One of my dreams these days, is to build my own little getaway home. A small retreat in nature or a mobile house on wheels that can go anywhere. To learn more about sustainable home building, I went to a meeting organized by the Northwest Eco Building Guild where a collection of Washington's skilled architects and builders talked about the different ways we can create highly efficient homes. Energy-efficient houses will help us use less of the Earth's resources, which helps the planet and our bank account! Sustainable architect, Brian Cloward, recommended three home designs that will naturally use less energy to heat and cool your home:
Dog trot Design
The dog trot design is basically a wide, horizontal home design with a passageway in the middle. For warmer climates, this hole can just be left open and airy or you can put a door on both sides to keep it warm in the winter. This hole allows a nice breeze to pass through your home during the summer which cuts down on energy use for air conditioning and fans. I love the idea of being able to "live outside" and feel the breeze even when it's raining.
Shot gun design
Shot gun homes are long and narrow structures with doors on the fronts and backs so that you can get a breeze flowing all the way through. They're very simple with the rooms usually just lining up behind each other. The open passageway in the middle also allows heat to easily spread throughout the home when the front and back doors are closed.
Putting your space on stilts (or wheels) allows air to circulate all around your house, keeping it naturally cooler. Think about the difference between sitting outside on a hot day and standing. Putting your house on legs keeps it's bottom side breezy. It also allows you to put your house basically anywhere! On the water, on the road, in a tree or on the rocks.
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