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11/17/14

Lazy Passive Solar Prefab House As Fall Sets In, Deepens Towards Winter.

At the passive solar modern prefab house, the week began so pretty...
I have been busy with proposals, quotes, following up with progress... but was able to slip away out of the office during the early week GORGEOUS days in the 70s...
Before it fell to the seasonal 40s-20s.

I was concerned I was not set up properly for winter, but it now looks like the wood will do.
I feared it was not seasoned enough; and we still *need* to hook up the radiant heat! (Which is on "the list," along with about twenty other "critical / to do now" items... siiiiiiigh...)

Here is something I will try next year- a Holz Hausen.
From Backwoods Home, here is more on building a Holz Hausen:
From Backwards Home
"One boast of the holz hausen is that it dries wood more quickly than a traditional woodpile. The theory goes that its cylindrical form causes a chimney effect, in which air entering the holz hausen is drawn upward by the heated mass of wood in the center, speeding the drying effect. My experience backs up this theory. We live in an area that has short summers and is typically wet and cold in the spring, and our wood does not have much opportunity to dry out. Nevertheless, with only a few weeks' worth of drying time I have seen very green wood in a holz hausen dry out until it cracks. With a few months of hot weather, even wet wood dries to a cracking dry state, perfect for winter burning. When it reaches that stage, I move it into the woodshed where it's stored for the season."
So they are seasoning not in the traditional long 4'ish high / width rows in prime wind and sun exposure, but in a circle... the other item to note is that stacks are used for seasoning (regardless of rows or circles), then transported to a wood shed.  This fits into our next project:

Modern chicken coop with run.

OUTBUILDINGS.
We want to have our chicken run better function for a larger flock, as we usually have a flock of 15-25 birds.
We want to bring our horse home.
We want to make sure that any outbuildings reflect the modern simple tastes our own off grid prefab house exemplifies.

We are toying with designs... maintaining the same galvalume cladding... yet with specific functions in mind.
Chicken coop from the east view...
North side of chicken coop, with rainwater collection.
Windows are already lined with chicken wire but then
have sliding slats to protect against cold,
yet open up and embrace the breezes
/ cross ventilation in summer.

VENTILATION FOR RUN-INs / BARNS
...or, actually, the tack room be on the east
side and the wood access be on the west.
That makes more sense... as the
prefab house is west of these outbuildings.

From extension.org, an article from Penn State:
"...failure to provide adequate ventilation is the most common mistake made in construction and management of modern horse facilities. Why would such a universally agreed upon feature be overlooked in stable design?"

Here is a great overview on run-in sheds for horses if that is something you are thinking about.

The north side of the run in would be the
1. tack room, opening on the side
2. wood shed, with opening on the north side
3. small random equipment area for shovels / a lawn mower
and thus protect the run in from the fierce north winds and cold in winter...

Our boo.

In the meantime, we headed into the city for the weekend.
We were ping pong balls. We bounced from dinner with family to a morning marathon, an artist studio,  playdate (...with horses! In the city!) to cotillion, to a slumber party, to breakfast (with homemade Papi pancakes for our guest and children as always), to hitting the road again, skedaddle, to head back to the off grid prefab house, to dear Zena, to ride, to let the chickens and cat out of their safe-from-predator containment, to run again, free.
The artist himself...

He is showing Pip 2 what he is creating with her image...
Coming soon... both Pip 1 & 2...
http://www.tomchambersphoto.com/
They are talking talking talking while riding riding riding.
It was wonderful but we are so happy to be back home, to the cozy off grid passive solar prefab house, to Zena, who deeply appreciated the carrots we brought her, the dogs running free and wild again, to our dear friends here!
Home.
In the woods, I met up with Red Riding Hood!
My what big teeth she has!

Exercise where you have to stay above the saddle. Ha.
While we were gone, the high was 52, the low, 17. With no heat on, we arrived to the passive solar modern prefab around noon (not enough time for solar gain) to the off grid prefab registering:
Dag. That's about where I woke up in Richmond, to, in a house with heat.
Not bad, in a house that was not heated at all over 72 hours, after a 17 degree evening...
I fired up the cook stove and the temperature shot right up, from "comfortably warm with a sweater" to hot and toasty.
Home again, home again, jiggedy zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
And now, I will snuggle down and pass out after a great week.
Have a great one, y'all.

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