If you’re worried about dependence on fossil fuels, the RuralZed timber-frame kit house can make you self-sufficient. The house’s energy-conserving features include south-facing windowed walls, a solar-thermal water heating system, natural ventilation that exploits air pressure differentials, heat-absorbent cement or masonry walls and floors, and an airtight polymer membrane that seals seams and joints. Thanks to the resulting savings, the house’s energy requirements can be met by roof-mounted solar panels and specially designed wind turbines that rotate around a vertical axis.
Credit: Courtesy of ZedFactory
Cost: About $240 per square foot for the basic house (erected), $280 per square foot with all the options (erected)
Other products in this section:
California’s plan to integrate the West Coast grid is a great idea—that could easily backfire
The state leading the clean-energy charge could wind up importing coal power from Wyoming.
An advanced civilization could resist the accelerating expansion of the universe
And Earth-bound astronomers should be able to tell if someone is out there doing it, a physicist says.
We still have no idea how to eliminate more than a quarter of energy emissions
Air travel, shipping, and manufacturing are huge sources of carbon that we lack good options for addressing.