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OS:Sterling Allan's Sustainable Home

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Image:091218 Allan-Home sketch by SDA 300.jpg

This home will be the first built as part of the Safe Haven Villages project, in which we are founding members.

Status: We're in planning stages for our new earthship home. Our Eagle Mountain home closed on Oct. 28, 2009, funding on Nov. 3, following which we have 45 days to identify new property, with 180 days to spend the 1031 roll-over funds.

This page is being set up to enable others to help us come up with an optimal design, given what resources and technologies are presently available.

Budget: $50,000 - $60,000 USD for materials Labor to be provided primarily by community members. Community land secured with the balance of the proceeds from the sale of our Eagle Mountain home.

Blog

http://AllansSustainableHome.com - View our new blog, commenced Nov. 3, 2009

Image:2012 earthship 95x95.jpg
Latest: Directory:Building > Directory:Earth Bag Building Method > OS:Sterling Allan's Sustainable Home > Earthship Homes Making Strides -- Someone Built My Home! - While browsing my Facebook page, I came across an image of an Earthship home that struck me as looking like what I envisioned the house I designed back in 2009 would look like. Even the trees in front resemble the natural land surrounding our lot that is part of the Safe Haven Villages intentional community project. (News:Pure Energy Blog March 10, 2013)
Image:Safe Haven Rd bulldozer 95x95.jpg
Latest: Directory:Communities > OS:Utah Safe Haven Village Project > Blog > Road, Well and Green Houses Going In Minor Subdivision Approval Under Way 5-Acre Solar Farm Maybe - We've been busy in our sustainable/renewable intentional community project. Here's an update, along with some ruminating about the hard physical labor involved in building with materials that are literally dirt cheap. Is this something others will want to adapt, or is more pioneering needed to make it easier first? (Allan's Sustainable Home Oct. 5, 2010)
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Latest: Directory:Communities > OS:Utah Safe Haven Village Project > There was an error working with the wiki: Code[1] > Blog > Safe Haven update: Master plan, water progress, work parties, RVs & tents - It's been nearly two months since I've updated this blog, but that's not been because nothing has been going on -- quite the opposite. Though work on our family home is on hold due to bureaucracy, we have plenty to do for the Safe Haven Villages community project on the 90 acres. (Allan's Sustainable Home June 2, 2010)
Image:Aubrie-Hailee Allan shovelling crop 95x95.jpg
Latest: Directory:Communities > OS:Utah Safe Haven Village Project > There was an error working with the wiki: Code[1] > Blog > First Work Party Builds Earth Bag Habitat and Stage - Our Safe Haven Villages group had lots of fun and got a lot done last weekend at the first work party on our newly-acquired 90 acres. We cleared a road (still rough) for cars to get across the property, got a good start on a stage, laid about 7 rows of rice bags for an earth bag habitat, and had fun around the campfire. (Allan's Sustainable Home Apr. 13, 2010)
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Latest: Directory:Communities > OS:Utah Safe Haven Village Project > There was an error working with the wiki: Code[1] > Blog > Purchased White Hills 90 Acres & Water - Now that we have the property, it's time to start jumping through all the government regulation hoops for subdividing, water allocation, wildland interface, perc testing, road engineering -- all before we can get a building permit. This Saturday we're having our first work party to put up an earth bag shed. (Allan's Sustainable Home Apr. 8, 2010)
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Latest: Directory:Communities > OS:Utah Safe Haven Village Project > There was an error working with the wiki: Code[1] > Blog > Amazing birthday alignments in the Safe Haven Villages project - Five birthdays in four days among the key players. What does it mean, if anything? Brief update on land procurement status and options. (Allan's Sustainable Home Feb. 19, 2010)
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Latest: Directory:Communities > OS:Utah Safe Haven Village Project > There was an error working with the wiki: Code[1] > Blog > Property under contract revised floor plan - An update on our Safe Haven Villages project. We now have a 53-acre remote canyon property under contract. We've revised our floor plan to include a small community center on the second floor. (Allan's Sustainable Home Feb. 3, 2010)
