In southwest Iowa, just outside the town of Red Oak, a sustainable home is under way. Architect James Plagmann of Boulder, Colorado, designed the home using sustainable materials and practices.
Here we’re seeing the bones of a sustainable home as it’s being built.
Plagmann has designed a number of extremely green, energy efficient homes. He’s used many of those energy-saving features in this home, as well, such as:
- Passive solar design, with broad overhanging eaves, south-facing windows, and thermal mass.
- Poured concrete walls provide protection against tornadoes, along with thermal mass.
- Daylighting to bring light into interior rooms.
- A heat-recovery ventilator to capture heat that would be wasted, and combined with a heat pump, helps to obviate the need for a standard air conditioner.
- A ground-source heat pump provides heat in cold weather and cooling in warm weather, and feeds radiant tubing within the slab floor.
- A well-insulated shell maintains constant temperature and minimizes thermal bridging.
- Air sealing to minimize drafts.
- Partial earth-sheltering to minimize temperature swings inside the house.
At 2,640 square feet, the house is not tiny, but part of that area is a tool room and greenhouse. I’m looking forward to seeing the finished house!
The Farmhouse Media is all about living sustainably through