Tomorrow, on Christmas Eve, from 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM we will hold our first formal semi-public design review in the Medical Sciences Building, Mann Hall.
I posted our floorplans - take a peek
Bob & Marissa, friends of Todd & Eva, gave us some good advice that we will try to incorporate into our plans. Between the two of them they built 5 or 6 owner-built, sustainable houses employing renewable energies. Right now they have a house near Winona and are employing rainwater collection (2,500 gal cistern) a Masonry Stove and photovoltaic panels (six 120 W Kyocera). And their house, which only has one floor, has a footprint of 24 by 37 feet, very close to our 24 by 36 feet (and I wouldn't mind another foot in the bathrooms...or the stairs...
Here their advice to us: Insulate your foundation footings and basement walls and basement slab on the outside. "2 inch of foamboard can do wonders", Bob said. And: Place the closets on the north wall.
Last Thursday we visited with a super-nice architect. Jim G. from Holabird & Root
out of Rochester was very interested in our mini-project. Based on our needs we agreed that his firm could help us best by providing us with advice when we need it on an hourly basis. Thankfully he confirmed that with pre-fab panels we should have no problem covering the basement with a cement slab (that we need for passive solar heat storage). His first service to us will be a walking of the site on January 2nd to help us place the house, the garage and the driveway. This should be fun!