How to Live Comfortably Off the Grid - Fine Homebuilding
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Editor's Notepad

Editor's Notepad


How to Live Comfortably Off the Grid

comments (2) January 6th, 2011 in Blogs
These panels may seem like a good choice for an  off-the-grid house, but the need for electric pumps will probably make  off-grid home builders think twice about solar hot water.Click To Enlarge

These panels may seem like a good choice for an off-the-grid house, but the need for electric pumps will probably make off-grid home builders think twice about solar hot water.


The challenges of building off the grid

Chris Koehn's clients want a wood-burning cook stove and a fireplace, and they'd like to include some solar panels in their overall plan. Yet they're concerned the bathroom and an upstairs bedroom may be too far from the heat source to be comfortable.

In a post at the GreenBuildingAdvisor Q&A forum, Koehn wonders whether these parts of the house can be warmed by a radiant floor heating system. Would the pumps circulating hot water put too much of a strain on photovoltaic panels? What other options does he have? 

Renewable energy seems manageable when the house is tied to the grid.  But an off-the-grid home is an altogether different proposition. It takes not only a tight building envelope and sensible design, but a new way of looking at energy use and home management. That's the focus of this week's Q&A Spotlight.

Read the whole article at Green Building Advisor.

 

More resources for living off the grid

Exploiting the Elements of Passive Design

Micro-Hydroelectric System in Action

Zero-Energy Homes Start With Air-sealing, Insulation, and Weatherproofing

Self-Reliant Living

 

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posted in: Blogs, energy efficiency, green building, architecture, hvac

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