This series of posts is intended to briefly capture the main phases of construction of the house.
The house will be a high mass, passive solar home. A wood-burning stove will be used for cooking and to provide supplemental heat beyond what captured through the passive solar design. During the warm seasons, an outdoor rocket stove will be used for cooking, or a gas range inside the home. All power will be generated by photovoltaic (PV) panels or by backup LPG generator, when necessary. Water will be collected off the metal roof and stored in collection tanks to be used throughout the year. Waste will be handled primarily through a graywater system, composting toilets and septic system (mainly for guests that are not comfortable with a composting toilet). The gardens and orchard are located right next to the home to provide a year-round source of fresh food.
The homesite is located on a hillside with about a 10% slope. We started breaking ground at the end of August and have completed leveling the pad this week. By digging into the hillside the house will be facing true south and have a sheltered north wall. The house is not directly up against the hillside, but has a ~15′ space that has been leveled between the back wall and the slope.