While researching The Trombe Wall: Low Tech Solar Design Makes A Comeback I stumbled over the work of DesignBuildBLUFF, the principal mission of which is to “design and build safe, sustainable off-grid homes for needy families living on the Navajo Nation Indian Reservation in the four corners region located just outside of Bluff, UT. “
The Dora and Baxter Benally home employs hand-made earthen brick, cork, and a river rock passive solar trombe wall.
First year graduate students at the College of Architecture + Planning, the University of Utah design and build the homes. In their entry for the GreenDot Awards, they write:
We use what we have on-hand: the sandy desert earth. Rammed earth, earthen plaster, and adobe-like bricks are plentiful when hand-formed from the dirt. We salvage materials from the surrounding land and river bed: river rock to form gabion cages, floors and walls, and reed to cover doors and ceilings. We raid local dumpsites for tires and discarded construction materials; anything that can be put to use in our homes as supporting beams (logs, steel bars, scrap metal) or retaining walls (tires, corrugated steel pieces, gravel). As many recycled, reclaimed and donated materials as possible are used, including reject windows and doors and any other materials that for one reason or another, could not be used for its original purpose (one home is surrounded in beautiful and solar-friendly glass-a pool enclosure project gone south). To complete, we incorporate Photo-voltaic solar panels and rainwater reclamation roofs. Our processes have minimal impact on the environment, while still providing viable, sustainable structures.
Wow. The last trombe wall we showed was made of concrete and slate; This is nothing more than a gabion of wood and wire mesh, filled with river rock. But it does the same thing, creating a thermal mass that absorbs heat all day and releases it at night.
Water Rhapsody Water Conservation Systems has incorporated Yes Solar Mpumalanga so that we can offer solar water heating systems to further reduce your environmental impact (water and energy are linked). Yes Solar is a distributor for Solsquare Solar Solutions- high quality German-engineered solar energy systems that are competitively priced. Solsquare solar geysers are SABS- and Eskom-approved and are fitted by qualified, Eskom-accredited solar installers. Now is the time to install a solar geyser while the Eskom rebates last (this money will run out eventually) and before the looming energy crisis arrives. Solar water geysers can reduce household electricity costs by up to 50%.
Water Rhapsody’s WWF AWARD-winning water conservation systems (see product demo) include rainwater harvesting systems, grey water recycling systems, swimming pool backwash recycling, water-saving toilet flushing mechanisms and rainwater tanks (we are authorised JoJo Water Tanks & Atlas Plastics water tank dealers in Mpumalanga and Limpopo- best water tank prices in the Lowveld!). Two new industrial water recycling products have been added to our water system lineup, read about the Poseidon Advantage & Poseidon 1500.
Our water and solar systems will save the environment while you save money on water and electricity bills; get free water and free water heating!
Contact us for a free quote on a solar geyser, water system, rain water tank or water tank.