Image:091218 Allan-Home sketch by SDA sharp 95x95.jpg
Latest: Directory:Building > Directory:Earth Bag Building Method > There was an error working with the wiki: Code[1] > Blog > Budgeting the renewable energy component of our home - I'm looking for estimates of how much each component will cost on our off-grid Renewable Energy system for the home we're planning. Also, any recommendations for vendors would be appreciated as well. (Allan's Sustainable Home Jan. 6, 2009)
Image:091124 Allan-Home SDA-revision-Susans final bf4 95h.gif
Latest: Directory:Building > Directory:Earth Bag Building Method > There was an error working with the wiki: Code[1] > Blog > Allan's Architectural Drawings Under Way - Here's a belated report on what I presented to our architect, listing floor plan draft and desired features. I've posted a few questions at the end for those of you knowledgeable in these things. Comments welcome. (Allan's Sustainable Home Dec. 13, 2009)
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Directory:Building > Directory:Earth Bag Building Method > There was an error working with the wiki: Code[1] > Blog > Dome-vault - Update on our home plans: "The earth bag walls go straight up with periodic buttresses along the horizontal length. At 8 feet up will be the floor joists, then the straight earth bag walls will end up another two feet. At that point will start the 10-foot radius concrete dome, which will have insulation around it." (Allan's Sustainable Home Nov. 23, 2009)
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Latest: Directory:Building > Directory:Earth Bag Building Method > There was an error working with the wiki: Code[1] > Blog > Forms & guides for 20-foot wide parabolic earth bag vault - More correspondence with Owen Geiger, professional earth bag builder about cautions and mechanics of building. Also, some earlier correspondence in which I mull over the impossibility of building an earth bag home for my family of 6 in just one month in the Spring, then realize that I'll have to plan on purchasing the materials, then build. (Allan's Sustainable Home Nov. 19, 2009)
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Latest: Directory:Building > Directory:Earth Bag Building Method > There was an error working with the wiki: Code[1] > Blog > 2-floor Paramecium House Plans with Split Saircase - The Hot Dot House plan was a flop, partially because of heating issues, so the pendulum swung and we began considering a more traditional -- squarish earthbag -- floor plan but then want back to the paramecium shap but with two floors and a nice split staircase, reading loft, some bottle walls. Normal doesn't work for us. (Allan's Sustainable Home Nov. 10, 2009)
Image:091109 second-draft Allan-home-95x95.jpg
Latest: Directory:Building > Directory:Earth Bag Building Method > There was an error working with the wiki: Code[1] > Blog > Revised House Plans & - Energy status update. New floor plan posted with "phase I" and "phase II" to focus on a more doable portion within the budget and time frame we have to follow. The catenary vault portion is arched to withstand the back-fill forces. The sketch of the home, at least this version, resembles a hot dog. (Allan's Sustainable Home Nov. 10, 2009)
Image:Vincent cartoon Allan-home-energy 95x95.jpg
Directory:Building > Directory:Earth Bag Building Method > There was an error working with the wiki: Code[1] > Blog > Post 3: Vincent Powell's cartoon of our home's renewable energy layout - Vincent posted a diagram of the renewable energy components of our house design, as he understands them. It spurred some helpful dialogue as we seek to come up with something that will work and be affordable. Includes discussion on rocket stove, radiant flooring, stirling engine, battery back-up, relay switches, etc. (Allan's Sustainable Home Nov. 7, 2009)
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Latest: Directory:Building > Directory:Earth Bag Building Method > There was an error working with the wiki: Code[1] > Blog > Post 1: Progress so far toward establishing our home in a new intentional community - A review of the saga so far, and a look at what is ahead. An invitation for participation by way of input to come up with a great design and final product in a short period of time. (Nov. 3, 2009) Also: Chat with Owen Geiger about earth bag design - covers recent Q&A correspondence and suggestions from a sustainable building expert. (Allan's Sustainable Home Nov. 6, 2009)

See also There was an error working with the wiki: Code[5] below.

Plans

Home Plans

Fifth Draft
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There was an error working with the wiki: Code[1] - Feb. 2, 2010

Fourth Draft by Quasi Architect

Dec. 26, 2009 draft.

