conservation

Heavy Timber Frames

100_4075 Hand-hewn heavy timber beams.  Although it may not seem “green” to build with large timbers, such homes last longer than those built with today’s conventional practices.

We currently have a timber frame available suitable for a small barn.

 

 

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Greywater Systems Installed

If you’re committed to using all natural cleaners like tea tree oil and white vinegar, you can install a greywater system that lets you use your household water on your landscaping. All the drain pipes from sinks, laundry, tubs and showers can be rerouted to the garden. Only the toilet pipe should remain connected to the septic tank. With less water running into your tank, sewage is less likely to back up into the yard, and you won’t have to have your tank emptied as often. (more…)

Rainwater Harvesting

cisternFresh water supplies are becoming increasingly scarce, especially in arid regions where increasing populations are depleting aquifers that took millennia to charge. Harvesting rain not only decreases the demand on the ground water supply, it also consumes significantly less energy to utilize.

Rainwater Collection: We built this cistern under a greenhouse. The cistern is made out of reinforced concrete with a waterproof coating. There is an access door in the floor. Rainwater is collected on the glass roof, a small area 8×10′ but the cistern fills up fast. We installed a valve to ensure that only clean water is collected. The first few gallons run out a drain pipe, then the valve switches on and directs water into the tank. The water is used on  landscaping, pumped directly out of the tank with a garden hose. A generous supply of water is also useful in emergencies when electricity is out, for instance, and the well pump is not working, as a source of water for flushing the toilet. (more…)

Frost-Protected Shallow Foundation

There are a number of alternative building techniques available that can save money, time and energy (yours and the environment’s).  Here is one of our favorites:

Frost Protected Shallow Foundations  Build close to large trees without harming them; save you money on excavating costs; keep warmth within the foundation and in your home. This method can also incorporate rubble foundations, which is not only cost effective, but provides excellent drainage.