Saturday, September 23, 2006
Building The Solar Micro Home by Walt Barrett
We have started what is rapidly becoming a very successful campaign to gather free recyclable building materials for our project. The Solar Micro Home will be a totally off the grid design with full solar power, passive solar heating, composting toilet, solar hot water heating, solar water pump, solar lighting etc., and a back up dual fuel waste vegetable oil/ wood fire fired space heater.
It is amazing to see the amount of free building materials and tempered glass door panels etc. That you can gather just by putting the word out. I have also been tipped off by a friend of mine who is a construction worker that every week he sees container loads of all kinds of surplus building products being sent of to landfill. Many of these products were the wrong size, or too many pieces were ordered and the workers just want the stuff out of the way in a hurry! I got eight full sheets of plywood free from him the other day just for the asking. They were in a dumpster at $32.00 a sheet if we had to buy them! I also got about $100.00 worth of treated 4 x 4's and decking from another guy the same way.
We salvage tempered glass door panels, and each one of them makes up a 4' x 8' piece of passive solar wall for the Micro Home with minimum use of wood for framing. I also believe we can now salvage the double glass pieces that have become fogged by air and moisture leakage. I will try the process as soon as I get a glass door panel that is fogged. It is important to note that all of this glass is tempered like the glass in automobiles and is much safer to use.
For those of you who are not yet familiar with the term Micro Home, it is just as the name implies, a very small home. There are many excellent examples with photos on the great web site www.inhabitat.com . I visit this site on a daily basis and also have all of their new postings e-mail to me, as you can too, and that includes our blog too if you are interested.
Since the Micro Homes have caught my interest I have made an in depth study of the subject, and it is actually possible for a semi handy person, who is willing to learn, to build one of these tiny homes practically for free by using my methods above. To me, this is a very exciting idea. There are many simple small building construction books in the libraries etSo so the information is free for the taking.
I was brought up in a 20' x 24' two story home myself.
There were three of us, and we all had our space, and got along fine. These homes are cheaper to build, cheaper to heat and cheaper to maintain. The one problem that we are up against in our area is that the land is more expensive to buy than the cost of building the Micro Home itself. Land that is off the power grid should be cheaper and we need to find some!
Some of the sizes we are considering are 8'x12', 10'x10', 12'x20'. If you build the units 10' high there is plenty of room up top for a sleeping loft etc. The ceiling under the loft space can be as low a seven feet to gain the extra head room in the sleeping loft. Sleeping lofts will not usually work for the elderly, but still make excellent storage spaces. You can easily go up another story on the same footprint if necessary. This is easy when you using free materials etc.
Only a certain type of individual will choose to live permanently in a Micro home, but these homes make excellent summer camps too.
If you are looking for a chance to get into a business of your own this may be a good business to consider. Personally, after we complete our studies here on the subject we may set up a production line to produce these homes in Prefab and in Kit form. They are also an excellent vehicle for our solar energy products that we are selling world wide on our web sites www.chinadcdepot.com and www.solar100.com. We will be looking for dealers.
We invite you to send your comments, questions, and criticisms to: CEO@CHINADEPOT.COM and please tell your friends about this blog.
Walter H. Barrett is the CEO of A to Z Global Marketing Inc. in Rhode Island, USA, India, and China.