Diva Design Diary

By Holly Peterson

Diva Design Diary is about bringing the latest interior design trends and tips to our existing clients, as well as future clients...enjoy!


By Holly Peterson

Have you been considering going to solar power as the main source of energy for your home?

Here are a few pointers on helping you not only achieve using solar energy, but could keep you off-grid completely!

Many houses employ bits and pieces of green design and technology in an effort to create a more sustainable living space, but whether due to constraints of building codes, finances, or simply personal aesthetic preferences, most sustainable homes still connect to the municipal grid for at least some of their power and water.
It is generally more challenging to retro-fit an existing building to remove it from grid-dependence than it is to build an off-grid house from the ground up. Discover what's possible when you design sustainable features that work together to create a system for domestic self-reliance.

Solar Panels
The first step toward detaching a home from the world of utilities providers is installing solar panels. This allows you to use the power of the sun to run a water pump, phone, two laptop computers, and assorted 12-volt lights, as well as to recharge batteries and cell phones. However, the panels aren't enough to run power tools or a refrigerator, so the next step would be to expand the photovoltaic array soon.

Because home owners will not want to max out the electricity generated by their solar panels using something as inefficient as air-conditioning, you'll want to build the house to accommodate local winds. An angled roof and windows on all sides mean that the house will bring cool breezes through one end and out the other.

Wood-Burning Stove / Hot Rocks
Cooling isn't the only thing that can be done without power. keeping the house warm is important, and a well-placed wood-burning stove goes the distance for circulating heat throughout the structure. Another neat thing to do to do to keep yourself warm would be to heat rocks near the stove to place in your bed before going to sleep on cold nights.

Graywater Filtration System
Filter all water that has been used in your kitchen sink. First, route the graywater through a sand-filled barrel, which filters out large particulates, then draining the water into partly artificial wetlands, if you are not closely located to a bay of water. This way, you are careful to return water only after it has been filtered and naturally cleaned.

Composting Toilet
Another key step toward sustainability is to kick the flushing habit. A Sun-Mar Excel N.E. composting toilet ensures that even the owners' waste can decompose harmlessly before returning to the world outside. It's not a piece of art by any means, but it gets s%@# done!
For information on composting toilets, please visit: http://ericsonsolar.com/SunMar.htm

Happy off-grid living!!!

1 Comment

Okay that toilet sounds cool, got to check that out!

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