One of the most unique things about my green home is the walls: instead of a standard "stick-frame" construction, I'm using special insulated panels from a company called Kama-Eebs, which have all sorts of advantages in efficiency and heat retention.
(Read more about the panels in my first Green Dream column.) Another plus: they're also easy to put up with a skeleton crew. Or at least that's the promise—-we'll see about the reality as my home really takes shape this week.
Here's a gallery of the site as we get ready to do some serious panel installing.
John B. Carnett, PopSci's staff photographer, is using the latest green technology to build his dream home. Follow along as the project progresses on his Green Dream blog: popsci.com/green-dream
I've enjoyed watching your home come together but I'm curious what makes it green? I mean I see you plan on using geothermal to save energy which is cool (well cooling as in transferring heat from the earth to the earth's atmosphere) and your planning on using solar power. I'm sure the place is thermally efficient too and minimizes energy consumption to that end. But how long will the home need to operate with zero emissions (not including trash creation or transportation to and from the home) to pay off the emissions created while smelting all the steel or manufacturing the other materials used and transportation of those materials and equipment usage to construct it? Seems like a lot of emissions would have had to be created and a lot of fuel consumed.
Not to mention more energy could have been consumed creating the concrete than the steel. To me, a true "green" home would be rammed earth or adobe. Most homes that claim to be "green" are really nothing more than gimmicks realizing quite modest real world environmental benefits, but offers the perspective home owner bragging rights.
Fantastic! I look forward to seeing more pictures.
Feel free to brag. The rights are yours.
A steel framed building, and you're wondering how long it will have to be around to account for the emissions in building the home? How about 50 years? Just a rather large, and random number I'm going to throw out there. Considering we have 100+ year old wood framed houses around, even if it took 50 years to break even this house will eventually do it. People will be living in this house for generations... we have just all become too accustomed to only thinking about short term payoff.
This is a good project with good intentions that will make a difference. 10 years ago solar cells NEVER produced as much energy during their life cycle as it took to produce the PV cells themselves. Should we have abandoned that technology with poor life cycle implications? If we had we wouldn't have the better technology today... so let's just applaud Mr. Carnett for doing such a cool thing, and doing it publicly, and more importantly just for doing it now.
Super cool project John!
All the best,
Thats a really great picture!
Are those all solar panels?
Guest poster at the www.homesolarpanelsforsale.net blog.
There is a sudden increase in the emission conscious team lately. Not too long ago the words 'carbon footprint' or 'zero emission' were virtually unheard of.
Now here are some who sees nothing constructive nor encouraging in what the writer is trying to achieve. They, who just sits there repeating the righteous and almighty mantras of environmentalism, are holier than thou.
Pray tell, just how green and zero emitting your saintly lives are? Please, shower your purity on us!
It doesn't matter that what we see here may take the writer many weeks and months to research, find, publish, sweat and tears. No. Not at all.
Some guys have all the luck, and some people just know it all...