Dunster
Dunster: he’s already there

Q: What is a zero carbon home? A: One which emits no carbon.
If you live off-grid then you are likely to be living a zero-carbon life. If you are trying to find a way to reduce your carbon, think about making yourself “off-grid ready,” i.e. having all you need to go off-grid if you had to.

Western governments plan to make all new homes zero carbon by 2016 which means they will be bringing tax breaks in and changing zoning/planning policy to encourage it .

Architect Bill Dunster recently showed off his own home in Hamton for Best Life magazine. Here are five steps you can take to reach the goal long before 2016.

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HOT-WATER PANELS

What: a new water-heating technology that is hidden under a roof or solar panel

How it works: Ever leave a hose out in the sun? Well, this is exactly the same idea. The solar thermal system is a series of panels installed under the roof, which feature hidden tubes filled with nontoxic antifreeze. Once roasted by the sun, the liquid is pumped down to help heat your water tank.

Cost: Starts at $8,000

Savings: Up to 30 percent of the cost of heating water by traditional means

2 SOLAR ROOF

What: Sunslates
by Atlantis Energy. Technically called building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV), they

Buy our book - OFF THE GRID - a tour of American off-grid places and people written by Nick Rosen, editor of the off-grid.net web site

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