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This house was built on speculation in 1976-1977and sold prior to completion. It was the first home that I designed and built after becoming self employed in 1975.

First house

In the late seventies green home building was off to a good start due to tax incentives promoted by the Carter administration. As a concerned environmentalist I was encouraged by these developments and built this home for my family in 1982 to demonstrate the viability of energy conservation building technology. The strategies employed were as follows.

1. Passive solar gain
2. Super insulation
3. Earth sheltering
4. High mass
5. Time of day energy use

These simple cost effective ways to save energy quickly became the bench mark for green building. The house out performed my expectations. My utility provider at the time (Wisconsin Power and Light) was in disbelief. In the first year this house went on line I was one of a select few R-W5 customers on the entire WP&L grid that was monitored every month. For the twelve years I lived there electricity was the only power source for the home. Eighty three percent of my power usage was off peak. Utility bills averaged below $50.00 per month. In 1992 the house was featured in the Wisconsin State Journal, Home Section.

Despite newer, high tech developments in green building, the strategies listed above yield the most energy savings for the dollars invested. The largely un-tapped reservoirs of EFFICIENCY and CONSERVATION can not be bypassed if the country hopes to achieve sustainability. “Green energy” and high tech solutions should be applied only after buildings have been designed to consume energy as efficiently as possible.

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Environmentally Responsible Homes

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