Monday, October 5, 2009

Wisconsin Solar Home Tour

This weekend was a cloudy & rainy one. We still had fun though participating in the solar home tour. We went to two houses on Saturday morning. The first was Roald Gunderson's. He is well known in the area for his building practices called whole tree architecture. You can find our more info here about that. He has designed & built buildings at the Angelic Organic Learning Center (where Angie has been accepted into the Farm Beginnings class and at our favorite spot to eat, the Driftless Cafe. He re-uses materials in a very creative way. Inspiring. So much can be done with what we have. There are more pictures on his website of his home & the other structures he has designed & built. In the above pic of the greenhouse, the hanging planters are sections of gutters. The greens you see growing on the left are growing on pieces of steel siding (like we have on our barn). They also offer workshops at the farm.
Door to the greenhouse at Gunderson's

The second home we saw was Sara & Joel's. I was really excited to see their home & wasn't disappointed. They have a greenhouse on the front of their home for passive solar heat. The only back up they have is the wood stove. Having a greenhouse attached to front of the barn is in our plans for the future. The wall in the greenhouse is painted black for maximum solar gain & they have shades that rise up & down on a thermostat so they can take heat with the sun even when not there. They also have a nice, well-producing garden. It is so nice of everyone participating in the tour to share their homes with us. A great learning experience. Maybe someday, our home will be on the tour, too.

6 comments:

Happy Days said...

How neat!! There is a lot we can do to our home to create heat. We just need to know how to make the best of what we have and have the knowledge to use it and build it. We have 6 large floor to ceiling windows in the kids room to capture the heat in the winter during the day...but at night we need a little heater...neat post...debbie

Barb and Steve said...

Thanks Debbie! Glad you are doing the same thing with capturing the heat. As energy costs rise, we need to do all we can :-)

jaz said...

hi barb.....i lost you for a while. i don't quite know how it happened but christer sent me your site address again. i was worried and thought something happened to you. glad all is well and that i found you again.

Barb and Steve said...

Hi,
I'm glad you found me again too :-)

JC said...

Very interesting ...

Marcy said...

This is exactly what we're hoping to do next year! Thanks for the photo!! It gives us something to model after!
Marcy @ MiracleMountain