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Off-Grid Affordable New Home Construction

This home is heated with its passive solar design. Insulated wood windows with exterior metal cladding open onto a long patio/outdoor living space while bringing in winter sun for heat. Once inside, the sunlight falls onto colored concrete floor and concrete interior mass walls. Venetian blinds between the panes of glass allow full control of the sun throughout the day. Overhangs on the roof keep direct sunlight out of the house from late spring through early fall.

The exterior walls are frame construction with cellulose insulation. The standing seam metal roof is built for a long life with low to no maintenance. Water catchment goes into barrels which are directed to the landscaping.

The owners lived in a yurt on the land for years while planning and preparing for construction of their home. They took classes in alternative building and how to work with a contractor. They fully understood their site and how best to fit a home into it. During construction they participated in the finishes, allowing sweat equity to round out their budget.

With a well and solar electricity already in place, they expanded the photo voltaic system to accommodate their expanded living space. On a large property they make regular use of the opportunity for hiking and being in nature.


Related Projects towards Energy & Resource Self Sufficiency

Southwest’s First “Passive House”
Featured in Su Casa Magazine - Spring 2012
Daniel Buck Construction was pleased to build the Southwest’s first certified “Passive House”. It is in the City of Santa Fe, New Mexico’s historic rail yard district. At the time of construction there were only 15 or so Passive Houses in the U.S. This “German Passivhaus” construction technique combined with proper solar orientation uses 90 percent less energy than houses constructed with standard building methods. The project received the highest sustainability rating by the National Home Builders Association, “Emerald” - joining just four others in the state.
New Mexico’s First “Energy Star Home”
Albuquerque Journal – March 22, 1999
In 1999 the Environmental Protection Agency - EPA certified this new home with a four star rating because it was 65% above the EPA’s national model energy code. Located in Santa Fe the home cools itself in the summer and heats itself during the winter months due to the trade winds and passive solar orientation. Water Harvesting catchments were planned into the landscaping and healthy building practices specified non-toxic paints, and wood treatments to reduce toxins.

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