Homebuilding Part II: Building always starts with using a (gasp!) pencil… :)

13 Jan

Green Building Recommendations

I shared a book with you recently that I think belongs on your Home Building reference shelf.

Over the next several days, I’m going to teach you to design your home by setting up guidelines. I’ll share lists of things to consider with you, to help you start planning and refining your goals.

Many of these considerations can be further explored in my book;

Introduction to Container Homes and Buildings

(find out more in the right sidebar)

… as well as Daniel Chiras’s book;

The New Ecological Home

You can use these lists when building a home, remodeling, or even considering a home for purchase.

Note that a few items will be repeated because they pertain to several aspects of green building.

Today we’re going to start making lists by defining where you’ll actually live;

Selecting a Place to Live

  1. Build in already developed areas within cities and towns.
  2. Choose a site with good solar exposure.
  3. If considering the use of wind energy, choose a site with good, reliable winds.
  4. Choose a site suitable for earth sheltering.
  5. Avoid building in frost pockets.
  6. Be on the lookout for favorable microclimates.
  7. Select a well-drained site.
  8. Select a site with stable (nonexpansive) subsoils.
  9. Avoid building in hazardous areas, such as floodplains, arroyos, and locations potentially in the path of mud slides and avalanches.
  10. Avoid building on or near marshy areas.
  11. Do not drain wetlands to build a house.
  12. Select a site with rich, productive soils for growing food and fiber.
  13. Select a site that could provide some or all of your building materials.
  14. Select a site with a reliable, clean water supply.
  15. Select a site that is easily accessible and does not require extensive grading for placement of the house or driveway construction.
  16. Avoid noisy areas.
  17. Check out environmental and community amenities such as recycling facilities, bike paths, parks, and recreation. Consider living in a cohousing community, ecovillage, or ‘new town’.

Stay tuned for more!