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Eco-friendly adobe home achieves greater sustainability with radiant floor heating

Mon, 09/23/2013 - 23:28

Living off the grid may not be everyone's idea of a grand time, but for Charlie and Catherine Anderson, they have enjoyed their time living in a home run off a hybrid solar power system. The Tennessean reported that the house is functionally unique and now available for purchase. 
The home comes with 16.2 acres of private, wooded land and is listed for $550,000. Purchasing this home is not only an investment for the future, but also signifies a dedication to sustainable living and decreasing operational costs. The adobe structure has been built traditionally with straw bale and clay. However, structures such as this are much more common in dry temperate climates found in places like the southwest than in the middle of Tennessee. 
The three-bedroom, two-bath house is built with a custom hybrid solar power system that also involves a radiant floor heating unit underneath the stained concrete floors and a backup generator. Electricity is turned off when deemed unnecessary to reduce the drain on the solar battery system that rests on top of a tin roof. There is also a windmill and another system harnessing the hydro power of the creek that travels across the land on the property. 
By combining all of these technologies the homeowners were able to significantly reduce operational expenses. The radiant floor heating system sits below the concrete floors, which boosts the thermal efficiency of the system because concrete is very conducive to holding heat during the winters or coolness during the summers. In addition, because a radiant floor heating system does not transfer heat through traditional means like a radiator or vents, heat loss is drastically reduced and energy saved.