The Natural Home Working With What You’ve Got
What is Natural/Green Building?Current Definitions: • Buildings made from natural materials (earth, straw, clay, stone) and/or recycled materials • Superinsulated systems (ICFs, AAC, SIPs) • Super energy efficient systems • Building with few toxic chemicals and/or synthetic mateirals • Buildings that use alternative sources of energy • Super-durable structures & components
Green Building: A combination of design elements and materials that take into account the impact of a building on its surroundings and inhabitants. Whole Picture Includes: • Earth • Human Health • Energy (embodied & ongoing use) • Availability of materials • Budget • Skills • Aesthetics • Other Values
Plan in accordance with your values Make a list of green values in order of importance to you. Use this list when making decisions about your project.
Green Aspects of Remodeling/Retrofitting • Much embodied energy already spent (foundation, structure) • Materials can be re-used • Site has already been disturbed and (possibly) restored
Challenges of existing homes in Silver City area • Under-insulated • Single-pane windows • Little regard for solar orientation • Small size • Generally outdated
Be Realistic! Plan on $20-$100/sf depending on use of space, + 12-20% contingency Include funds for special, beautiful elements Green building has more costs up-front, less cost long-term Quality Materials: Do-it-once Alternative Energy? Do your pay-back math. A Green Project Needs a Green Budget
Determine your priorities and needs • Occupant Health (non-toxic, non-emitting materials) • Energy Efficiency (tight envelope) • Natural Materials (earth, straw, stone, wood) • Consider relationships between priorities
Solutions for staying within Budget • Consider YOUR needs, not the next owner’s • Design multi-purpose spaces • Shift use with the seasons • Practice resource conservation
Super-cheap Heat & Cool • Basic Principle: Let sun in or keep sun out • Use shade cloth in summer (without replacing windows) • Trap cool air in summer • Clay plaster adds thermal mass to any wall • Alternative heat sources--our climate is well suited for efficient wood & pellet stoves
Do-It-Yourself • Don’t underestimate the power of resurfacing • Paint, plaster, refinish floors • Your labor will help you afford better materials
Resurfacing, cont’d:Using what you have • Keep material out of the landfill • Save money by making what you’ve got into something you love!
Reuse existing elements of home • Especially wood, concrete, stone • Re-Store is a good source for other items • Great DIY activities
Think small(er) • Smaller spaces cost less total and use less resources • Augment small indoor spaces with outdoor space • Outdoor spaces cost less • Create habitat to offset building • Grow food for inhabitants
Your Green Home • View your remodel as a process--do things right, do them once, do what you love • Make energy efficiency upgrades, but also find solutions in the meantime • Use our climate to your advantage--extend your living space, interact with your home to keep it comfortable.