Image:091226 Torg main-floor full 600.jpg

There was an error working with the wiki: Code[2]

Image:091226 Torg second-floor full 600.jpg

There was an error working with the wiki: Code[3]

Note: There was a wrong assumption in drawing this floor plan -- that the second floor was tapered in from the first (per an earlier design) -- but that is no longer the case. The second floor has the same size as the first. The domed arch doesn't begin unti 4 feet up on the second floor.

Third Draft
Image:091114 Allan-Home peramecium draft1 300.jpg

See:

Image:091114 Allan-Home peramecium draft1 darkened 95x95.jpg
Latest: Directory:Building > Directory:Earth Bag Building Method > There was an error working with the wiki: Code[1] > Blog > 2-floor Paramecium House Plans with Split Saircase - The Hot Dot House plan was a flop, partially because of heating issues, so the pendulum swung and we began considering a more traditional -- squarish earthbag -- floor plan but then want back to the paramecium shap but with two floors and a nice split staircase, reading loft, some bottle walls. Normal doesn't work for us. (Allan's Sustainable Home Nov. 10, 2009)
Second Draft

Here is a second draft of a floor plan, drawn to scale. We plan to use Directory:Earth Bag Building Method as seen at http://CalEarth.org Includes a rough sketch of what the home might look like.

Image:091109 second-draft Allan-home-400.jpg
Inspiration
Image:Castle plan view 300.jpg

This plan by Michael Reynolds of Earthships.org is what started us in our design.

More recently, we're thinking of patterning after my parent's Solar Home. We're also inspired by this Zombie-Proof, which can be beutiful now, but can hunker down for 200-mph winds that might be the reality during solar storms or pole shift events.

See

http://www.allanstime.com/SolarHome/

http://thebigdesk.com/a-home-that-supplies-its-own-water-power-heat-food/ - story

http://www.greenhomebuilding.com/earthship.htm - story with floor plan and artist sketch side view

Building Links
Catenary Vault

http://www.earthbagbuilding.com/projects/shop.htm - alternative method for caternary vault using rebar and mesh.

http://www.angelfire.com/in2/manythings/TEXT/NYLON-CEMENT.htm - ferro-cement or nylon cement vaults with about R-40 insulation (tech info near bottom of article) This makes it relatively simple to add dormer vaults, eyebrows over windows, curved end walls, etc. using almost any curve you want

Cement Alternatives

Directory:Building

Earth Bag

Directory:Earth Bag Building Method

Directory:Tim Hall's Earth Ship Home

http://earthshelter.com/

Renewable Energy

In addition to solar and wind, we hope to do some beta testing of more exotic clean energy technologies.

http://sunelec.com/ - great prices

Overview

Here's a little cartoon Vincent Howell pulled together.

Image:Vincent cartoon Allan-home-energy 700.gif
Image:Vincent cartoon Allan-home-energy 95x95.jpg
Directory:Building > Directory:Earth Bag Building Method > There was an error working with the wiki: Code[1] > Blog > Post 3: Vincent Powell's cartoon of our home's renewable energy layout - Vincent posted a diagram of the renewable energy components of our house design, as he understands them. It spurred some helpful dialogue as we seek to come up with something that will work and be affordable. Includes discussion on rocket stove, radiant flooring, stirling engine, battery back-up, relay switches, etc. (Allan's Sustainable Home Nov. 7, 2009)
Solar Photovoltaic

SunElec - $1.98/watt for 190 thru 210 watt silicon panels. They are not UL certified so they probably won't be acceptable for grid-tied, even though they are perfectly operational.

"Other brands like Suntech, Evergreen, Kyocera, and REC are UL & CE certified and cost a little more but almost all the panels they advertise at this store appear to be well under $3/watt. No other store that I can find comes close to these prices, except maybe SolarMaxDirect.com but their minimum order is at least 20 panels and I've seen some minimum orders of 320 panels." -- Vincent, Oct. 30, 2009

Batteries

Possible source: http://www.backwoodssolar.com/catalog/batteries.htm

"Its best to buy the deep cycle batteries locally to avoid the shipping charges for heavy batteries." - Vincent

Inverters

Possible source: http://www.backwoodssolar.com/catalog/inverters.htm

Heat

In addition to solar...

