Mailbag Time! LEEDS gets a Net Zero. :)

25 Jun

Yes. I’m incredibly busy right now.

Yes, I’m doing everything but cauterizing my own wounds.

Don’t have to. The plasma cutter does that for me! LOL!

While we “wax Corten”… I’m hitting the mailbag to answer a question that keeps coming up…

“NO. I’m not insane! I’m just ‘different’.”

Um… wait… that wasn’t “the” question. I meant the OTHER question…

Dear Ronin,

I’ve been following along for a while now. I “get” why ISBUs can be an important part of a family’s future.

I love that their use “reclaims” them and then repurposes them.

I love that their inherent strength provides a more secure future for the family that dwells within them.

I love that their transportability allows them to be placed in “minutes” in comparison to other types of buildings.

And, I love that a family can DIY it…

But I’m getting confused by all the talk about NET ZERO CARBON Homes.

Can you help me understand WHY it’s important to budget for this “closed circle”?

Do YOU do this in YOUR ISBU homes?

Or… is it just more LEEDS nonsense… by that I mean that you are paying a LOT of money for certifications, products and programs that won’t necessarily pay themselves back in YOUR lifetime?

Color me Corten Confused.

Dear “Triple C with an ‘M’ in there someplace”;

ISBUs bring a lot to the party, no doubt.

And it does sound like you “get” it. Corten Kudos to you!

Here’s the drill about “Net Zero Carbon” homes;

The idea is to create a super insulated space (in many of my own homes by using SPF Insulation and SIPS – Structural Insulated Panels)  to “tighten up” your home. By that I mean that you dramatically reduce air infiltration from outside, while using a heat pump or similar source to provide heating. We often employ Solar panel driven heating systems that circulate thru the flooring and “radiator walls” to capture sunlight and convert it into heat.

Geothermal heating and cooling is also often employed, to take the place of traditional heat sources and their energy requirements.

While doing this, you usually employ what we call a “whole house heat recovery system”.

Further, your POWER comes from sources other than the grid. In most of my homes, we use either Photovoltaic panels (PVs), windmills or “micro-hydro”. There are other sources available as well.

I’m becoming very fond of cordwood fueled wood gasifiers and there’s one slated for MY new home. We’ll talk about that as we trek down my family’s own ISBU trail (once again) in the next few months.

The idea is to increase performance while decreasing energy consumption.

Um… don’t I already DO that? Of course I do. Read the blog… 🙂

Net Zero Carbon Homes are designed to minimize the carbon dioxide emissions from a residence.

This design increases energy efficiency and uses sustainable power generation, to provide energy self-sufficiency for the residents of the home.

Wait, that sounds familiar! Oh yeah… I DO that.

Net Zero Carbon homes are designed to “pay back” the carbon that was used to actually produce the materials used to build the home. They also reduce the carbon dioxide put back into the environment (to zero, hence the term).

This process is harder than it sounds, granted, but there are ways to minimize the carbon balance, without breaking the bank.

Like anything else, you build what you need and you pay the prices involved. Common sense says that you build for energy efficiency and sustainability simply because it’s in your best interest.

Does that really require an expensive LEEDS plaque?

Don’t even get me started on LEEDS.

I, like many others, don’t really give a hoot what fancy plaque you hang on your front door… unless it reads:

“Dinner is ready. Come in and pull up a chair.” 🙂

Till next time…

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