Thursday, June 29, 2006


We want the following basic specifications for our house;
  • Minimum of 2x6 construction, but preferably 2x8 or higher.
  • Minimum of double glazing, preferably with wood frames. No aluminium.
  • 4 kW solar panel system.
  • Passive solar design.
  • All electric with Eco Cute heat pump.
  • Underfloor heating and/or radiators.
  • Rainwater storage and reuse of household water with external pond.
Other "wants" that are probably impractical include;
  • SunMar composting toilets (wifely opposition, no experience on the part of housebuilders)
  • Wind turbine (the area is reasonably windy but the turbine maker was not helpful when I asked about installing one, and the thing may be noisy.)


Dorado said...

Hello Rod,
Nice Blog! A couple of questions:

Are there some economic incentives in Japan for some of the eco-friendly features you are looking at? (Solar power, solar water heater, composting, water collecting, etc.)

Why no aluminum in door frames or elsewhere? Aluminum is produced nearby in Australia from dirt. It is an eco-friendly material that requires little maintenance, last long, and can be endlessly recycled.

Rod said...

Hello Dorado, and thanks! Do I know you?

Yes, there are local government rebates for purchasing the equipment you mention. In Ehime Prefecture solar resources are good so the government gives generous rebates for buying panels and many people have them. Also water resources are scarce so you can get almost 50% rebates for rainwater tanks. Composting bins also get rebates (I investigated becoming a distributor for Tumbleweed composting bins but the outlays were too big for the likely sales).

We decided against aluminum for windows and doors because it's a good conductor. Plastic sashes have far better insulating properties. Our friends have aluminum window frames (Tostem) and their house is cold in winter.