Although I have not yet designed the house I have many of ideas. Here is a list of some of the characteristics that the house will have
- The general idea is a small, passive solar, super-insulated home in the saltbox style.
- The house will be small maybe in the 1100 sq ft range. Not including porch space.
- No basement – on slab due to the high water table and the fact that concrete has a high carbon footprint
- The foundation will be insulated using ICF’s for the stem wall and foamboard under the slab
- There will also be a skirt of foamboard buried around entire perimeter. This will effectively raise the frost line so the stem wall does not have to be four feet deep–less excavation and less concrete.
- The wall system will have a double stick frame wall design. This will allow for more insulation and less thermal bridging. Overall the wall will probably be about a foot thick.
- I have heard good things regarding the Zip system for exterior sheathing and will probably be using it.
- Stained cedar shingles or clapboards with a rain screen
- Metal roof, ideally standing seam. It should be white or silver to reflect as much heat as possible.
- Solar hot water system
- 2 foot overhangs to keep water away from the house
- Cathedral ceiling or open ceiling space to the second floor on at least part of the house