Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Energy-Inefficient Home

Photo courtesy Flickr

Last week the big ball of fire appeared in the sky after months of drear. For one considered reason and another, just one room of this 1890 house is insulated, a second floor chamber on the south side. The Day the Sun Came Out I got home around four and did my usual tour through the rooms setting up for darkness. The insulated room was dire chilly. The rooms to either side were balmy.

State of the art when it was built, the house has abundant and sophisticated daylighting and effective passive solar gain. I very much enjoy making the most of 1890 in 2012 terms. Consistently, the Great Big Hiking Co-op, which was founded locally in the Thirties, carries high-tech solutions to perennial low-tech problems like staying warm and cooking.

Current thinking about urban design values living close to the center of the city in efficient quarters. Our unique situation allows us to find ways to make the most of existing infrastructure until economics say it’s time to sink capital into something new. We’re whittling at the carbon footprint from many directions.

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