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In  Search of Philanthropy Was Successful!


We did receive grants, no-interest loans or some other monetary approach to help us make our Green home more completely green (not to mention remedies from unscrupulous bankers).  We would like to acknowledge Bobby and Suzanne Brooks, Willy Dunne, Brian Lee, and one anonymous granter.  We have basically built our home in such a way that leaves as small of a carbon footprint as possible, not only in the construction process but also in the carbon requirements while it is inhabited by us.  I will illustrate some of these below:


*We it built it out of adobe.   100% of the materials for the construction of the bricks came from within 4 miles of our structure with the exception of the asphalt emulsion, which is mixed in the water for making the mud.  It helps to stabilize the bricks to prevent erosion and amounted to about 400 gallons in 13,000 4x10x14 inch bricks.  Also some gasoline was used in the cement mixer for the making of the mud (approximately 25 gallons for 13,000 bricks).


*For the structural reinforcement needs, large rough-cut lumber was used to make the thick door and window frames.  All of this wood came from Pine culled during the process of cutting forests of predominately diseased Spruce 150 miles north of our place, saving some petrol costs of transport from the Pacific NW.  However this lumber is a bit more expensive than the NW Douglas Fir.


*As the roof and a small percentage of the structure are in traditional stick frame insulation was required  at R30.  We used the recycled product of blue jean insulation, and cellulose (used newspaper) as well; both are major, carbon-reducing parts of the process.


*We also spent about $4,500. more for an underground electric AC/heating and duct system.  This ensures that both the heating and cooling sources will travel 4 feet under slab at a temp of 55F significantly reducing temperature loss/gain seasonally, thus reducing energy use and cost.  Average monthly electric bills for our all electric home are $110./month.  In addition we buy 1,000 kw hours of wind generation from our utility, which offsets the carbon for our house.  This extra costs us $30./month.


*A solar hot water system is planned, which according to Chris Brooks of Bombard Electric’s

Solar Division in Las Vegas, Nevada is the best use of solar oriented construction in places like Utah with cheap Kilowatt hour rates.  The unit costs about $4,000., and we are stubbed up and ready to go, when we have the extra dough for it.


*A solar electric panel is planned as well with a net-metering system.  With my family’s help (4 solar electricians + my master electrician father) my installation costs are free, but the cost of the system for my needs start at $20,000. + the net metering equipment beginning at $2,000.


My complete costs for building Green, above normal building practice, is estimated at only: $32,500.  This may not seem like a lot of money, but in fact for us it considerably above our ability because a majority of the total cost was for the land and not the building of the structure.    And in order to make this not only energy efficient but interesting and inspiring to others we have paid for extra costs beyond just a normal 2,000 sq foot house.   


*For example we have had it architected at $15,000, which has manifested a beautiful design in step with the needs of an adobe/Green house.  The design includes vaulted shed roof lines and lots of windows in keeping with modern styles.


*Bamboo cabinets, tile floors, energy efficient windows and adobe mud plastered, smooth walls have created modern elements, which are also more expensive at about $8,000. 


*Custom landscaping utilizing mostly my own labor will also require extra money for trees, irrigation requirements, rock work and procurement, and backhoe work cost $10,000.  And mudding the exterior walls

with a smooth coat both for aesthetics and anti-erosion cost $5,000.


In order to make our house a showcase will and does require going the extra mile financially.  It is my goal, if possible, to make our home an example of a “Green Parade of Home” level of home, at a relatively accessible price tag.  I’m interested in promoting it as such in terms of tours and promotions locally, nationally and internationally.  Along with the above, Green  improvements, this house would require $247,500. to build at 2,000 square feet as an owner builder and $327,500. with a general contractor.


All interested parties please contact Dennis and Tung Brooks @ jarastafori@yahoo.com 435-772-6900    








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