After reviewing how well my ideas were going to fare, I realized that I am going to have to address a lot of things. I think these issues are very manageable, but I want to really look at specific ways to solve these problems. As I start to design the final version of the house, I really have to work all of these ideas into one another.
The recycling and reuse of the materials as well as their life after the building is dead is something that I want to look into more closely. Cradle to Cradle was a goal that I set out to investigate, and have up until this point, not really considered it.
Another thing I want to look at is the consuming wastes, growing food, and enriching soil. These three things are all related and can be dealt with together. This may mean some type of garden that is used in the production of food, and as a filtering system for water. The waste from the house could be used to enrich the soil and decompose to create nutrient infused soil.
I need to address exporting energy, or at least creating my own energy. Solar panels are easy enough, but how can that be beautiful without looking like a machine. I may also consider some type of hydro energy, but I am not sure of the feasibility of that.
Water collection was one that I almost forgot about. I talk about percolation beds but what if I could capture and use some of the rainwater before dumping it back to the river. This will be another thing to think about not only for the function, but for aesthetics. How do I hide a water collector?
I have a lot to fine tune, but this gives me a starting point and goal to surpass. A lot of this will be hard to quantify, so I really want to be as accurate as I can be with heat loads, water consumption and usage, as well as solar energy needed to run the house. Once I finish a few more iterations I am going to have to pick something and run with the idea that can present the most effortless advantages. After that, I will need to tweak and adjust things to satisfy nature, the client, and my design goals.
I have a lot of work ahead of me.