What are good sites for ideas on having a house built someday?
October 6, 2017 4:24 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for sites to learn more and find ideas of what's possible. Things I'm thinking of are building in such a way to maximize the terrain for natural light and heating or cooling the home, etc. Basically smart innovative ways to build that aren't very common but should be.
posted by andywolf to Home & Garden (8 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
I've always liked the book A Pattern Language for thinking about how to site and design a house and how to make it comfortable for living. It's a classic.
posted by BillMcMurdo at 5:35 PM on October 6 [5 favorites]

Passive solar is a term you may find useful.
Passive solar design takes advantage of a building’s site, climate, and materials to minimize energy use. A well-designed passive solar home first reduces heating and cooling loads through energy-efficiency strategies and then meets those reduced loads in whole or part with solar energy. Because of the small heating loads of modern homes it is very important to avoid oversizing south-facing glass and ensure that south-facing glass is properly shaded to prevent overheating and increased cooling loads in the spring and fall.
posted by Thella at 6:05 PM on October 6 [1 favorite]

Mother Earth News often runs articles on eco-friendly and alternative home design. I'd also recommend you take a look at some of the titles on planning and designing green homes available through their bookstore.
posted by drlith at 8:12 PM on October 6 [1 favorite]

Get Jeremiah Eck's House in the Landscape: Siting Your Home Naturally. Much useful information that will help you in either designing a home yourself, including selecting land and site research and in interviewing an architect or draughtsman before you engage their services. I recommend Eck's book to my clients here in NZ. Also sit down with a stack of Fine Homebuilding magazines and take notes- they have many innovative build case studies.

Roughly where on Earth's surface do you intend to build - what climate will you be dealing with?

Two fundamentals to bear in mind; become conscious of corners - many naive designers puts lots in but they cost more vis plain walls and are more prone to weather issues; keeping materials and procedures simple - e.g. finding one material that will give you a wall in one step will save a lot of money and time.
posted by unearthed at 9:13 PM on October 6

It's a toss-up between MN and WA. Thanks folks
posted by andywolf at 6:50 AM on October 7

Sounds like you want info on earthships. Lots of good material out there! Watch the doc Garbage Warrior for inspiration :)
posted by ananci at 10:02 AM on October 7

Green Building Council chapters in MN and WA .
posted by spamandkimchi at 7:31 PM on October 7

Passive House design might also interest you.

Building Science is a great technical resource. Fine Homebuilding is also good. Francis Ching has a series of general architecture books that are helpful for understanding plans and construction methods, and if I remember correctly do include information about siting.
posted by sepviva at 4:09 PM on October 8

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