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Weenie Greenie House

This small (568 sf), super-insulated, passive solar house was owner designed and built as an appropriately sized house in an over-consumptive country on a over-populated planet with dwindling natural resources.
Weenie Greenie House

Location

303 Wilson St. NE Olympia, WA 98506

South Sound Solar

This small (568 sf), super-insulated, passive solar house was owner designed and built as an appropriately sized house in an over-consumptive country on a over-populated planet with dwindling natural resources.

SS Solar logoThe house realizes the amazing potential of  reusing salvaged materials. By design, a small  infill lot (60 x60) was used.  The owners deconstructed a conventional, 2-car garage by hand and reconstructed it 25 ft away, on a new, insulated slab w/o using any machinery! This formed the outer shell of the house.  Because no heavy machinery was used, all the existing  fruit and native trees remain.

 

Most of   the landscaping is native, with new plants added to the pre-existing plants,  including a rain garden which receives storm water from the roof. The code required, pervious driveway was constructed from reused pieces of the original slab from under the deconstructed garage. A significant portion of free, locally recovered materials (freecycle) were used thoughout the project , including; the driveway, shed corrugated  roofing, half of the siding, clay soil for Earthplaster interior walls, landscaping chips, with some items given by wonderful neighbors!

All framing, siding, shed roofing and windows were made from salvaged materials.  For the inner framing of  the double framed walls, salvaged 2 x 4’s from OlySalvage were used. The roof sheathing was reused as siding, as building code required sheathing plus siding.

Energy Features:

  • Super- insulated walls (R34), ceiling (R51), slab floor insulated (R10),  used (reused) appliances: stove, refrigerator,
  • Solar Hot Water heater by South Sound Solar, combined with on-demand (tankless) domestic water heater (propane-fueled).
  • Works winter & summer.  On sunny days, 100% from solar, on cloudy cold days, solar preheats water for on-demand
  • Solar-ready Design:  house was built to be "hookup ready."  Now 2 years later PV - electric panels are being installed

Green Building Features and Results:

  • Intentionally Small House, built for two people with materials salvaged from a deconstructed 2-car garage
  • Footprint =568 sf, includes 84 sf of passive solar-heated sunspace
  • 60-70% salvaged materials used in construction
  • If not salvaged, highest recycled content materials (and least-toxic, if applicable)  were used  (e.g. steel roof - 25% recycled content)
  • 95% of  construction "waste" was either reused on site for another function, recycled, or given away.
  • Only (3) 30 gallon garbage cans of construction waste were sent to the landfill.
  • All building materials purchased at locally owned, small businesses.
  • Roofing & concrete purchased  w/in 5 miles, of project
  • All other materials were recovered or purchased  w/in 1 mile from project

 

Green Interior Features:

  • Earth plaster walls were made using clay soil from the lot, and straw & sand from nearby sources
  • All furnishings previously owned (by owner) or purchased as reused

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