NOTE: Make sure you read the first three posts (in order!) before tackling the rest, or it could be confusing: Post 1 is Designing the future, Post 2 is Setting up the problem, and Post 3 is Estimating basic requirements.


Monday, October 02, 2006

Trade studies for Peak Oil houses (Part 2)

After developing varying design concepts to meet your requirements, the next step is identifying the key characteristics of each so you can make objective comparisons. For the three design concepts in Part 1 I have sketched out the advantages and disadvantages.

Troglodyte Home:
      1) High R-value (insulation) due to surrounding soil
      2) Underground rainwater cistern stays insulated
      3) Protected from wind
      4) Low profile (security concerns)

      1) External stairs could be treacherous in winter conditions
      2) Snow could block vents/skylights
      3) Little natural lighting (even with skylights)
      4) Vulnerable to flooding (depending on topography)
      5) Risky in earthquake-prone areas
      6) Radon gas concern
      7) Very uncommon design

For the Semi-Trog Home:
      1) High R-value for lower level
      2) Above-ground cistern allows for higher water pressure
      3) More potential for natural lighting
      4) More psychologically comfortable than Trog Home

      1) Requires more supplementary insulation than Trog Home’
      2) Above-ground cistern vulnerable to external temperature
      3) Somewhat vulnerable to wind
      4) Uncommon design

For the Loft Home:
      1) Significant natural lighting
      2) Earthquake resistant
      3) Traditional framing/building techniques may be used

      1) Wind-prone
      2) Requires much supplemental insulation
      3) Very visible (security concerns)

Doing this exercise can lead you in new directions and allow you to create even more design concepts. For instance, you might explore the following design alternatives:
      1) Move the cistern above or below ground
      2) Use a well
      3) Build the home into a hillside (walk-out basement)
      4) Make the Trog Home shallower – allow more lighting/ventilation

Run the exercise again on the new concepts, and continue iterating until you have exhausted all possible designs. The results will be worth it when you finally settle on the design for your perfect Peak Oil house!


At 8:45 AM, Blogger DJEB said...

Troglodyte Home:

6) Radon gas concern

Yes, it is true, but you've got a nice sense of humor.


At 1:33 AM, Blogger bytestyle12 said...

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