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Gordon’s Deep Energy Retrofit – After 5 Years Report

Back in 2009 Gordon and Sue did a full deep energy retrofit of a 1963 brick schoolhouse making it into a very energy efficient home.

The retrofit include R40 Larsen Truss walls, triple glazed R6 windows, a passive solar window scheme, a new solarium, solar water heating, and a hand crafted masonry heater.

The new solarium

They have been in the home for five years now and this full report describes on how things have worked out along with a well kept record of energy savings — all the details after five years here…

The whole retrofit project is described in detail here…

The Larsen Truss Walls

Thanks very much to Gordon and Sue for providing the update.

Gary
February 27, 2014

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Southwest Quinoa Cakes

Southwest Quinoa Cakes Recipe
This healthy quinoa cake recipe is packed with protein from the black beans, eggs, cottage cheese and quinoa. We like to serve the quinoa cakes with a mouthwatering and incredibly easy blender salsa; if you don’t like the heat, leave out the chipotle pepper. We like the look of red quinoa, but any color quinoa will work just as well.

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Kale Salad with Spiced Tofu & Chickpeas

Kale Salad with Spiced Tofu & Chickpeas Recipe
To top this zesty raw kale salad recipe, we toss diced tofu and chickpeas with a flavorful Moroccan-inspired spice mixture before roasting. The hot oven turns the outside of the tofu crisp and the inside pleasantly chewy.

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A Solar Heated Loo

Michael has developed this simple and elegant solar heated version of Arbor Loo that has many advantages as well as offering a little more comfort on those cold mornings.



The Arbor Loo provides a efficient and sustainable solution to the poop problem, saving thousands of gallons of water a year and providing useful tree planting compost.

I really like the nice simple space heating system.  It is a drain back system with the collector nicely integrated with the roof.  An IBC container is used for heat storage.  And, by leaving the insulation off the parts that face the “living space”, the IBC also provides the heat distribution.

The only moving part is the pump — no controller, no antifreeze, no heat distribution controls or pumps — very simple.

I think that this kind of design could be applied to other simple space heating needs.




The loo under construction with the IBC container at the back (providing a heated backrest for the toilet seat).   I like the way the structure integrates the standard size door, collector, IBC and toilet seating area with no wasted space.

Full details on the build and performance of Michael’s solar heated loo …

Thanks very much to Michael for providing this material!

Gary