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House #
House Style
Size Ft2
Year Built
Stick-built (2x4’s on 2x8 plates 12”OC {staggered}) and Rastra foundation
1700 + 220 sun room
General Contractor
Sub-contractors (significant) & Type
Ellen Lamiman/ Owner Owner Jim Wright, excavation
Vern Donnet, Plumbing
Primary E-Design Factors
Significant E-Products Used
Rastra basement
Russian Fireplace (kit)
Greywater system
Extensive use of recycled materials
Heavy insulation R-40 walls, R-50+ in ceiling

Water Barrels used for passive solar heat storage in and below sunroom

High efficiency refrigerator (“Conserve”)

Insulated window shades (“Cozy” Shades; Missoula, MT)

Solar panels being added this year (ca 1100w)
Rastra Block
"Conserve" Refrigerator
"Cozy" Insulated Shades
House is very comfortable in winter and summer and uses a small amount of wood to heat. The house stays very cool in summer.
Often a house is designed to deal with a specific aspect of sustainablity e.g., reducing the energy needed for heating/cooling. While this is a good start, it's better to take a "bigger view", to consider as many aspects of sustainability as possible—this house is a great example of the "bigger view". The owners considered how the house is effected by the environment, and how it effects the environment—taking advantage of what nature gives them, and minimizing their impact on the environment. Below are a few examples:

• Heavy insulation, insulated window shades, a sun room, and water barrels used as heat masses, reduce the problem of cold winters and hot summers.
• Electricity is partially produced by PV panels (an expansion of the system is underway).
• Hotwater is preheated by passive solar.
• Greywater (twice used shower and dish water) is recycled to water plants, decreasing water useage.
• Recycled materials are extensively used reducing the amount of new materials that must be produced and manufactured. Glass seconds for the sliding glass doors are from a surplus shop in Spokane.
• Rastra block was used in the foundation for insulation.
• The owners used many innovative (some self-made) products that helped to create a comfortable, lower impact house. One example is the drying rack hanging up from the woodstove. The rack is a clever secondary use of the heat.
• The solar space serves as a heat boost for the rest of the house.

Owners Advice: Build smaller, insulate well, shelter the house from the weather, and build for fuel scarcity.