Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Description of my Future Small Smart Cheap Green Home.

Basic Design Principles for my Future Small Smart Cheap Green Home

Passive solar design, a high thermal mass, shade trees  & structures in the right places to block afternoon sun, deep eaves to keep summer noon sun of walls & windows and to cover outdoor living areas, a stairwell that doubles as a ventilation stack, a cool roof, designed for solar, rainwater retention and gray water collection. 

It will be a rectangle because corners are hard to insulate  although that isn't an issue with ICFs or AAC block. Also, to minimize exposure to the West.  And It's just a good design principle. Also, dimensions will be divisible by two feet. For the ICFs  (or advanced framing).  Narrow for cross ventilation. The open living area of the house will be only as wide as a good size living room.. 20' maybe.  The sleeping area may to the side tucked behind carport or to the back back and that section may be wider.

Will keep costs down with a small home and small footprint, open floor plan to minimize ductwork and wet walls/stacking to reduce plumbing costs. I hope it will be so efficient all that's needed in this climate is a mini-split unit to supplement. I'm wavering between combining kitchen or bath with laundry. I think bath.  Mechanicals in a central core, i.e. shared wall unit between the kitchen/bath/laundry/pantry. AC. Water heater.

There will be a large thermal mass in the form of a rocket stove/oven/fireplace of some sort. Maybe rustic, maybe modern. I've seen designs I like for both.

The style is a rustic mid-century. But the friendly kind with porches & eaves. Like my Grandmother's house was.  It will have transoms  & clerestory windows for ventilation and light.  It will have working shutters for severe weather & sun. And situated for home food production and outdoor living.  Foodscaped with fruit & nut trees and perennials. Plus some beds for annuals.

It want it to be stuccoed outside and plastered inside. Not sided or sheetrocked. Done DIY.  A pretty pale green color.

All or most of the living area is single story with a flat white roof deck above. The second story area has a shed roof sloped towards the south for solar panels &a rainwater.

The sleeping area is flexible space for flexible use, divided by modular furniture and panels of some sort.  And may be an exact duplicate directly above. (Or maybe different above: more sleeping area upstairs over more of the living area to shrink house footprint, smaller roof deck because there's a carport that can be a deck)  The 2nd floor bath will be stacked above the 1st floor bath or kitchen. The resident can easily choose between making the upstairs or down stairs the 'master.'  The doors  to these flexible sleeping areas will be double barn doors to open up the small rooms. Plus transoms.

 I'd like to incorporate some tiny home ideas like a loft sleeping area. Loft beds, Murphy beds or beds that slide under a raised platform living area or storage units.

 The Kitchen in my Future Small Smart Cheap Green Home.

Open to the living area.
Island with 4- 5 ft wide top and nothing in it but workspace, except maybe the induction burner. Or counter height table & stools.  The kitchen can be small, but there has to be at least this much worktop.
I want a cool pantry for produce from my garden and our urban farms and space for a freezer.  And ventilation for refrigerator/freezer coils. Could the AC flow into the pantry first? 
Very large deep sink, with covers: solid & slotted to drain dishes. Maybe that in sink dishwasher if it's still available.
Dish draining plate rack cupboard for cups & plates.
Cooking will be via electric induction or  in winter via rocket stove/oven (whether cob or a commercial product). Or outdoors.
2 burner induction cooktop. (portable so it can be put away in a drawer or inserted into counter? I hate cords)

Maybe no oven except the rocket stove or outdoors (solar & otherwise). Ovens just aren't a good way to cook unless you want to heat up the space.  But some kind of broiler is a must.

Shoe removal bench/storage for coats, book bags, purses. 
Mud/utility room with sink &; dog washing, but am thinking it doesn't all need to be inside the conditioned space. 
A carport  that's part of the architecture as was done a lot in Mid-Century Modern design. rather than a garage (3 easy LEED points there!)Extend the roof line into carport.
The stairwell/ventilation stack might be a bump out in which case the space under will be utility. Or if inside the living, something else clever will be done to use the space. Storage wall, library, tuck the sofa under it....

Also considering keeping a certain amount of appliances/lighting DC power for efficiency, with a small amount of battery storage for night/emergency.
 I.E.  Some lights in the kitchen area. some appliances, fans.  Thinking of having a small fridge plus one of those DC powered chest coolers for extra, beverages & what not so you don't keep opening the 'big' fridge or for fruit and other items that don't like the standard cold fridge temps, plus have it for power outages/camping. Maybe have a pullout shelf for it under the counter.

Solar thermal assisted Mini-Split AC.
Dehumidifyer vented to outside.
Heat exchanging ventilation system.
PV with some DC storage, some grid tied AC

Rustic Midcentury.  Most walls will be a pale cheery spring green. or different shades of such a color.
Absolutely no recessed lighting anywhere.  Or ugly vents.
A mid-centrury Mod wooden grid system for walls & ceiling to mount artwork & lights.

Walls of storage.  Natural wood.
I think oscilating fans are more energy efficient than ceiling. Is that right? There are wall mountable fans. Vintage looking.
In addition to the open living area, there's one other small space to get away to. Play/study. But might be one of the flexible sleeping area spaces.
Living/kitchen flow to outdoors.  Maybe bathroom as well. To make it accessible via outside without tracking in dirt.
Shoe removal bench/storage by doors.
Considering large shared closet near bath rather than closets in every sleeping area as rooms are meant to be flexible space. And for sleeping, not living.
Outdoor kitchen with solar oven. 

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