Thursday, June 30, 2011

Too Hot to Handle

The SPARC greenhouse has been in use for several weeks and it seems that it is working far too well. The attached greenhouse was designed to collect heat during the day and then transfer the heat to the rest of the home when needed. However, this created a very uncomfortable greenhouse with temperatures reaching over 100 degrees.

With this design we are able to heat the house at a very low cost. We installed a 24V 4amp fan that would be able to circulate the heat through the house. When comparing costs of heating a 1300 sq ft house, a very reasonable cost of $1.50/month might be considered a bargain.

However, the system is working too well. We had to cut in a chimney to vent the excess heat. Now, we didn't want to hobble the system from working in the winter when heat is at a premium here in central MN. We added a removable sliding insulation board to ensure that heat would not be lost when needed.

Friday, June 24, 2011

TWARC Construction is Underway

Construction on the TWin Agricultural Resilient Community has begun. Schrupp Excavating of Pine River stopped by with a hydra hoe and dug down to gain access to the water lines.

With access to the lines, we are now able to begin proper construction of the foundations and electrical connections.

This is just a small step, but it gets the ball rolling towards completion of a demonstration site that would show a proper way to both create affordable housing AND low energy home usage.

The TWARC is a double-home built in the passiv haus method, where heat is collected through south-facing windows and stored and distributed through a water piping system in the floor. This method holds energy even in the middle of the winter and is suitable anywhere the sun shines.

For more information on passiv haus construction, please go here.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

HUG & HDT Play it Safe

On Wednesday, the HUG campus was allowed to participate in CPR and 1st Aid training at Old Main. We learned the proper ways to administer CPR to adults and to children.

We also were able to learn different methods of first aid. We learned how to dress wounds, treat burns, and even how to splint a broken arm.

Lucky for those that come to campus in the future, we were taking the class seriously.

SPARC is ready for tenants!

The main bedroom

Dining Room

Full Kitchen


Large Windows


The SPARC has finally been decorated and is ready for its first tenants. The 1,300 sq ft. home has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a large attached greenhouse. For more information on the specs and features of this unique home check out our site. SPARC Features.