Off Grid

Things to consider:

  • Site – orientation - South-facing is extremely important
  • Compact size of floor plan - attempt minimal - yet comfortable
  • Open floor plan - again, views oriented to south, if possible
  • Universal Design within floor plan – accessibility throughout
  • Earth bermed – if S. facing slope is available
  • Thermal Envelope – very tight construction methodologies - ICF, SIPS; efficient windows
  • Electrical Load- use Energy Star appliances to reduce loads; L E D lighting
  • Minimal “back-up” loads; well pump, a few lighting circuits, furnace blower, frig, etc.
  • Solar P.V. systems –house roof mounted, carport/garage roof, ground mounted - plan ahead
  • Battery backup - essential
  • Solar Thermal (evacuated tubes) system - connect to radiant conc. slab
  • Water harvesting - cistern and / or rainbarrels
  • Gray water harvesting
  • Composting toilets - if rural area
  • Passive Solar techniques – abundant S. glazing- Direct Gain onto radiant conc. slab
  • Thermal mass within an insulated radiant conc. floor slab
  • Geo-thermal heating and cooling – GSHP ( Ground Source Heat Pump) could be vert. drilled, horiz. – or utilize lake, if possible
  • ERV ( Energy Recovery Ventilator) essential, to maintain fresh air within tight home
  • Ceiling Fans – natural ventilation
  • Properly designed overhangs, sun louvers – extremely important, or overheat
  • Green roof