How we got here and where we go now.
As promised I'm going to talk a little about our design now. We started by looking at small eco houses because that's what we wanted to build. We wanted something small but interesting looking and that makes the most of the limited space we can afford. From there we decided that a high pitched roof was the way to go and thus my mezzanine studio came into being. (I seriously cannot contain my excitement about my mezzanine studio!) My husband happens to be a hugely multi-talented fellow and so he has single handedly designed and drawn up these fantastic plans. So that in a few short months we should have a house which looks like this:
The plan is that it is a small (ok lets be honest, tiny!), efficient family home which will keep us warm in winter and cool in summer with the least amount of power input. We're using an airtight wrap and super efficient, well, everything, to try and get as close to a passive house as we can afford. Luckily this is another area of Robbies expertiese so we don't have to pay a consultant! This is how the build looks this week. The white stuff in this image is polystyrene and will keep our slab from loosing too much heat through the ground in the winter and from gaining too much in summer. The poly goes all the way around to stop something called thermal bridging which is when heat/cold transfers from one place to another through something. It's called Maxraft and it is different from your standard slab in that there are no footings that extend below the ground, which is helpful if the ground is not super stable or in an earthquake situation. This is a pretty exciting stage because it's the first time we've been able to see where the house sits in relation to it's surroundings. Our amazing view north to the crown range and the walking trail and not too many of our neighbours!
And here is one of our site supervisor inspecting our new Maxraft system.