthusiasm, and we had a great time passing her about our arms, giving her parents a (milliseconds) break.

HOWEVER, I realized upon awakening the morning after our dark Friday arrival that................................... maybe this wasn't the greatest weekend to have a baby visit: we are under construction again and there are electrical wires................ everywhere!
(Don't worry, not hooked up, but still!)


Pat Root is working hard on wiring the off grid zero energy house kit, and my staging of the illusion that this is an actual livable home has succumbed to the reality that we are, face it, still under construction!


Baby survived, happily gurgling.
It is a gorgeous, gorgeous weekend. I am reading "The Hornbook of Virginia History" in the middle of... Virginia history.

In the meantime one child is thwacking bbs into homemade targets while the other builds a stick house, and momma is off with her bow.

-later-

Jason Dorris stopped by, and we had a good, quick meeting to get us through the week.

We are rethinking placement of the solar energy batteries.  
Suggested by the solar company, the solar battery bank placement was not embraced by our building inspector, so we will contact the SIP manufacturing plant engineer tomorrow to see if our default engineering of our prefab house kit will accommodate moving the battery bank to the north roof.

We are also installing the new firebricks in the wood cook stove and sealing and adjusting it to be acceptable within a tight envelope of a SIP house.
(How do you like my huge cast iron pan, below, already on the stove top?)
Huge cast iron pan, my triumph of a find in the local thrift store!
Handsome Husband working on the cook stove.

Aaaaaaaaaaand the composting toilet.

Pre-Composting Toilet Bathroom View
Well, I don't know what is going on psychologically, but it appears guests are compelled to embrace the throne a little too enthusiastically.  I might have to inquire on an upgrade / expansion of capacity.

It must have been all those years of camping on the land where we'd nod vaguely in the direction of the hills, hand 'em a shovel and say, "Bathroom's over there..."


Which also relates to our next future construction stage: plumbing, and water in the off grid zero energy prefab house kit.

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