home solar design





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7/1/2013
Here’s how to find good background information on residential solar energy systems, including locating solar installers and finding advice on particular products.
6/21/2012
This blog contains a detailed list of most of my initial design priorities for my net zero energy home so others may benefit from my thinking and experience on creating a passive solar, net zero energy, green home.
9/17/2014
Doug and Jennie Ostgaard designed and built a photovoltaic system for their home, a project they was completed in six months. DIY photovoltaic solar has many benefits, and they outline a few of them here.
10/15/2008
A new company has redesigned the typical shape of solar panels to be more three-dimensional.
1/11/2013
HOMEGROWN Life blogger Rachel shares the basics of landscape design.
6/4/2013
Architect Debra Rucker Coleman shares tips for converting your home to passive solar energy.
5/9/2011
When a group of graduation students began designing a home on the Navajo reservation in southeast Utah, they knew keeping it cool in the desert would be an issue. Their innovative solution--a Windcatcher--is the first of its kind in the area.
11/18/2011
At last, we construct the foundation.
6/6/2012
Our humble abode begins to take shape.
3/13/2013
A 3-part series on sustainable comfort systems for heating and cooling homes using passive solar design, solar electric power, system controllers and newly popular heat pump technology.
2/10/2011
This is a summary of our attendance at the IBS show in Jan. Also a re-cap of Jan events and our transistion into the construction phase of the project. We also talk about the decision for the competiton to be moved off the Nationa Mall in DC
10/25/2013
Let It Shine by John Perlin highlights the context in which solar energy developments have occurred and the people who have made the solar revolution possible, revealing a whole new group of unknown technological pioneers, as well as people famous for other accomplishments never before known for their work as the solar advocates and technologists they were.
3/16/2012
The Homestead Act of 1862 celebrates its 150th anniversary this year. The Homestead National Monument is hosting several activities to recognize this historical event that resulted in millions of self-sufficient homesteaders receiving free land. Learn more and participate!
6/1/2012
As a nursery renovation begins, Jessica, editor of Natural Home and Garden, is just beginning an investigation into remodeling options for an eco-friendly nursery.
5/27/2011
Radical homemaker Karen Keb introduces her new blog, which will cover topics as diverse as baking bread to raising livestock.
3/14/2011
Do you find yourself spelling out words to others, such as when you are spelling out your last name? Try out our Homesteading Alphabet to keep your listeners on their toes and your homesteader lifestyle a part of your daily routine in a whole new way.
7/5/2011
As the economy improves, the trend toward smaller homes is reversing.
3/25/2011
One of the nation's largest home developers announces it will offer solar arrays as standard features on new homes in California.
12/16/2010
Home design apps for smart phones and iPads make visualizing your dream home even easier.
2/13/2013
For one week, BuildingGreen is offering a free download of an insulation guide, available with a 30-day trial of BuildingGreen Suite.
2/4/2010
Dan Chiras talks about the benefits of passive solar design.
10/1/2009
The Solar Decathletes begin assembly on the National Mall at midnight, Oct. 1. But just getting the houses into D.C. is no simple task.
3/11/2011
Brief description of our journey back onto the National Mall, our Flex Space design, and our Solar Thermal Skylight.
6/13/2010
Environmental journalist Simran Sethi spends her first night in her new home and reflects on the struggles and triumphs of the journey thus far.
1/19/2009
Four months or so after you made wine from summer’s fruit, it’s ready to go into bottles. More meticulous than romantic, the bottling process marks the start of the final wait until the wine is ready to drink.
5/11/2011
Building homes using dangerous and impactful industrial chemicals--in the name of energy efficiency--is not sustainable or ecological, a green building veteran says. His Health-Based Building model is an important step forward for green design.
8/13/2008
Be aware: Living sustainably can be hindered by homeowner association rules.
5/28/2011
In this blog we talk about our three differnet types of solar technology that we have on the Homestead.
7/8/2011
To satisfy today's home buyer, a developer of million-dollar luxury homes in New York is offering smaller, more affordable houses--more anecdotal evidence that the McMansion is dying.
4/9/2011
Are you a modern homesteader with pioneering women in your lineage? My great grandmothers were all pioneers, but our lives could not be more different.
6/19/2009
Clayton Homes’ first green prefab home project, i-house, will feature a plethora of green technologies and innovative designs.
3/29/2011
Getting solar panels in Seattle is becoming more affordable with state incentives and net metering but still doesn't quite compare to other states.
11/24/2014
For the fourth-annual MOTHER EARTH NEWS Homesteaders of the Year contest, we are asking for nominations of homestead hamlets — communities and neighbors working together to enable and practice sustainable living.
10/1/2012
To build a net zero energy home, you'll need to design for passive gain. That requires a shallower footprint to ensure that the low-angled winter sun can enter and heat each room.
10/28/2012
Insulation under the slab -- and lots of it -- is vital for the performance of a net zero energy home. So is the footprint. You can make the most of passive solar by creating a longer, narrower house in which each room is heated by the sun.
10/28/2012
Be sure to install under-the-footing conduit to run electrical and water pipes, including sewer. I like to run pipes and wire under the foot to prevent penetrating the band joist or the foundation to create a more airtight, water tight home.
11/3/2012
Don't forget to budget in the cost of deeper excavation and add $1000 to $2000 as a budget contingecy in case you run into bedrock.
11/11/2012
Insulating concrete forms are an excellent choice for foundations for passive solar, net zero energy homes. They create a highly insulated, air-tight foundation, so essential for extremely high energy performance.
