With high and getting higher prices for crude oil, resulting in increased prices for energy, gasoline, food and nearly everything else, we will be looking at many ways to minimize its use in the near future. Coupling this with the critical need to combat global warming -˜Houston, we have a problem”.
When the cost and global effects of heating and cooling our homes was only an after thought, if even that, it did not concern us. If our homes had a larger than necessary carbon footprint – who cared? With the dawning of the cause and effect relationship between our over use of energy resources and the warming of the planet, we have begun to rethink how we live.
The traditional home has wood framing with either wood or brick side walls. There is a shingle or tile roof and either single or double paned glass windows. Various R rated insulation is placed between the outer and inter-walls and in the ceiling. Add in the utilities, pretty it up a bit, and you have a house.
People have been refitting their homes with compact fluorescent light bulbs and energy efficient appliances. They are caulking of windows and adding new doorway fittings.While these are all good things to do for existing homes we will have to look at a whole new way of building homes. In the near future homes will have to be designed with energy conservation in mind from the start – Not added on.
There is an old saying in the military: ˜we are always finding new and better ways to fight the last”. This has to stop when we build homes.
Houses that are built in the next few years will take on a variety of forms depending where in the country they are built. Anywhere, they are built they will have energy conservation in mind.
A home can be built into the side of a hill or on the flat with dirt providing the insulation for any of the walls and roof. These homes are not poorly lit caves. I’ve been in them and they are very comfortable.
This type of home is called earth bermed or earth sheltered. Surf into this web site for some ideas http://www.earthshelteredhome.com/building-styles.htm on what they look like.
Inside, things like drapes won’t be the lacey items like our parents had but rather heavy gauge like quilts and close fitting to the windows. Windows will most likely all be double paned and gas filled with edge seals that won’t let any air in or out.
Recycling of almost all household items will become standard to all homes. It will probably be mandatory with penalties for failure to comply.Homes will be built not only for energy conservation but water saving as well. Grey water systems will be an integral part of houses in arid regions of the country. You can find out what a grey water system is by checking out this web site http://www.oasisdesign.net/greywater/.
Active and passive solar systems will be part of these houses with the goal to be˜carbon neutral” and ˜energy positive”.If you think this type of home is something from the hippy ˜daze” you would be wrong. Earth bermed houses have been around for centuries only without all the modern engineering and technology.
This an entire community currently being built in the panhandle of Florida based on these principles.Check one these types of homes out, you might be surprised. Oh, they are pretty much hurricane proof too.
Think Global – Act Local!