With the current focus on green living and sustainability, many individuals have questions about how to be more environmentally conscious. A staff member at The Solar Biz was kind enough to answer some questions on what constitutes a “sustainable” house.
Q: What are the main components of a sustainable, off-the-grid home?
The Solar Biz: A common misconception is that living off the grid just means not depending on an electric company. It means efficiently heating and cooling your home as well. It could even mean finding a way to produce resources at your own home, such as growing your own food in a garden.
Q: How can one efficiently heat a home?
The Solar Biz: It starts with building materials. Rather than build a house out of lumber, which takes outside energy to heat and cool. Your could consider building with materials with thermal mass such as adobe, or even tires packed with earth. These materials have thermal mass which is thermally stable which is much easier to heat and power naturally.
Q: What are some ways to ensure sustainable water usage in a home?
The Solar Biz: Rainwater catchments make a huge difference. Start with a roof made of non-toxic materials where the water can run off into a collection system. The water then goes through a moderate filtration system; the resulting pure water can be used in your home . With even ten inches of rain per year, this method can collect large amounts of water that does not deplete groundwater reserves.