11/11/2012
ICFs are not the most environmentally friendly green building product, but result in super energy efficient home, and offer many other benefits, that offset their origin from petrochemicals.
11/19/2012
ICF walls must be carefully braced to prevent blowout.
10/1/2012
Creating a net zero energy home requires that we eliminate all thermal bridging loss -- heat movement into and out of a building. All this starts in the basement.
10/17/2012
An introduction to me, a home-schooled 11 year old.
11/25/2014
It's time for our fourth-annual call for nominations for outstanding modern homesteaders! Organic gardeners, do-it-yourselfers and general self-sufficient gurus are being sought for the opportunity to be named as one of our 2015 Homesteaders of the Year.
5/3/2013
A three-part series on sustainable comfort systems for heating and cooling homes using passive solar design, solar electric power, system controllers and newly popular heat pump technology.
5/28/2013
A 3-part series on sustainable comfort systems for heating and cooling homes using passive solar design, solar electric power, system controllers and newly popular heat pump technology.
11/15/2011
Do you know any modern homesteaders living a self-sufficient lifestyle? We want to know about them! Nominate a family, someone you know or even yourself to become one of our Homesteaders of the Year in 2012.  
4/27/2011
Forty years ago a trombe wall worked to store and release heat in a passive solar house. Is it obsolete in the 21st century?
4/7/2011
Solar industry analysts and executives say PV installations will surge in the next two years as prices continue to drop.
4/1/2011
Reacting against the built-for-resale mentality that's destroying our modern homes' liveability, Slow Home Studio offers a path to a more satisfying home.
1/19/2012
This part of the series deals with window size and location, ceiling heights, eave length, and other design and passive design choices you can make for your new home. These choices apply whether you are on or off the grid.
2/8/2011
Scott Davis’ “Solar Projects, Big and Small” video offers inspiration for both solar energy enthusiasts and folks who are just curious. Tips and advice pertaining to solar energy can be found at the Yahoo! group Simply Solar, and you can make your dream project a reality with Gary Reysa’s instructions.  
7/12/2013
Farmer and HOMEGROWN Life blogger Bryce Oates doesn't need a calling. He’s got plenty of other stuff to keep him busy in his small Missouri town.
3/22/2013
Exploring preparing meals of only homegrown food.
2/11/2010
Enacting a law requiring builders to orient new homes toward the sun  would drastically reduce home energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions.
5/3/2011
Adding solar panels can increase a home's resale value by as much as $17,000, a new Lawrence Berkeley Lab report finds.
10/31/2012
Why do we believe that math must be done one workbook page at a time, at the kitchen table? Anyone who’s ever kept chickens can tell you all the math that can be found in the hen house.
8/5/2012
In this blog, I describe two of the first and most important design considerations -- the length and depth of the home and the layout of rooms for optimum passive solar gain.
2/18/2014
This blog post shares some of The Thyme Garden’s experience with growing hops for over 25 years. It includes history of hops, useful information about hops and how and where to grow them.
5/27/2011
Since they built their solar- and wind-powered cordwood home in Desboro, Ontario, Lisa and Ray Racicot have never looked back. The only thing they'll do differently next time is install the renewable energy systems first, to power the construction.
1/2/2013
Making cheese was nothing like I expected, but in the end, I was successful.
4/15/2014
The ongoing debate between the merits and faults of Passive House design and passive solar design is important for those looking to build an energy-efficient home and for all enthusiasts of energy-efficient building. We've opened up the discussion to our online audience in this blog post. Please share your thoughts!
6/6/2013
As the youngest member of a new local food producers and artisans cooperative, 11-year-old Grace is learning business skills while perfecting her artistic talents with homemade jewelry, pot holders and more.
4/30/2014
Anyone can brew beer. Part 2 of Homebrewing for Beginners seeks to demystify the process of cooking the wort, fermentation, racking, and bottling.
4/14/2014
Anyone can brew beer. The article seeks to demystify the process and help jump start brewing by breaking down the equipment, recipe, and ingredients. This is a 2-part blog post.
9/25/2010
Assistant Editor Heidi Hunt checks in with a quick report about Nate Poell's presentation on homebrewing.
2/27/2013
Pick something new to learn this year from Granny Miller’s list of 101 basic homesteading skills.
9/2/2011
The discussion of home birth often revolves around the mother and the newborn baby. This blog post describes the experience through the eyes of the father, and the amazing respect for the family's midwife that came from the day of his son’s birth.
2/26/2013
One of my earliest vivid childhood memories is sitting on my father’s lap as a young girl reading the magazine together in the 1980s and all throughout my childhood. He would read aloud while I studied the pictures of passive solar building, vegetable gardening, sheep shearing, building your own sugar shack and the beautiful array of topics which he read to me frequently. Those images, along with the camping trips in the mountains, the whitewater and canoeing excursions, and our family trip to Alaska, have been etched in the catacombs of my childhood memories and have sculpted the person I have grown to become.
11/19/2012
Scaffolding is required to access the walls to pour the concrete. Scaffolding also helps support the walls.
11/19/2012
Additional reinforcement is required around the garage door opening.
11/7/2012
Things we did to make our new home more sustainable.
6/5/2012
In this blog, my architect James Plagmann and I begin to tell the story of the construction of Dan's new net zero energy homes. Dan begins by laying the ground, defining a few terms and describing his experience in this field.
1/4/2013
MOTHER EARTH NEWS is seeking nominations of self-sufficient modern homesteaders for our 2013 Homesteaders of the Year awards.
11/6/2013
Learn how to evaluate your own home for solar potential with four easy steps!