And while were are in the world of evironmentalism, I thought I'd share an interesting article about zero-energy housing:
It's a house built with less lumber and more insulation; with recycled countertops and bamboo cabinets; with a geothermal system and a 10-kilowatt solar array...I have to admit I was a bit surprised when Ken dropped me a note about his new project. I've communicated a bit with Jeanne about various development projects in town and what-not, but I have never seen Terminal Station as an environmentally conscious blog. Sure, I blog about alternative/public transportation quite a bit, and also about sustainable development and smart growth. But you won't find and "environmentalism" tag or even a "sustainable development" tag on the side bar.
And one of those lessons is that simple is better, Watt said, both for the homeowner who may not have any predisposition toward tinkering, but also for the cost of the project. SpringLeaf's houses, for example, will be all electric. The houses are not designed to have any solar thermal water heating equipment, and natural gas is not used. Instead, the appliances are electric and the heating and cooling system is a based on a geothermal electric heat pump, which leverages the earth's stable below-surface temperatures to keep the house comfortable.
My interest in these topics is almost wholly unrelated to environmentalism. It just so happens that the kind of development I'm attracted to, that I think has a positive impact on our lives, is also more environmentally sustainable than sprawl. It is also much more interesting and rewarding from a practitioners point of view.