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detailaddict

I don't know what a Zen window is, apart from a brand upon googling the term. Maybe you can fill me in. But my original point was that sacrificing windows for the sake of energy savings - which was what you were advocating 3 years ago - may not be a worthwhile tradeoff. My second point was that simply "going outside" rather than enjoying the non-existent view from inside for lack of windows - which you also advocated - is not a practical solution due to the multi-tasking required given people's many responsibilities and the impracticality thereof. Even without TV.

As for my enlightened and humble diplomacy, I prefer to engage people without sarcasm so I've never been good at recognizing it. Maybe God just didn't put enough between my ears for that.


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dreamdoctor

It appeared to me the pot was calling the kettle black. Your terms have bias - I am not sacrificing anything. I am judiciously using windows for a multitude of reasons rather than just one, which in doing that (expansive view) compromises the rest of my project program criteria one of which is always energy and another cost effectiveness.

Windows are expensive from a cost, energy (thermal performance) and environmental perspective (they do not recycle). And I could potentially add privacy and structurally if there is a lot of them in one place.

Zen view - first introduced to me in "A Pattern Language". Aptly described in this link.

http://www.dilloncarroll.com/blog/pattern-languages-and-zen-views-part-ii

I have incorporated single, clear view glass block as windows for the Zen effect. It is "not there all the time" to be taken for granted. You either make an effort to see that particular view or it presents its self to you unexpectedly as you walk past it.

I would venture the position that having an expansive view of glass more likely results in you not going outside as often, which in a skyscraper in Manhattan might be appropriate(?) but I have a garden and go for a hike at least once a week (and have been known to just wander around the yard to check things out). We don't have many natural areas here in Ag land so it is almost always a repeat but I have to get outside - it is my favorite classroom - if you dig past the surface you can find some interesting gems outside even here.

It makes me cringe when people ask a lot of windows arbitrarily and then say how important energy efficiency is - like saying both the economy's strong growth and the environment's health are important to you - one grows at the expense of the other - I just shake my head.

The solar addition performs many functions - I built it all my self - 1/4" plate glass - inexpensive and strong. When it is not gaining solar energy the doors are closed to it. Passive solar is not a fashion and needs to be well thought out to make sense - most places it does not without some specific strategy (Columbus Ohio - never). There is a hot tub and two story shower in it and when I use that I am very conscious of the view - that is why I am there. It is not coincidental.

Wish I hadn't put so many window in the master bedroom - makes it hard to sleep in on the weekends.

Those timelessly applicable sayings, "Less is more."

My apologies if I hit a nerve - you caught me at the end of a long day and hit one of mine.

Not many windows in this house. I think I would enjoy living there.


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dreamdoctor

I remembered a conversation I had with someone about insulation - I had told them about the system I developed and how efficient it was. They said that the system would insulate me from the outside - given the context of the discussion I thought they were just being disagreeable or elevating themselves. But the comment stuck with me. Not to be indelicate but when nature calls and it is "nice" out I go outside - we live in the country. The stars go almost to the horizon - I am awestruck every time - how I go from my center-of-the-universe home environment to the Great Out Doors and see a tiny fraction of the immense universe and the perfection of it. The Milky Way looks like foot prints in the sky and I am aware of my place - I am humbled and yet do not feel small for I am a part of that not separate from it. My problems feel small and my spirits are lifted.

The Greeks gave us the constellations - they spent much time outside studying the heavens and were curious and in touch with nature. Our universe often shrinks to the tiny domain of man and we act like that. "Will this vision of perfection turn into our own reflection." A city and its lights wipes out the question of relative size for many - cities are a man made environment - it is easy to forget the complexities, beauty and perfection of the natural world - we are making it over in our image and not doing all that great a job compared to the master. A landfill does not give me the same feeling as a filed of prairie. We have much to learn.

Insulate your home and office well and get out of it often to see all that is not in there.

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