Friday, June 18, 2010

Planning Stage - Goal List

One thing I have not been accused of is being organized. However, I wanted to approach our new house as well thought out and planned as I could. I wrote down a list of goals that I wanted to accomplish with this house. Listed here is that list.

A. Create a Tolkien style Hobbit house.
B. Build a house which we will spend the rest of our lives in.
C. Construct the house underground and take advantage of all efficiencies that style provides.
D. Single level living space
E. Keep house to around 2000 sq ft
F. Full proof waterproofing system to take care of all drainage.
G. Construct house with as little debt as possible.
H. Wire each room to be as electronic and computer friendly as possible.
I. Use the sun to our advantage instead of trying to hide from it.
J. Use Geo-thermal heat pump to aid in heating and cooling house.
K. Use in house planting beds to add flora and fauna to the interior of the house.
L. Use fountains in some walls to circulate cool water to remove humidity from house.
M. Use ground tubes to circulate geo-thermal cooled air throughout the house.
N. Use overhangs in the front of the house to shade summertime sun from windows but allow wintertime sun to enter.
O. Use alternative power source to at least aid in the power needs of the house, if not supply the total needs.
P. Construct a patio out front that includes planter beds which would aid in the shading of the front of the house.
Q. Use Solatubes to “pipe” natural light into the house.
R. Install a cistern to capture rain water for use around the house.
S. Construct a semi-attached garage, possibly use as a back exit/entrance to home.
T. Construct the house to be compliant with state and federal building codes.
U. Design the home so that an easy exit path exists from anywhere in the house in the case of a fire.
V. Design the house so that it can withstand the stresses of its nature.
W. Document and photograph every stage of the construction.

What brought us here.

For a couple years I have been interested in building a house that could take advantage of energy efficient green construction methods and off-the-grid technology, however, convincing your family to begin building a house that is typically unconventional and sometimes extreme, at least in my mind, would prove difficult. So when my wife informed me a few months back that she would love to live in a house like Bilbo Baggins my mind started racing.

Follow us on our journey from living in a "hot-in-the-summer cold-in-the-winter" house that floods every time it rains, right in the middle of a city to an energy efficient earth sheltered house located on a piece of property we haven't purchased yet.