Recycled Bottle Wall Shower beside hot-tub
Passive Solar Design
Constructed and completed in 1999, the guest house was designed for maximum thermal efficiency and energy conservation. The design is “passive solar”, to retain the sun’s heat in the winter and provide “coolness” during the summer. This is achieved through orientation of the building to the south and careful calculations of window glazing ratios, roof overhangs for summer shading and insulation. The 2 foot thick, solid walls are made of an insulation core, pinned with rebar, wrapped in remesh, quilted with wire, sprayed with 2.5″ of gunnite (dry cement mix) and expertly plastered to a smooth finish on the inside.
Solar Heated Water & Rainwater Collection
Water is heated from solar collection heat exchange panels on the roof. This system is backed up by an instantaneous, ‘on demand’ water heater to provide unlimited hot water. Rain water is “harvested” from the metal roof and stored in 3 large cisterns with a capacity of 1600 gal each, for a total of 4800 gallons.
- energy efficient appliances
- towels & linens are dry on clothes-lines in the Arizona sun smelling so good and fresh
- erosion control with berms and swales help to build better soil and landscaping on contour helps retain precious rain
- grey water mulch beds are inoculated with mycelium to help grow humus soils
Native Plant Landscaping
- Native, drought resistant plants attract butterflies and hummingbirds and are all deer and rabbit resistant. Adapted to the high desert, they need no special care, no fertilizers or herbicides.
“Graywater” from the baths and showers of the hosts residence goes to a worm composting system.
Sustainable Building Design Consulting
Learn more about principles of energy efficient design, solar passive heating, water harvesting… with permaculture design tour