A portion of the team surveying the site
Things have moved ahead on the Taliesin Prefabrication Prototype. The final floor plan for the project was established and the structural drawings have passed their first review. The team just completed surveying and making a topographic map of the site, to help with making landscaping and other design decisions.
The Taliesin Prefab Team had an informative meeting with Lane Garrett, owner of ETA Engineering; he answered questions about adding solar power to the prototype. The team plans to go ahead with a solar array on the roof by United Solar Ovonic. Currently, we have to decide whether to tie the solar system into the grid (allowing the project to give energy back to Taliesin when it is not in use); or to keep the dwelling off the grid and use batteries. We hope to continue working with Lane to specify the appliances and the mechanical systems, for the unit.
We are starting on the materials take off for the project. We have found many interesting materials, some of which will make it into the final design. We are hoping to obtain as many materials locally as possible. Two interesting drywall alternatives that we have come up across are: DURRA Strawboard Panels and Green Zip Tape; a way of affixing drywall without screws, allowing the drywall to be demounted easily, for reuse. To soften the interior spaces we have researched into alternative wood products, such as Kirei Board and a company called Panelmax that specializes in sculpted panels.
The group also met with Eric of Life's a Garden in Phoenix, Arizona to determine how we can integrate landscaping into the project. Eric discussed with us aspects of permaculture, how we can integrate the prototype into the ecology of its site by sensitive grading and planting. Throughout the plant selection we will be focusing on the use of native plants adapted to live in the environmental conditions of the site.
Other things that are being looked into are using the water from the sinks and shower to irrigate the landscape and using a composting toilet. The compost can be used to fertilize the landscape, allowing the house to integrate into its site, beyond aesthetically.
Image Copyright Erik Krautbauer