Chalk Hill Off-Grid CabinRustic Exterior, Sacramento
This 872 s.f. off-grid straw-bale project is a getaway home for a San Francisco couple with two active young boys.
© Eric Millette Photography
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Water HeatingThe energy efficiency of your water heater depends on its equipment, design and operational control. Energy code provides minimum standards to heat and deliver hot water throughout a home, including guidelines regulating piping insulation characteristics as well as standards related to recirculating water pumps or on-demand water heating systems.The code is intended to change over time, as innovations and efficiency capabilities accumulate and improve.
“A solar water heater can be added to an existing system with relative ease, as long as the installer is experienced in this particular kind of system.” — Mariana PickeringIf you’ve wanted to add some energy efficiency to your house, look into a solar water heater. Pickering has laid out all the details of what to expect in costs, savings and time allotted for the project, and a solar water heater is far more attainable than I had ever thought.Full story: How to Add a Solar Water Heater
Who to hire: A specialty plumber or contractor with experience in solar water heaters. Be careful in choosing your installer. This is a system that if poorly installed can cause serious problems (including leaks in your roof). Ask for references and examples of work. Cost range: While installation costs differ depending on the project, you should set aside $7,000 to $10,000. While that seems like a large chunk of money, you can usually expect to see big savings immediately. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that monthly bills drop by 50 to 80 percent after a solar water heater is installed. An excellent page on its website can help you estimate initial costs and the payback of a solar water heating system. In the U.S. also check DSIRE, a database of state and national incentives that could help speed up payback.Typical project length: As long as you don’t have to adjust the structure of the house or add space for the mechanical room (where the tanks and systems are stored), the installation of a solar hot water system and its components shouldn’t take much more than a week, and sometimes less. Best time to do this project: Anytime your roof isn’t covered in snow. Start planning now for an installer to come out to your house when spring hits.
The design process began with understanding the environment and coming up with strategies to heat, cool and protect the house. One of the home's more innovative materials is the use of PISE (pneumatically impacted stabilized earth) cement, filled with rice straw bales for a durable and health- and environment-friendly structure.
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Montage einer Solaranlage Die Solarmodule und Kollektoren können auf dem Schrägdach montiert oder direkt in die Dachhaut integriert werden. Wer kein Schrägdach hat oder wessen Dach zu klein ist, für den eignet sich eine freistehende Solaranlage. Diese kann flexibel der Sonne zugewendet werden; auch können Sie die Neigung der Anlage individuell verändern, um den größtmöglichen Ertragswert zu erzielen.