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Posted by nicksanspam on July 24, 2008, 2:38 pm

I've heard some architecture schools require students to build themselves
small shelters and live in them. The Jersey Devil Design/Build Princeton
architects arrive at a site, build themselves shelters, then build
the client a house with their own hands, then move on.

Architects should be paid more and do more serious solar heating.
The arithmetic is no more complex than simple beam calculations.

PE Norman Saunders estimates the need to "purchase heat" in his solar
houses using Gaussian statistics, in the same way that other engineers
predict 100 year floods. In one case, he told his clients they might
have to purchase heat once every 35 years. With that kind of serious
engineering, it's not unreasonable for a designer to guarantee to pay
100% of a client's fuel bills for 20 years, or maybe collect 20% of
the conventional minus the actual fuel bills for 20 years, or get it
all up front, with some sort of performance bond.


Posted by Morris Dovey on July 24, 2008, 3:35 pm
nicksanspam@ece.villanova.edu wrote:

Wow! I was being facetious, but this sounds like a great program. Given
that the program does already exist, let's advocate for making
successful completion a prerequisite for tenure in any/all architecture
teaching positions? Hmm - federal funding of the program to include a
cash bonus for completion within the first five years of the program.

Dunno - we already have a perception that architects are unaffordable
except to the affluent. Beware of invoking the Law of Unintended
Consequences. If you want to push for higher fees, then I think it'd be
a good idea to also push for a certain amount /pro bono/ services.

After I posted, it occurred to me that an "early out" after some trial
period (say five years or so) might make sense if actual heating costs
fell below some threshold value.

That would allow phasing-in new (improving) performance standards in
much the same way that auto mileage standards are upgraded - and might
avoid a sudden ballooning of new home prices.

The downside is that no matter how it's handled the scheme imposes a
number of real burdens on small homebuilders - the challenge will be to
provide them with the education they need (It's not just the architects
who need better education).

Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
DeSoto, Iowa USA

Posted by jb on July 31, 2008, 4:45 pm
this is a huge hurdle to overcome, one i have dealt with for years.
generally everone wants the alt energy stuff but only until after the
fact do they figure it out. at the present time building a house is a
myriad of choices from the get go, so adding renewables to the mix
will add to this.

my recommendation would be to have the banking system require a rough
estimate of renewable pricing at the time of first submittal of plans
before the loan is initiated. there is such a thing as an EEM (energy
efficient mortgage) problem there is no bank knows what it is? banks
really ought to be brought up to speed on this stuff at the financing
level, cuz there is some profits to be had there. Well Fargo is big
time inot large scale systems. generally at all bank, if you walked in
the local branch with some plans and asked for a loan they wouldnt
require any awareness or due diligence on renewables. this is just
wrong the banker should hand them a form that requests some simple
i have always promoted code changes as well. these however are a
little late in the process, they may work though, but a little late i
think for budgeting.
so the first point of financing, the bank should require some basic
renewable due diligence.

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