In evaluating building costs be careful to compare apples to apples in pricing. Price conventional homes with a wall R-value of 35-50 and see what your builder says.



 

Bruce, thank you very much, you clarified my design concerns, about my passive & active solar designed home. You have reaffirmed my confidence to build a solar home here in Washington.

David Kreps, Builder WA

Did you know that the vapor barrier installed by code attributes to mold growth?

The United Building Code (UBC or the new RIC) has the same design for all climates & weather patterns? Is this logical?

The true insulation  factor for a 2x6 fiberglass batten wall system with is R- 12.7 not R-19.

Testing by Oak Ridge Libratory

Builder Kent Taylor's two story greenhouse built in 1980's Port Townsend, Washington. Kent has built 15 greenhouse designed homes and sunroom additions in Port Townsend.



 

 


Welcome to
 
 
Terra Sol Eco Homes LLC

A Passive Solar Ecologically Sustainable

Design & Building Company

 

Recent Events:

Mother Earth News Fair Puyallup Washington June 4 & 5 2011:

Thank You James Duff and everyone from Mother Earth News that put on that fair, what an awesome well attended fair filled with inspirational speakers and exhibitors.

I thank everyone who attend my presentation on Straw Bale Construction & Passive Solar Design in the Cloudy & Wet Northwest! Having a great turn out has reinvigorated my passion for natural building and passive solar design yahoo, thank you.

High thermal mass Masonry Heaters & Rocket Stoves section coming up because winter will return in a few months.

This spring Natural Building workshop has been postponed, please email bruce@strawbalehomes.com if your interested in a September 2011 and or Spring 2012 light straw clay insulation and Clay plaster workshop.

April 28th -May 4th 2011 Cob Masonry Heater Workshop at Cob Cottage taught by Danish Architect and master Stove builder Flemming Abrahamsson.

Masonry Stoves heat for 24 hours with a single load of wood. Can use small limb wood and softwoods historically.

For people interested in heating with wood take a serious look at both high thermal mass masonry stoves and for small cottage spaces Ianto Evans Rocket Stoves heated bench and day beds.

For clients interested in having a stove built please email bruce@strawbalehomes.com

A Passive Solar Passion

Ever since reading my first Adobe Journal Magazine in the early 70s, along with Ed Mazrias book Passive Solar Energy Book, I have had a passion for passive solar homes and an energy-efficient lifestyle.

Passive solar designed homes really got me excited about designing with the suns cycles in the midst of the 1970's first energy crisis.

In the past 30 years Ive designed and built many different types of healthy, passive solar home structures in different climates, with the goal of reducing the heating and cooling expense by using the suns radiation, proper orientation & shading.

 

Our clients are environmental consciousness people,  interested in living in homes which are "health & energy efficient.

By using nature's inherent laws, the sun's pathway, earth's natural cycles topography & climate of the building site. We design passive solar homes tailored to your location & life style.

The Types of Building envelopes that we have been involved with are include:

 

*   Straw bale as insulation in filled between a post and beam structural frame, supporting the roof

*  Light Straw Clay or Light Earth is Clay and straw packed into a 12" wide wood framed wall.

*  Passive annual heat storage PAHS (a concrete dome that uses the earth as a storage bank for the suns radiation, similar to earth bermed homes)

*   ICF (insulated concrete forms) for foundations and structure

*   Wood framed 2x6 walls with an interior foam layer

I have also built using traditional earth materials such as clay, sand and straw called "Cob" is a mixture of heavy clay and straw rolled into a large roll like a loaf of bread and parged onto itself forming an earthen wall. Light straw clay is a mixture of clay slip & loose straw packed in 12 forms between a timber-framed structure, then finished with an  clay plaster. Both natural systems offer the owner-builder creative opportunities to build their homes with lower material cost with sweat equity & the joy of building your own home. Phone consultation available for owner-builders interested in learning more about natural building systems.

About 18 years ago (1993) I started designing homes in Durango, Colorado because I was frustrated and tired of seeing the same Mac Mansions built without any consideration to how the house interacts with its environment. I wasnt interested in designing and building those kinds of monstrous homes that I felt wasted our resources with excessive construction and the expensive overhead in heating and cooling them.

Sustainable building in part is a conscious study into the materials life cycle. What is the true cost from cradle to grave of the products I select. How much embodied energy is incorporated in the building product through their manufacture process & productive life cycle.

(Rt. Builder: David & Sheryl Kreps Active Passive Solar Home Port Angeles, WA)

Living in the Pacific Northwest exemplifies the importance of maximizing southern orientation of the home in order to capture every bit of sunshine available.

In Port Townsend winter means a cloudier, damp environment, time to start a fire and warm up. A common misperception is that passive solar design does not work in the Pacific Northwest cloudy weather.

My goal in a Passive solar design is to capture the the available solar gain during the fall , winter and spring.

On the average we get five sunny days during November, Dec, Jan. increasing to 10-14 days in Feb. & March  ( plus an interspersed partial sunny days ) then increasing through spring and summer. Our best solar gain we see is in the fall, spring & summer time.

The positive side benefit of living in a passive solar home is the "natural day lighting" throughout the home on cloudy and light cloudy weather.

We live in a maritime coastal climate & are required to heat our homes during the winter season. In a both passive and active Solar system we can store that heat using thermal mass natural convection and fans.

 

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