OS:DIY Rocket Stove - for biomass heat

Talk:OS:Sterling Allan's Sustainable Home - see comment by Vincent, Nov. 3, 2009

Grid Tie

We probably won't tie in, but in case we do:

Possible source: http://www.backwoodssolar.com/catalog/Enphase%20Kits%20Sep.htm

Plumbing

Rainwater Capture

Sanpete County, UT, gets 10-12 inches of rain per year. The US average is 37. You need 7-8 inches / year for rainwater capture to work.

We plan to capture rain off our roof and collect it in a cistern for potable water. We'll need water shares from the county in order to do rainwater capture. We'll have a gutter system on the roof for channeling the rainwater.

Cistern

We plan on having three cisterns for holding rainwater capture. One on each end of the home (E & W), and one in the middle, so that no piping gets overwhelmed during a downpoor.

We'll use at least one of the cisterns as a thermal mass storage from the solar thermal for the hot water needs of the home, including the radiant flooring.

Rainwater Purification

We'll need a system for filtering the rainwater for things like sinks and showers, and a further purification method for potable water preparation.

Radiant Flooring

We plan to use solar thermal to heat at least one of the cisterns which we'll then top off, if needed, with either a propane heater [not off-grid], or a rocket stove used to heat the home during extended cloudy days in the winter.

Compost Toilet

We may get our toilets from http://Sun-Mar.com . On the small system, they suggest one per two people, so we would need three in our home.

Solar Power Compan - a retailer in Salt Lake City.

Alt: http://www.biolet.com

see also http://www.jenkinspublishing.com/toilet_instructions.html

Gray Water Recycling

Since we're not using flush toilets, I'm not sure what we'll be doing with the gray water, other than maybe filtering it to go on plants in the community gardens. So maybe we'll have a third cistern for holding the filtered graywater to then be either piped or hauled to the garden plots when they are built?

See Directory:Home Generation:Gray Water Recycling

Water Pumps

To pressurize the water from the cisterns for the faucets and radiant flooring.

Possible source: http://www.backwoodssolar.com/catalog/pumps.htm

Frost Prevention for Footings

We plan to back-fill the north end of the home, quite high, so frost heaving on the foundation will not be an issue there. Here's what I plan to do on the south, east, and west footers.

Image:Foundation frost protection 400.jpg

Image source: Earth-Sheltered Houses: How to Build an Affordable...'' (Paperback) ~ Rob Roy p. 56.

Appliances

General
Lights

We'll either go with CFLs or LEDs, with maybe some DC lights.

Possible source: http://www.backwoodssolar.com/catalog/lights.htm

Fans

Possible source: http://www.backwoodssolar.com/catalog/fans.htm

Kitchen
Refrigeration

Open to suggestions

Possible source: http://www.backwoodssolar.com/catalog/refrigerators.htm

Stove

Open to suggestions

http://www.pureenergysystems.com/store/Sun_Oven/

http://www.pureenergysystems.com/store/Tulsi-Hybrid/

http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/Cooking/cooking.htm

Toaster Oven

Open to suggestions

Laundry
Washing Machine

Staber Washer Model XXW2304 - "The most efficient washer available based on energy, water, and detergent usage." (- Vincent)

Q. can I get this local, to avoid shipping charges?

Dryer

"Obviously an outside clothesline or near the stove" - Vincent

Hopefully we can do better than that. We're spoiled.

"Staber makes a drying cabinet. Built in the U.S. and more efficient than their standard dryer: http://www.staber.com/dryingcabinet" - Cobalt

Office
Internet

satellite internet has been recommended

http://www.hughesnet.com

http://www.wildblue.com

Misc.

http://www.backwoodssolar.com - 12 volt bulbs and other 12 volt accessories

Shaver

http://www.backwoodssolar.com/catalog/appliances_dc.htm#BRAUN POCKET BATTERY SHAVER - $20 (too cheap?)

Other Info

Community Page

OS:Utah Safe Haven Village Project - This home will be the first built as part of the Safe Haven Villages (.org) project.

