Just Plain Foolish

Just a chance for an old-fashioned, simple storyteller to say what needs to be said.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

One of the benefits of living near DC

is definitely the National Mall. Not because it looks like the postcards (it mostly doesn't, except for a brief window right around the cherry blossoms), but because there's often something interesting going on there. Last weekend, it was the National Book Festival, where I got to hear one of my favorite authors speak and came away with a signed book, several bookmarks, a nice bookbag, and a sunburned neck and nose. (Memo to self: you bought hats for a reason. Wear them.)

And now they're setting up the Solar Homes for 2007. It's the third Solar Decathlon (2002, 2005, and now 2007) I came upon the second one totally by accident, and thought it was the coolest thing. I fell hard for the NYIT entry, and the Maryland entry, and... Hey, can I apply for one of these puppies? I'm sure I can find a lot somewhere to put it... (Okay, I don't like all the designs, but close.)

And the real question is why not. This year, I have my eye on the University of Illinois, who specifically designed theirs as a modular home, with an eye to actual production. Woot! The Texas A&M and Carnegie Mellon approachs look interesting, but less practical, frankly. But the Kansas entry is another I can't wait to actually see...

Okay, I want to see them all. You got me. I want to see ideas like this become accessible to ordinary people. I live in an 800 sq ft. apartment that is badly laid out for actual living in (though pefect for fitting a 1960's building envelope, I must say) and gets practically no sunlight in winter and too much in summer. Blech. I *want* to live in a small home with some actual integration with the outdoors, the ability to capture cross breeze, and the capacity for warmth in winter. A porch would be nice, low utilities, a garden, nearby neighbors. A standard city lot would hold 2 of many of these designs, along with the garden, etc. I could live with that.

So, what are we doing with these nifty designs, people? When can I have a tiny solar home?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post. I wish I could see Solar homes. It sounds fascinating. We are pricing solar panels for our Scamp right now which is about as close as we'll come in the near future to going solar. However, we can run our lap top, fridge, fan, lights, etc. off of what we collect. Now we just need to figure out how to arrange them on the roof.

10/05/2007 12:12 PM  

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