Sustainability and efficiency

As Mr B has been working toward moving out here full time, he has also been investigating ideas/options/techniques.

side note: Mr B’s insatiable curiosity is simultaneously one of the most endearing and annoying things about him. I totally get it, I’m always interested in learning new things. My mom said that even as a very young child, I was always questioning everything. However, Mr B’s curiosity means that we never know when plans will change because he has found something else that might be a better option. Thank heaven that recovery has taught me to just roll with it, no matter how unsettling change may seem. If we aren’t learning and growing, then we are stagnating and dying in ignorance or stupidity.

Sunshine and Mr B got to discussing geothermal climate control, which led Sunshine to look into it with renewed interest.

side note: the electric bill is killing us. As much as an RV does have a smaller carbon footprint by virtue of it’s lesser size than a mcmansion, it is still rather inefficient due to construction and the fact that it is essentially a giant car with the accompanying greenhouse effect. They are not well insulated as they are not intended for full-time year round living–unless maybe you’re getting one of those Triple E models built in Canada and insulated well enough to survive Canadian winters… which none of us is doing.

So Sunshine and I did a little digging into the paperwork on this magic bus and all of its components–like roof unit air conditioners. We needed to know how many BTUs these things are capable of pumping out so that we could convert that to tonnage so that Sunshine could figure out how much of a geothermal system we would need for the magic bus.

side note: maths. I’m glad Sunshine is good with them. The maths and I don’t get along without a lot of hard work with pencil, paper, and tutor. I digress…

Sunshine figured out how many linear feet of line we would need to put in the ground to heat/cool the magic bus based on how many BTUs these roof units pump out. Mr B was floored by the numbers, and commented that if those numbers were the case then this RV was not well insulated.

Thank you, Captain Obvious, but I’m pretty sure yours isn’t any better with it’s 9 more feet of length and three more slideouts and one more roof unit and a dark color paint job. Rant over. Love you, Mr B.

So Mr B has been researching different building techniques off and on over the course of this adventure. He’s looked into cob houses, earth ships, earthbag homes, tiny houses on wheels (THOWs), and etcetera. His original thoughts were that RVs and THOWs were the way to go because they didn’t increase the property value and property tax. Now he’s thinking that permanent structures built out of this new material he has discovered are the answer, as any increase in property tax will be cancelled out by savings on electricity and such.

So now, we are going to be meeting with the inventor of this new building material and process this weekend. Sunshine is coming off of a marathon of a production masonry job, so he isn’t ready to wrap his mind around much besides sitting in a tree hoping to shoot another wild pig. I’ve met the gentleman once already, so I told Sunshine to let me go wrap my mind around this one, and when he got ready to wrap his mind around it I could bring him up to speed.

I’m refusing to get into the mental gymnastics of “what will we do with the magic bus if we go with this new plan” and the worry over the cost of building one of these little homes. We’re not there yet, and I’ve been enjoying the last couple of days of relative simplicity.

Now, I’m off to research home-building, and compile my list of questions for this weekend.


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