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E-M:/ "Greenest home in Michigan" ...

Enviro-Mich message from Lowell Prag <lprag@mail.msen.com>

Hello Lance,

I saw the posts on o2-michigan and enviro-mich about the house your
company, Lance Bowen, New Harvest Homes, is building at 142 Larchlea,
in Birmingham which is proposed to be the "Greenest home in Michigan".

Also visited The Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association (an organization
to which I am a dues paying member, as they are actually getting things
done!) to learn more:


Some good general info there and directions for visiting the house
as part of the solar tour, but the only link there to more info is


which doesn't provide any real technical details.


what's the total square footage, projected ft2 price (is it low enough
to make the design widely used), projected total heat loss coefficient,
projected air infiltration rate (can be as low as .05/hour with a good
design in which case a ventilation system induces a healthy 1/hour change
with a heat exchanger in the exhaust stream giving back 85+% of the btus),
projected solar gain and provisions for thermal mass to store some of it
if needed, any use of solar hot water heaters, i.e: why use the proposed
geo-thermal heat pump which is expensive initially and long-term, if you
have a high enough r value design (low enough hcl) and enough solar gain
design (the energy is free) to use a solar hot water heater (the energy is
free) in conjunction with a very small instant supply hot water heater as
back-up hydronic heat (another one sized accordingly, can also be used to
provide whole house potable hot water, as standing hot water heaters are
stupid in all instances), etc.

Also, regarding electrical:

what's the specs on the pv, cost per watt, projected pay-back period,
projected amp/hour requirements (strategies to keep it low), and are
the loads low enough to take the house off the grid if desired, etc.

In short:

I am all for green design with sustainable materials but I am also
interested in designing for the lowest possible heat and electrical
loads which isn't discussed at http://www.thisgreenhome.com


has the design incorporated all that can be achieved while actually
living in the house, to reduce the amount of CO2, sulfides, oxides of
nitrogen, mercury, etc. which are released to the atmosphere, through
use of energy generated from utility power plants, as these statistics
are equally important as to how green the house design is, the amount
of energy needed and pollutants released to make the materials for the
house, etc.


Lowell Prag

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