"Living in the Real World" ~ Lola's Log


Eco-Challenge: JUST DOing IT Right - GO RETROfit!!

Eco-Friendly Design and Retrofit


Challenge is right-sheesh!  I took a couple of looks at Brad Pitt's Make It Right project plans, and said to myself:  "Self," (‘cause I do not speak to myself in abused vernacular), "...much as I love the concept of green building, and appreciate what Mr. Pitt is doing up there in the Ninth Ward...those houses are just, well-BUTT UGLY, mostly."  Sorry, designers-I guess there were probably reasons I did not myself go into architecture...I am reminded in looking at these plans of the song "Little Boxes"...


So, what to do for this contest of janeAnne's-one I'd really like to sink my green teeth into, really I would-all of my spare ponder moments this year so far have been spent in the pursuit of the Great Green Dream-in my case, how to retrofit my own home into a GreenHouse.


And, that's when it hit me-my contribution to this challenge is NOT for NEW home design, but how to recycle/reuse/rehabilitate existing structures to be healthier, happier, and greener-because, face it-unless Mother Nature takes out swatches of town, in my opinion it is not exactly Eco-friendly to tear down an old structure just to rebuild it greener, and we don't exactly have much room here in Pinellas County to build new, even if it is green.

 My House

So, here we go-using MY house as an example, how to go about, in the most cost-effective and least environmentally impactive manner, creating a GreenHouse:


  • I absolutely LOVE what Dave Roberts shows in his "Pink" post, so here's how I plan to adapt his solar-logic to my home:
    • The house is North-facing, which is good in Florida, for most of the year, and it also has really good airflow from the existing plan.  The downsides are in the winter, when the house stays much colder inside than outside, due to the surrounding shade and tile floors.  What is needed is to turn the mostly-useless Florida room, which is on the East, or morning side of the house, into a solarium of sorts, creating not only more useful space, but also FOOD-here's the plan:
      • Solar panels installed on East side of main house roof, to heat water for both the water heater as well as reserve tanks for the spa and potentially some type of solar radiators.  The reason I choose East-facing is due to the excess heat during the summer, when HOT is the last thing we need more of.
      • To assist in summer cooling, some simple modifications such as those outlined by BuildItSolar.com (a very useful and FREE solar resource, btw) would be done. Solar Cooling
      • The existing HVAC system will, hopefully (she says, crossing her fingers), be replaced by what is being touted as a nano-technology enhanced new design for heating and air-conditioning-one which reportedly has only one moving part, can e installed over the existing ductwork, and not only runs at a fraction of the energy, but also creates much cleaner indoor air quality.  We shall see...jury's still out on this one, but I do have high hopes.

      The Florida Room

So far, this is as much as I've got, but I do have many more ideas for harnessing solar/wind power, but I haven't had much time to research that yet.  The lesson here is simple, however-for varying cost factors, depending on materials and how much or little hired labor is used, these simple modifications could be done in many, if not all, existing homes-saving money on utility and food bills, as well as being very kind to the environment.


As for Part Deux of our challenge-how can our Rain community demonstrate to those already in the process of Making it Right that these ideas should be allowed to freely (or cheaply) promulgate?  I believe we already are-simply by our participation in the FREEly given information, advice, and ideas which we present in this open forum we call The Rain!


Or, in the immortal words of Nike:  Just Do It!  Brad...



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Loretta J. Buckner
Your "Real" Estate Consultant for Life

Comment balloon 4 commentsLoretta Buckner • January 27 2009 08:20PM




THIS is an inspirational post. GOOD LUCK on the Challenge entry...and I hope you will give this post an OK to REBLOG (??)

Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) almost 10 years ago

why, thank you, Ms. Jane!  I did re-set for reblog...

Posted by Loretta Buckner, Your GREEN Real Estate Consultant For Life! (Real World Properties, Inc.| Your Real Estate Consultant for Life) almost 10 years ago

Great idea to use your own house as an example.  Start getting those green ideas together, and you will definitely benefit from this!

Posted by Sylvia Barry, Marin and Sonoma Real Estate Leading Expert (Coldwell Banker Previews International (#1 Marin_Sonoma_San Francisco_North_Bay)) almost 10 years ago

I sure hope to, Sylvia, and thanks!  I can't wait to start on my newest projects, actually...

Posted by Loretta Buckner, Your GREEN Real Estate Consultant For Life! (Real World Properties, Inc.| Your Real Estate Consultant for Life) almost 10 years ago

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