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Myleen's Forum Posts: 36
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By Myleen in Austin, TX on 10/16/2007


So maybe you're curious or really need some tips on the whole "owner-builder" building process, but maybe you want to get with the Green kick and learn about eco-friendly, healthy or energy efficient features and methods that are in use today...of so, then you're welcome to visit our green dream home blog at:
sjodindreamhome.blogspot.com

We want to implement the latest and best green design principles in the most cost-effective and/or affordable way. We are in the process of building our home in Austin, Texas (one of the hottest places in the U.S.) and feel we will be a good test case being in such a warm climate where we live in energy-sucking, air-conditioned abodes.

Here are the green design features we hope to have for our home:
- Rainwater collection
- Structural Insulated Panel (SIP) walls and roof
- Solar water heating
- Geothermal cooling/heating
- Geothermal mass
- Low-slope roof lined Styrofoam wedges and single-ply membrane
- PVs (Solar panels)
- Organic veg./fruit garden in the roof garden
- Stained concrete floors with fly ash
- Bamboo flooring
- Space efficient design (2419 a/c sf, 4 bedroom, 3 bath space)
- House orientation to sun
- No VOC paints (solvent-free, no volatile organic compounds)
- Graywater use
- Compost use
- Dual, low e windows
- Use of recycled materials (for our concrete countertops and catwalk)
- Xeriscaping (does not require additional irrigation, using native plants/no lawn)
- Eco-smarte chlorine-free pool sanitation

We want to do a lot ourselves (DIY) and are trying our hardest to minimize costs without compromising quality. It's not an easy feat, but we are up for the challenge! Please visit us again to see our progress.
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By Guy in San Luis Obispo, CA on 10/19/2007


Terrific blog and house.  I was excited to see you are using an Ifo toilet since I was part of the team that introduced them to the US back in the 80's.  We had a heck of a time getting approval for them in the US since we were up against the established plumbing industries supporting the 3.5 gallon toilets and here comes some upstart Swedish company with technology for one-gallon toilets!  Happily, the 1.6 gallon toilet is pretty much standard now.  Hopefully other green technologies will take root more quickly and allow better, healthier housing for more people.  Have you taken a look at Durock SIP panels from Protec?  Here's a link, finpan.net/protec/projects.html  Aloha, Guy.


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By Guy in San Luis Obispo, CA on 10/21/2007


Just found another interesting website you might consider for waste water technology.  aeswastewater.com.  They are trying to provide an alternative to an expensive wastewater treatment facility here in California.  Aloha, Guy.

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By Myleen in Austin, TX on 10/23/2007


Thanks for coming by! What a coincidence you used to work for Ifö! I truly believe that coincidences mean something... :-) also, thanks for the link, I'll be reading up on it. I am so glad you were instrumental in bringing Swedish toilets over here, as my husband who is from Sweden, says that there are no such things as toilet plungers in Sweden! In fact, he couldn't find the Swedish word for it. :-)

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By Guy in San Luis Obispo, CA on 10/23/2007


Myleen, we also own two lots in Odessa, TX I bought through an "investment" seminar.  We visited them in 2005 to consider building some spec homes.  However, we couldn't believe how cheap houses go for there compared with California, so we decided to wait for now.  How are prices kept so low in Texas?  Is labor all at minimum wage?  We figure $140/sf not including land is typical for basic construction in CA so a 1,600 sf home should cost $224,000.00, but in Odessa they were selling for $99,000 NEW!  Of course it was Odessa... and the only green construction technology I saw was xeriscape landscaping around the oil wells.  I couldn't believe Odessa actually had a separate "Black" Chamber of Commerce also!  That must explain the Twilight Zone pricing difference!  Odessa is stuck in the 1960's!  Anyway, good luck on your project and please keep posting to your blog and here.  Have you checked out fabprefab.com/fabfiles/home yet?  Great design and materials ideas there.  Aloha, Guy

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