thoughts on bldg for the 'future'
I am just rather curious as to what everyone is considering doing regarding energy efficiency and the future "affordability" of living in either their current abode or the one they are planning/building now.
I am apparently in a situation very few Americans enjoy. I bought a large tract of land 2.8 miles off the road through two locked gates years ago, sweated out getting it paid off in just a very few years, have lots of woods rocks water pasture and tools. And I have given my kids 13 acres apeice to do with as they please. I owe no one nothing, and have a real knack for things spatial and numeric, lot's of experience in all sorts of engineering things, but none in construction, woo hoo lots to learn and do!! And have a 6'3" 240 pound damn near genius son and a daughter with lots of young men freinds eager to imress her and her dad.
Assuming that Mr. Hubberts' curve is correct (go to clusty.com and do a search on "hubberts curve),and it is, and that energy costs will double over the next two years and triple within the next five years what will you be doing? If you are spending say $200 a month on utilities currently can you handle a $600 a month expense for the same?
I, for one, feel almost like a "Stranger In A Strange Land" when perusing the construction sites and boards. I am giving up my almost 2000 sq ft on an almost 1500 sq ft basement, and with my son have just completed the design and engineering work on the three identical structures that he, my daughter, and I will be building on land that I have given them in the high country of west NC. They are identical, at the start anyway, designed for future expansion. They will be round, and 855.3 sq ft. stained concrete slab floor, built of straw-bales on a wrapped in styrofoam sand bag foundation with a recipricol roof and a combination of foam and fiberglass above, beneath a white EPDM membrane roof (a LOT of research has gone into this project already). Solar pre-heated demand water heaters. A propane stove and refrigerator, a European style combined washer/dryer and compact flourescents everywhere. Just three rooms (two quite large at 285 sq ft each) and a bath. Empty nester... yep that would be me. And two kids who won't be for some years, but need little space today.
Apparently I am supposed to be building 2000 sq ft for me and at least that much apeice for them.... But... I am planning on building for maximum energy, and and proper efficient use of space....mimimum hallway/wasted space/infiltration/ materials.... I want to be able to heat and cool them for almost zero dollars and zero cents.... Having 20 something acres of hardwoods helps, but I have no great desire to commit myself to a future of every year spending days and weeks cutting firewood. Cooling is a breeze and a zero dollar project and will cost almost nothing to run, having three cold water ever running springs insures the success of that endeavor. And we are putting several acres into oil seed crop next spring and squeezing out the oil for diesel fuel, and would much rather put the fuel to use in the vehicles, tractors generators etc than for heating/furnace fuel....
And what are you planning/thinking about doing for your current next house and future?