Friday, September 05, 2014

Living Off The Grid? 4 Things To Consider Before You Go Dark

For many, living in a home entirely self-sufficient is a dream come true. As society edges closer to a word of complete sustainability, there are still some modern designs that you need to heavily consider before officially pulling the plug.

Water Collection

You need water to survive and going off the grid means you lose an entire infrastructure designed to provide clean water to your home with the twist of a faucet. One of the most popular answers to this is drilling a well or pulling from a local lake or stream. On top of that, you’ll need to implement a holding system for water you need immediately as well as a pump and filtration system. Rainier climates also employ rain barrels.

Waste Disposal

What comes in must go out, and you definitely do not want the waste accumulating anywhere near your home due to sanitary issues. No matter where you build your home, there will be sewage regulations to comply with that were set in place to protect the environment. The best way is simply a septic tank and drainage field. Kamloops Septic Service does excavating and septic service up in Canada. They would be the first to tell you that a well maintained septic tank means you have a reliable waste disposal system when the worst happens. Also, a new addition is the composting toilet.

Power

You can live without electricity entirely, but many off grid still enjoy the modern day comforts of electronic appliances. Take your electric bills and determine just how much energy you consume in a year. This will kick start exactly how you approach designing the generation. It can be solar, wind fueled or even geothermal. On top of that, you will need a way to store the electricity and have a backup generator in case of failure. Whichever you choose, the best plan is to always go with a variety of sources just in case the sun is covered for a week.

Design

Finally, you want the house to be as energy efficient as possible, and this goes as far as the direction in which you build the house in order to maximize on natural light and heat. Solar orientation and siting of the home are the base of the design. From there, architects then figure out the building envelope and, finally, the systems that need to be put in place to power the home. Before ever sitting down with an architect, really determine the purpose of building such a home to make sure it is tailored to you.


Chaleigh is a writer and photographer that is from NYC. She spends most of her days in front of the computer. When she isn't tapping away on the keyboard, you can find Chaleigh exploring the big city or traveling around the country.

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