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Home Forums General Discussion Making an existing home into passive solar, etc

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    Hi all,

    New to this off the grid thing, but I’m determined to begin a 7 year plan to be darn near off the grid completely. I’ve done very little research because I’m not quite sure which way I want to go. I’m thinking passive solar, using rain water for showers, washing (bike powered washer) Not sure about electric as in what my needs will in a few years. I can safely say…not much :-) I’m planning to do as much as I can with natural lighting and candles and such. Will need some computer and tv power, but hopefully I can get that from wind. I do plan to stay in my current area…which is why I’m interested in making this land work.

    For starters, as the title says, I’m wondering if it is possible to take an existing home and make it passive solar. Here is some info. I live in northeast pa, I think around the 47 latitude. The home is a typical basement, three floors, including attic. But what I want to do is basically get rid of the top three floors and just use the basement as the “home”. I think this might work well because it will be partially underground, and the back of the house is south facing so I will have a good amount of sunlight…on the days it is sunny.

    I am worried about one thing. When it rains, we get water in the basement. We are not super concerned about it right now as it barely wets the floor, unless there is torrential rain, then we might get an inch or so-that drains within a day. Is this going to be a problem? From what I understand about passive solar, the floor is important and needs to be a specific material in order to store and release the heat. I wonder if there is any way I can waterproof the basement plus put the necessary material in the floor for passive solar?

    I don’t want this to get too long, so if you can point me to some good sources that might help me do what I want….I would appreciate it. I”m not sure if I should be looking into “underground homes” or passive solar…or what. Thanks.

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