Super-insulation, thoughtful design and careful construction mean that this home stays a comfortable temperature year round in this extreme climate while using little energy. The smaller than the average photovoltaic solar array (4.1 kW) provides almost twice as much electricity as this home uses even though every system in the home is electric (no gas or propane).
“When it was cold this winter, the house stayed at about 70° without any heat. When it got hot this summer, the house stayed at about 74° without air conditioning. It’s a very comfortable house.” – Brian Fallgren, Homeowner
This home is one of only 64 in the world to achieve this certification through ILIFI, a nonprofit working to build an ecologically-minded, restorative world for all people. Using principles of social and environmental justice, ILFI seeks to counter climate change by pushing for an urban environment free of fossil fuels. ILFI runs the Living Building Challenge, which is the world’s most rigorous green building standard, as well as the Zero Energy Building Certification (ZEB), the Living Product Challenge, and the Living Community Challenge.The ILFI ZEB certification draws from the Living Building Challenge and is a highly rigorous and regarded standard in its own right.
Our local public broadcasting station came to our current project at Coral Tree Farm to interview us and learn more about strawbale building. Here’s a link to the story they produced: http://www.kpbs.org/news/2017/aug/08/straw-bale-homes-san-diego-are-not-just-three-litt/
Whether you call them guest houses, granny flats, or second dwelling units, there’s some exciting news about them! New legislation passed in CA lifts some of the restrictions around these units, which are now all called Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU’s).
Two of the most exciting features of the new rules, which went into effect on Jan 1st, are that ADU’s are now allowed to be as big as 50% of the square footage of the main house instead of 30% and, if the project is located close to public transportation, the requirement to provide extra onsite parking has been waived. The new rules also make permitting an ADU faster and less expensive. A permitted ADU can legally be rented out, generating steady income for the owner.
Most jurisdictions count square footage of living space to the inside of the walls, so the thick walls of a strawbale building wouldn’t be counted in the maximum square footage calculations. Even if your home is smaller than 800 sq feet, most jurisdictions will allow you to build a 400 sq ft ADU, as long as you can meet the zoning and setback requirements.
This could be huge for San Diego’s affordable housing crisis! Now combine that with natural, non-toxic, low-carbon building and we can do something real to address our growing population in a more sustainable way.
If you would like to explore the possibility of building a high-performance, non-toxic ADU on your property, we’d be happy to help you evaluate your options.
We’re excited to be making progress on the 120 sq foot turmeric growing building for Coral Tree Farm. We held three wonderful workshops already (framing, straw bales, and clay base plaster) and are looking forward to the Finish Clay Plaster workshop on 8/12. As of 8/8, there is only one spot left in the finish clay plaster workshop, so register soon if you are interested in participating (link to registration).
Learn how to safely and effectively use basic hand and power tools in a fun, supportive environment while building a small workbench to take home with you.
No previous experience with carpentry or fractions required. All tools will be provided for your use during the class. The cost of the ticket includes the cost of the materials for your workbench. Taught by Rebecca Tasker, a general contractor and co-owner of Simple Construct Naturally Healthy Homes. Note: closed-toed, sturdy shoes are required.
This class sold out in less than 24 hours so it seems like there is enough interest to do another one soon. If you would like to be notified, make sure to join our mailing list (at bottom of this page). Thanks!
Clay plaster is gorgeous, durable, non-toxic, and environmentally friendly. It is anti-static, easily repaired, and even helps moderate indoor humidity. It can be made in a wide range of colors and textures and can be installed right over most painted or new drywall in conventional homes. Check out what our clients and colleagues have to say.
We’ve spent the last few months formulating a new recipe for our interior finish clay plaster and training talented new clay plaster artisans and now we’re geared up to rock some beautiful clay plaster for you! To get you excited too, we’re offering our first-ever sale:
Details: Receive 25% off of the total cost of installing a maximum of 800 square feet interior finish clay plaster, excluding custom color samples and pigment charges. Although clay plaster can be installed over many surfaces, not every situation is appropriate for clay plaster and Simple Construct reserves the right to decline any project. Sale ends midnight (PST) February 28th, 2017.
Here’s a fun animation of a 120 square foot tiny hybrid straw bale and straw-clay building that we’ve designed. We’re planning to build this one in northern San Diego County in 2017 and will have a number of workshops during the construction. We’re still working out the details but, if you are interested and would like to know more, make sure you are on our email list (scroll to the bottom of this page)!
email: email@example.com or call: (619) 342-6709