7 Steps to The Perfect Off-Grid House
by NICK ROSEN on JULY 11, 2004 - 6 Comments in ENERGY, LAND, OFF-GRID 101, WATER

Planning to turn your house into an environment friendly, self-sustainable, off- grid haven? Here’s what to do to a perfect off-grid house:

Recycle: renovate an old farm or build your house using recycled materials like bricks, tyres or wood

Innovate: try unconventional building materials such as straw bale, sand-filled bags or mud. For inspiration visit Brithdir Mawr Community in Wales.

Think: plan your house so that it is as energy-efficient as possible. This means effective insulation , under-floor heating and double-glazing to cut down on energy consumption.

Go solar: solar panels can be used domestically to provide heating and hot water, and produce electricity . You can also install solar lights and a solar-powered fountain in your garden, and charge your mobile phone and car battery with solar battery chargers.

Install a wind turbine: miniature silent wind turbines are now available to set up on the roof of your house.

Build a micro dam: if you have a stream on your land, set up a micro hydro turbine to produce inexpensive green energy .

Switch to reed bed sewage systems: waste water is filtered and cleaned as it flows through 3 reed- planted ponds.

And remember: think globally, act locally contribute to the local economy and cut down on transport and pollution by buying materials nearby

If you need general information these are good websites to visit: www.encraft.co.uk and
www.energyalternatives.ca

For help and advice from fellow off gridders try forums like Fieldlines or Off the grid Living

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6 comments

1 recycle now { 10.29.04 at 5:29 am }

The UK Government have launched a £10 million ad campaign to promote recycling. The campaig was awarded to M&C Saatchi, who pioneered the pro-Thatcher ad campaigns in the 80s. Charles Saatchi has done very well at recycling his art. But knows nothing about recycling plastic.

2 Greenpeace { 10.31.04 at 11:36 am }

We like this site!

3 mauricio narvarte { 11.20.09 at 10:11 pm }

Recycle is great but also do consider the amount and distance for transportation. I think you left out the “local” idea.

4 Julie Nordman { 04.18.11 at 6:44 am }

Hello, We own 32 Acres in Montgomery county Mo, you can have your TV show here and build a house completely off the grid, you will not have to pay us, just build the house and let us live in it. It would be very great for you to show people on TV how to live off-Grid. :)
Thanks
Julie Nordman

5 Michelle Bryant { 06.05.11 at 10:12 am }

Hi my name is Michelle Bryant and my family and I live in Gainesville, Florida. We have a block home built 1976. We have 4 wonderful children, but our son is an extreme handicapped child of 10. Due to his life/death daily struggle I cannot work so we depend on my husbands income… What we need is to figure out how to turn our block home INTO a insulated more efficent home. Right now we pay $675 a month in utility cost which is really draining us. I would love to be able to “cover” the roof in something to insulate more? I am thinking of taking out some of the windows to make the home more “cave-like” which will hold in heat/cool. One of our sons worst conditions is that he cannot regulate his core temp, and his body does not cool down so we must keep the home at a constant 75 or he goes into grandmal seizures. Thank you for any helpful comments or suggestions.

6 Sven Tompas { 12.06.11 at 7:42 pm }

Michelle –

One of the cheapest, simplest things you can do in a hot climate location like Florida is simply to paint your roof white. It’ll reflect all that excess sunlight (heat and energy) that your roof and attic are absorbing.

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