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Old 01-03-12, 08:13 PM   #6
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As long as the house is still imaginary...

The solar orientation should be primary, and then taking advantage of favorable site conditions. Everything already said about insulation is just great.

But a design feature that really intrigues me, that you don't see so much anymore is the idea of a 'core room'. I just made that term up, but the idea is a room that has rooms or hallways that surround it on all sides if possible, protecting it from extremes of weather.

I have one such room in my house, it has only one outside wall. The rest of the walls, and floor and ceiling, have a room on the other side. And this room is the warmest room in the winter, and the coolest room in the summer. It is also the quietest room at any time.. it is the best for taking a nap.

Another very handy idea is an actual, functioning pantry. My house had one that had been remodeled into a bathroom long before I moved in, and I didn't realize that it was ever a pantry until I removed the unnecessary bathroom... Then the logic of a small windowless room on the corner of the house that got the least sun, became clear.

In Oregon, 120 years ago, pantries were built into every house, for storing food, because you could not assume the uninterrupted availability of food.

120 years ago, in Oregon, people in the city planted nut and fruit trees around their houses, for the same reason.

I don't think it is unreasoning paranoia to think that we may live to see similar conditions again...

I'm not an HVAC technician. In fact, I'm barely even a hacker...
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