The Legacy House Project Wins An Award

On Thursday, February 13th, 2020, AEP and Efficiency Crafted Homes held their annual awards ceremony in Columbus, Ohio. Our builder, Dan Troth, on the right above, of GreenTech Construction (1) had the honor of taking home four awards. The one we were most interested in was for our house, Lowest HERS Score Including Renewables, (solar panels, in our case) with a HERS Score of 16. Lower is better, 100 is typical of a standard new home.

-George

  1. https://greentechconstruction.com

Climate Change Data

A few days ago I dug up some of the old global temperature files from a simple personal study I ran in 1987 and added data from 1988 to 2013. Even way back then in 1987 (and long before (1)), it was obvious that people were doing something to change the climate. That’s not surprising considering that we live in a thin haze much like a balloon’s skin, the chemistry of which we are changing with highly inefficient combustion engines, and into which we leak and dump gaseous waste.

Below, you’ll see a scatter chart of annual average temperatures in Buenos Aires from 1856 to 2016. Argentina has really good historical data.

Two things are clear to me. The first is that temperatures are rising. Temperatures are up over 2 degrees C since the mid 19th century. The second is that there is less variation from year to year starting in the 1940s or so. I don’t know what this means, but wonder if it has something to do with adding energy to a medium that really does not want to accept it. A form of thermal compressibility factor? Will we reach a point where something “snaps”? Or, maybe the instruments are better from the 1940s onward. Don’t know.

I have not included a lot of other information I collected in 1987. That included sunspot and UV radiation data that showed absolutely no correlation to temperature variations in Buenos Aires or anywhere else I looked. The sun is not causing the climate changes we are seeing now.

-George

  1. https://earthtalk.org/human-caused-global-warming/

12/18/2019 – Edited to change end year for temperature data.

Zero Energy Ready Home Certification

The Legacy House got its U.S. Department of Energy Zero Energy Ready Home (1) certification (dated August 1, 2019). That’s a recognition of the quality of the work done to build an efficient home. A standard new home has an HERS Index (2) rating of 100 or thereabouts. The Legacy House came in at 17. Lower is better, of course.

The certificate projects an annual energy cost of $950 and annual electricity savings of 27,934 kWh. Estimated CO2 reduction is 24.9 tons. We will watch it and see how accurate this information is.

  1. https://www.energy.gov/eere/buildings/zero-energy-ready-homes
  2. https://www.hersindex.com/

Drip Irrigation

At the Legacy House we are trying to be responsible about the use of energy and water. We have started installation of a drip irrigation system (1) for the lawn-free landscaping.

The drip lines in the image above will be covered by two to three inches of mulch. They are uncovered now until we are sure everything is working properly, as it seems to be.

There are long lists of advantages and disadvantages to drip irrigation. For us low water usage, low initial cost, and better weed control were the principle considerations.

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drip_irrigation

The Legacy House

It has been over a year since I last posted on this blog. There are two reasons for that.

First, I was really getting down over the stuff I was constantly writing about Donald Trump and his henchmen and henchwomen. See what I mean? Just thinking about those folks drives me right into an intellectual quagmire that sucks the hip-boots of reason clean off my body.

Second, this blog is supposed to be about doing stuff that’s good for something, not fuming and writing about stuff that’s good for nothing (which isn’t actually doing anything, is it now?). Well, we have just finished a busy year of doing good stuff, and it’s time to clear out the bad vibes. Start over.

A bit over a year ago, June 20, 2018, we had finished digging a hole in the ground at Evans Farm (1) in central Ohio.

IMG_0620

We would plant a house there. They take about a year to grow, it seems, and we are now at harvest time.

Evans Farm is a New Urbanism (2) community, or will be when it fills in around us. It was the best place we could find to put our Legacy House. We wanted a site that would permit us to walk to shops, recreational facilities, the post office, schools, and the like. We wanted something closer to our neighbors. In the long-run, a community is not sustainable if it’s made up of nothing but quarter acre patches of grass upon which are planted  ticky-tacky houses serving as a motels for the folks inside. It’s not a community if you have to jump in the car to access all your services, if you never see the folks next door. It’s not emotionally healthy nor environmentally nor economically sound. We did not want to leave a quarter acre legacy to our family when times are-a-changing. So, we did something about that, and here is what grew in the hole we dug:

IMG_1934

There is still a bit of work to do, but we are happily ensconced here and all systems are go. The Legacy House is a 2500 square foot modern farmhouse. It’s big enough to live in, functional, practical, and pleasant. Just what it needs to be, and not more. It is not a wasteful nor pretentious home, and it is ready for the 21st century.

The all-electric house stands over a ten foot Superior Walls (3) precast wall basement. The envelope is a SIPs (4) system. The walls are made of eight and six inch panels, and the roof is made of ten inch panels. The triple pane windows are by Marvin. Primary HVAC is a Mitsubishi two zone air-sourced heat pump. (6) The garage roof supports 20 LG360Q1C-A5 solar panels with Enphase IQ7+ inverters (7200 Watts). (7) Electricity costs for the last quarter came to $76.38 (including the Tesla Model 3 in the garage).

The Legacy House builder was Dan Troth of Greentech Construction. (8) He is presently rebuilding his web site, so be patient.

There will be many more posts about this building in the future. It’s great to be writing about doing things.

  1. https://www.evansfarmoh.com/
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Urbanism
  3. https://www.superiorwalls.com/
  4. https://www.sips.org/about/what-are-sips
  5. https://www.marvin.com/
  6. https://www.mitsubishicomfort.com/products/outdoor-units/multi-zone-cooling-and-heating/compare
  7. https://www.lg.com/us/business/solar-panels/lg-LG360Q1C-A5
  8. https://greentechconstruction.com/