Temporary Rental

Image:Tolbert guest house 091002 sq 300.jpg

Posted by Congress:Founder:Sterling D. Allan Oct. 27, 2009:

Our home closes on Oct. 28, 2009. In the mean time, while we are planning our design, finding land to build on, then building our home, we will be renting from a friend, Randy Tolbert, who is a solar installation professional (Access Solar of Mt. Pleasant, UT, USA). He has a solar guest house that he is renting to us for a very reasonable price. It will be a good interim step for us as we prepare to go the next step. It is heated by solar thermal via radiant flooring, and has a small photovoltaic system for the water pump. His home next door has the works, and is a beautiful design.

We love the radiant flooring. It's a very comfortable heat and uses less energy. The solar-heated water tank is topped off by a propane heater if needed. There are also plenty of south-facing windows to heat things up more during the day. Solar thermal is the most efficient Solar technology because much more of the sun's energy can be converted to usable energy than other forms of solar conversion such as photovoltaic.

I'm sure we'll be leaning on his knowledge in planning and building our home. And I'll have a chance to roll up my sleeves in a few solar installs with him to learn the minutia of residential solar power. Around a decade ago, Randy showed me the ropes for wiring a solar home addition my dad built (no PV).

Randy's guest house is situated northeast of Mt. Pleasant, up at the base of the mountains (Manti-La Sal National Forest) where deer and other wild animals roam routinely. It's part of a 20-some-year-old gated intentional community called "Freedom Ranch."

The move were in the middle of has been very challenging. We have collected way too much unnecessary stuff in the near five years we've been living in Eagle Mountain. We definitely need to par down and shift out of the consumerism mentality that pervades our society. This smaller, interim home will be a good chance for us to make that shift as well. If our News has been a bit sparse lately, its due to the distraction of moving.

I should mention, too, that we are not making this move in the middle of a financially strong time. We're stepping out in faith in a project that has many unknowns for us, learning and experiencing a lot of super challenging things that are pushing us to the limit. We really appreciate those of you who have been generous to donate to help keep this PES Network news and directory service running during what was already a lean time, made more so by the move and added expenses it is incurring.

In the News

See There was an error working with the wiki: Code[6] above.

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Directory:Humor / Directory:Health > Wild Turkeys visit vegan's solar home - We had about 15 wild turkeys come visit the guest solar home we are renting while we build our There was an error working with the wiki: Code[4] here in Sanpete Valley, Utah. We figure in this valley full of factory turkey facilities, these wild guys felt safe coming by our place this time of year because we are vegan. (YouTube Nov. 24, 2009)

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Latest: Directory:Communities > OS:Utah Safe Haven Village Project > OS:Sterling Allan's Sustainable Home > My sustainable home project -- still looking for clean energy generator - Maybe you have some ideas for locating the best renewable energy options and optimizing our sustainable design. We've accepted an offer on our present home, so the 1031 roll-over clock is ticking. (PESN Sept. 19, 2009) (Comment)
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Latest: Directory:Communities > OS:Utah Safe Haven Village Project > Safe Haven Villages to implement sustainable community designs - Interview about sustainability and intentional communities in general, building types, such as earth ships compost toilets, gray water recycling, rainwater harvesting renewable energy greenhouses community documents, and things that make communities work. (PESN 9/9/9) (Comments)
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Latest: Directory:Communities > OS:Utah Safe Haven Village Project - I'm involved with a group of people who are preparing to build an intentional community based on principles of sustainability, healthy living, natural healing, individual responsibility, cooperation, and renewable energy. In short, it is about alternative, enlightened everything. Interested? (PESWiki July 28, 2009)

Contact

Congress:Founder:Sterling D. Allan

Advisors

Directory:Tim Hall's Earth Ship Home

Owen Geiger of http://earthbagbuilding.com http://www.greenhomebuilding.com http://www.dreamgreenhomes.com http://www.grisb.org

James C. Torgersen (Torg) - SHV community founder

Graphics:Kevn:Latest - Our graphic artist, who is 5 years into building his straw bale home

Renee Shaw - SHV community founder

Vincent Howell

Directory:Access Solar by Randy Tolbert

Mark Harmon - Cal-Earth

Allen Gooch

Comments