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Current Status and Updates

posted May 3, 2012, 4:15 AM by RH Jannini   [ updated May 3, 2012, 5:32 AM ]
When you tell people that you have plans to take an 8000 ft.² building "off the grid" it's to be expected that there will be some questions and an abundance of curiosity about some of the things that were trying.

So it's probably a good idea,that we create a page that provides some type of indication of the various things that are currently in process, available,and/or scheduled.

Utilities obviously our the biggest area we can reduce our reliance of third-party resources. So clearly it has to be a prime concern with any building, more so given the size of this one. However, considering its construction being primarily that of block with a brick veneer we have a considerable amount of thermal mass to leverage for heating and cooling. Likewise, the large windows and provide natural light for daylighting.

Below is a list of various things that are currently in process or at least in some phase of development. We will link relevant posts to these for cross-reference:

Heating
  • Decommissioned three forced hot air gas furnaces
  • Removal of all primary Plenum air shafts (to be reused for solar chimney and other secondary air handling uses)
  • Construction of a thermal mass heater in the basement (multi fuel capable)
Lighting
  • Removal of the 60-year-old single pane windows to be replaced with more thermally efficient ones.
  • Leverage diffuse lighting and lighter interior colors are maximum ambient light.
  • Experiment with low-voltage lighting and indirect lighting such as wall washing with LED bulbs.
Electricity
  • currently still married to the existing system but pulled all of the old wiring out and replacing on an as needed basis.
  • Looking at battery storage as the primary issue to create a type of reserves storage area regardless of the energy source.
  • Horizontal axis wind turbines are being explored in a DIY approach (focusing on stator design leveraged by wind turbine enthusiast).
  • Photovoltaics not appear to be a long-term viable solution until costs per kilowatt are reduced drastically.
  • Cogeneration appears to be a much more valid approach and supports sustainability characteristics in energy reclamation.
Workspace
  • Initial deconstruction of the lower floor interior walls.
  • Open space assembly area.
  • Separate equipment/woodworking/machinery area to avoid cross contamination.
  • Landscape excavation to the left side of the property to the creation of the garage door access into a permeable backyard for outdoor construction/assemblies.
  • Sanctuary area being deconstructed for evaluation of more efficient roof insulation with potential skylighting.
  • Front vestibule this fully deconstructed and will act as an initial proving ground for the sanctuary repurposing. (This is being done predominantly due to the full wall section that is already in place between the smaller front half and the larger sanctuary section)

That's about all I've got written down at the moment, and I know I missed a lot but it's a start.
















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