The truck carrying the frame of our farmhouse arrived last Thursday. There was 7.5 tons of steel on board. When you combine that with all the concrete needed to build the structure it does not at first sight seem very green.
When you look at the energy use of the home per year then it all starts to make sense over time. The soil thermal mass surrounding the house keeps the house warm in the winter and then going into the summer keeps it cool. The times we will need any energy are in late February and if we installed cooling in September. Over the year this house typically will use only 25% of a regular home of the same size.
So if you calculate how much energy went into the production of the steel and the concrete we come out ahead after 15 years. The house is very strong and will survive 200 years, we are told. It will also be a very comfortable place to live in an area that at sometimes of the year can be an uncomfortable place to be.
There are more pictures of the house on our facebook page.