Portraits and Landscapes

I've been spending the past few months scanning my collected film slide collection into digital formats.  In the doing of it, I have become aware of the two standard proportions of slides: vertical (portrait) and horizontal (landscape). The rectangular tradition based loosely on the golden rectangle oriented in two ways for the purpose of paintings is deeply regarded in our subconscious formation of art and cities.  Rotation of the rectangle provides cues to either address entrance ways and destinations in upright spines of portraiture, or to conversely, propel ahead into a wider world landscape.

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The Zero Energy Ready  Home vs. the 30year mortgage

A house in the North in winter may have a harsh winter electricity monthly bill in the hundreds of dollars.  A house in the South may have a scorching summer cooling monthly bill in the hundreds of dollars.  Everyone in the middle pays both, and all year long.

Imagine, if your home generates every bit of electricity you will need to heat or cool, cook and everything else.  Every month the house would supply the utilities in complete compensation for your usage.  The hundreds of dollars Each Month could instead go toward your mortgage, rapidly and radically reducing the principal, the years you will owe the bank, and reducing the eventual interest you would pay by... possibly, hundreds of thousands of dollars.  

I have heard that the upfront cost of a photovoltaic system would always cost too much money to justify.  I have also heard that photovoltaic systems are really a luxury item reserved for the rich.  With the cost of solar coming down so dramatically, with the advent of electric vehicles, with upfront construction financing at 80% of the asset, it makes practical sense to install power generation on every properly configured home, especially the homes of those Most in Need of Financial Security!


Essentials for Zero Energy Ready Home (ZERH)

To achieve a Netzero house requires a series of essential elements:

  1. A desire to do so (sounds obvious, but it represents Commitment).
  2. An analysis of energy needs; an Energy Budget.
  3. A well constructed Building Envelope.
  4. Power Generation (solar panels, windmill, geothermal, Hydro, etc).
  5. Power Usage (Outlets, Lighting, Appliances & Mechanical systems)
  6. Monitoring System
  7. Maintenance

Is Netzero energy design practical for Mainstream Housing?

Innovation is as natural to modern life as the automobile.  Living within the sphere of this time, it seems we are unaware of how deeply we have come to expect change in general technology including, of course, computers, communication, healthcare and astrophysics.  But are we as familiar with the idea of innovation in our housing forms? 


People live in homes for a few years, many years, for decades, even for generations.  It is not unreasonable that houses are less likely to evolve with the times.  However, we stand on a horizon of opportunity to improve our homes and quality of life with onsite power generation.


Simply stated, Netzero homes are homes that produce at least as much energy as they consume.  The energy budget equation is for the built value of the home as completed and inhabited and would not typically include the energy budget used to fabricate the materials and the actual construction.  That said, an ideal energy budget would include energy compensation for Everything!  The 'Netzero home' is further differentiated from the 'Remote Home'.  Where as a Netzero home is connected to the public utility power grid through a specialized two way electric meter, the Remote Home is not connected and functions entirely on its own.  Remote homes are more difficult to achieve, because they can't rely on an outside power supply in energy troughs (nights and sunless days in the case of solar generation), or conversely can reach peak storage capacity and go no further.  Netzero recognizes the value of the overall public utility power grid, while contributing to it and achieving a valuable level of periodic autonomy.