Project S.T.R.A.W. S aving T oday’s R esources in A wesome Ways
What are we doing?
We are building a passive solar,
strawbale house. We hope it can be
completed in 2012.
Joe Ferut, Architect
Mark Hoberecht, Natural Builder are
overseeing the project.
Why are we doing it?
We are committed to educating and inspiring the people of Seneca County and beyond to consider a passive strawbale house as an affordable, beautiful, energy efficient, natural and sustainable way to build.
Little Portion Green will demonstrate many alternative ways of using our natural resources in a responsible way that reflects our love for the earth.
Our goal is to reach net zero energy ( we will not use any more energy that we produce).
Architect rendering of Little Portion Green
Here’s how it looks now – November, 2011
We’ve come a long way – notice turbine
Passive solar design
Large windows are facing south
Low e, triple pane windows
ERV system – Energy Recovery Ventilation
Hybrid electric heat pump water heater
Recycled materials: insulation (straw, millcell), counter-tops, roof, re-use railings and interior doors from convent
low flow toilets
LEED certified home
Most up to date energy efficient appliances
Rain garden utilizing water runoff from roof
Interior finish – earth plaster (clay, sand)
Passive solar – winter/summer
ERV System – ENERGY RECOVERY VENTILATION
The plan for Little Portion Green
Looking in at our innovations…
Windows Loewen windows – manufactured in Canada, sold in Toledo, Ohio
Heat Smart T.XT
two layers of low e coatings
two ½” air spaces with argon gas
may have one German made (Optiwin) window for demonstration purposes
The latest in water heaters an electric heat pump water heater A compressor and evaporator is integrated into the water heater. The evaporator draws in ambient heat from the surrounding air using two variable speed fans. Electric coils wrap the tank all the way to the bottom to transfer this heat into the tank and heat the water. An electronic back-lit LCD display at eye level lets you adjust temperature settings easily. Powered by PV panels Reduces water heating operating cost up to 62% saving up to $320 per year
Millcell - AN INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGY using 100% recycled glass bottles Millcell is now manufactured in Germany. It will be produced in the U.S. The first plant will be located in Central Ohio, with the promise of more plants in Ohio. Little Portion Green will be the first project in North America to use this product .
Millcell made it all the way and is now installed in Little Portion Green
Why solar? Electricity demand has more than doubled since 1970 and is expected to quadruple by 2030. More than 85% of the energy consumed in the U.S. comes from fossil fuels. Solar panels generate no emissions of greenhouse gases or other pollutants, thereby reducing global climate impacts. Solar electric panels operate silently because they have no moving parts. The life expectancy of a typical system is 40-50 years.
Compare this with coal
In 2006, the U.S. emitted 2.12 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere (25% of the world’s emissions).
Worldwide coal supplies 40% of all electricity, but accounts for over 70% of the carbon dioxide emissions of the electrical sector.
James Hansen, acclaimed climatologist, says that to sustain the level of civilization we have now, we need to reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to below 350 ppm. Currently it stands at 387 ppm (parts per million).
The Arctic is melting
The pH of the oceans as changed dramatically.
“ Clean coal,” the industry’s new icon, represents an imprecise term describing ways to reduce the environmental impact of coal-based electricity.
Most often the term refers to the process of carbon capture & sequestration, where carbon dioxide is pumped into underground caverns and stored.
Carbon sequestration has not been demonstrated on a commercial scale at any coal-fired power plant.
The costs & lack of investment in the technology cast doubts about its economic viability even by 2020.
Mountain top removal - blasting
Building with Strawbales Traditional Strawbale Load Bearing Post and Beam
Chapel of the Nativity, Spencer, WV traditional strawbale construction
Little Portion Green is not a traditional strawbale house
Strict passive house principles from the passivhaus institute in Germany are being applied to our passive house.
The strawbales are being used as insulation only.
… as of February, 2011
and then more progress
Last December 1, 2010 all tucked away for winter
special framing of the windows will allow a clay and straw mix (cobb) to be applied inside the framing.
This guarantees air tight insulation as well as the beauty of rounded edges around the windows.
we move inside
working with straw
Strawbale Workshop 1
applying clay plaster
The first 2 coats consist of
2 pts. sand and
1 pt. clay
The finish coat consists of
2 pts. clay and
1 pt. sand with a
Volunteers a community endeavor
We are depending on volunteer labor, working with a general contractor and experienced builders, all of whom are volunteers.
We value the educational experience received and the enthusiasm generated as we engage a variety of folks in this innovative and exciting project.
Money this too is a community endeavor **need to sell 300 bales at $100 each *grants and larger donations
a truth window, when opened, shows that straw actually is inside the walls
our truth window will reveal the names of all those who donated $100 or more to the project.
Special Thanks to:
National Machinery Foundation
Sisters of St. Francis, Tiffin
OSS Solid Waste District
Kneeskern Family Foundation
David & Gail Steinmetz Tithing Fund
Arthur Friemoth Estate
Clouse Construction – Sean Walker
Andy Schroeder, electrician
Ken Schroth, plumber
Volunteers: Mike Brown, Mike Reimer, Mark DeBarbrie, Pat Simeon, Milt Gibson, Ron Ruffing, Rick Swartz, Dave Swartz,
The hundreds of people who have donated to this project.
All the people who have served on the committees relating to Project Straw .
WANT TO BE ON THIS LIST? CALL FELC – 419-448-7485
Dreams become a reality when we all work together Check us out: http://felc.sfctiffin.org/sfc-spirit/project-straw/