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3/5/18

Modern Net Zero Prefab Maximizes Comfort In Winter Wind And Weather.


At the net zero off grid prefab house, this time of year during "normal" winter weather (20s-40s/50) we keep the cook stove running intermittently so not to overheat the house. If you have been following this blog, you know that in "normal" winter weather, with our prefab house completely off grid, we are cozy, so there's not much to tell! The energy efficiency and structural strength of SIP, which is what our prefab house kits are made of, rock!
Our prefab house kit architects have some news... 
This month, there were some nice articles written on the architecture firm 3north that designed our two story modern prefab house, the R1 Residential!
The R1 Residential prefab house.
Dezeen noted 3north's small footprint cabin is about 800 square feet, yet open and embraces (like our own prefab home site choices) being hidden yet also having moments of reveal: the 3north custom small footprint project hides the waterfront home down a long drive, and only do you see the water once you arrive!
We too enjoy privacy, not placing our own off grid prefab house up on the road to be seen, but hidden back beyond the fields. Yet when you look south, you can see the view for miles. LOVE IT.

I love how they clad the modern house with black on the waterfront side- 3north notes: "When viewed from the river, the black siding gives the impression that the house is receding into the landscape."
They did a really beautiful job. Check it out:
For 800 square feet, 3north certainly maximized the clients' living!

Back to our own modern small footprint house and off grid living!
Off Grid Seasonal Maintenance:
This is the time to not only cut weed trees for firewood (thus improving the health of your woods) but to build holz hausen, and if you want to move any firewood into the wood shed, now is the time to do that, too. Why? Well of course you know you want to cut wood before sap rises. But there are many reasons to take advantage of this season for wood- when hauling out the wood from the woods, snakes and ticks are less. When stacking (or unstacking) wood, black widows / snakes have not yet come out. It makes it waaaaaaay easier to handle, no?
For many of our friends, power is still out days after the nor'easter hit the east coast. Over 1.5 million along the north east (not counting the south!) lost power.
At our modern prefab cabin, winds gusted to 60!
But I wasn't worried about the prefab house, we had already been through two hurricanes and I know the SIP prefab house is rock solid.

HOWEVER I did worry about our structures- wood sheds and run ins and fencing...
Thankfully, due to our great friends who helped us build these simple structures that many people don't think about enduring extreme weather, they reminded us to always use hurricane straps for everything, even simple wood sheds.

Trees were down, roofs blown off, low-lying areas flooded, many are still without power here.  When outside, we stayed away from the tree line while doing chores in case the wind would knock something down.

But otherwise, we sat in the net zero prefab, cozy, cooking food on the cook stove and enjoying the indoors until it passed.
Local Dominion Energy noted the severity of the nor'easter, and its impact more severe than even Hurricane Sandy:
"This storm was particularly damaging as it lasted so long – with our system experiencing significant winds more than 24 hours including gusts of over 70 mph. It ranks as one of the top five most damaging storms in the number of Dominion Energy customers impacted, topped only by hurricanes Floyd, Isabel and Irene, and the Super Derecho of 2012."

After ten years of off grid modern prefab house blogging, I will now write intermittently, because you have seen the off grid modern prefab through all sorts o' extreme weather and now know we're fine, we're cozy, we're happy!

We also now an off grid family with teens.
Not all moments are fun.

I noticed Teen 1 was constantly sulky, dark, glowering.
I took away electronics.
Taaaaaaaaaaaaa daaaaaaaaaaaaa! Look how bright and shiny he is again!
He spent the entire day DIGGING THIS HOLE just fer the heck of it!
Look at that beautiful smile! 
I am so thrilled to have my teen back!!!
He hugged his equines, played with his dogs, was SO much fun to be around...
I love our Pips so much, and my heart aches when they're not putting smiles in the world, much less wiping them off my face.
My smile is back.

Here are some favorite moments from these weeks:
He loves him so much he's sleeping on his feet.
"DONE WITH SSATs,
SCHOOL INTERVIEWS AND TESTS!"

Hanging out with some chicks.


Cornbread: "Tell me yer troubles, kid..."
Teen 1: "They took away the electronics! There's NOTHING to do! She's so MEAN!"
Cornbread: "You think she's mean to YOU? You should see how she moves ME around all day!"

Dogs: "LET'S CHASE A BALL!" Teen 1: "Ok! Doggie KICKBALL!"
Teen 1: "I'm bored. I think I'll spend all day long digging a hole."
Dogs: "AWESOME!"
And so, at the net zero modern prefab home, we move forward.
Towards spring.

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