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Rufina last won the day on September 14

Rufina had the most liked content!

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About Rufina

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  1. Contact information

    Thank you so much for your question. We decided not to publish our phone number online, but you can reach us by email, and we can always schedule a time to talk to you over the phone. Another option would be to post your questions on our forum, that way our answers will benefit other people as well.
  2. Energy Source

    I recently found this awesome solar panels that move with the sun. It would be great to have something like that in the subdivision.
  3. Hello Kyle! Welcome to the forum!
  4. Glad to be here!

    Hello, Thank you so much for your participation in this forum. I really do value your input. This part of the forum is mostly for greetings and introductions. For all other topics, please find the appropriate topic. Thank you!
  5. I have a question! Does anyone have practical experience in using thermal mass in passive construction building? We are trying to determine if having a thermal mass in a house in a Mediterranean climate is a plus or if we should avoid that. Anyone out there that has experience living in that climate? Thank you so much for your input.
  6. Sewage

    Yes, they have a very alike system. I was told that they are using similar kind of tanks as in the US. We didn't get a bid from local contractors on how much the installation would cost, but I think that the labor cost should be lower than people usually pay in the US.
  7. This was a very interesting post submitted by and I decided to copy it and repost it under "resilient home" category so more people would see it. They really are not new. Back when people first settled in Oklahoma and the Midwest, sod homes were very popular as wood and steel were nor readily available. Earth sheltered homes are very similar to the early sod homes. However instead of a mixture of earth and grass for materials most earth sheltered and Dome homes are primarily made of concrete. earth-sheltered homes face south (in the northern hemisphere) to take advantage of solar energy provided by the low winter sun, and have overhangs to keep out the hot summer sun when it is higher in the sky. The North, East and West sides have dirt graded up the sides to just below the roof. Underground homes are very similar except they generally have a concrete slab roof which is buried with 1-3 feet of earth which is topped with grass or other ground cover. The earth below the frost line maintains a constant temperature in the mid 60's in our area. This makes it far more energy efficient to heat and cool. You also eliminate 90% of wind infiltration. Our home has a wood burning fireplace with and insert which can heat the home up very quickly. We have on occasion had to open the windows in the middle of winter to vent out excess heat. One year we never used the gas furnace just to see if we could. Air conditioning is still needed in the summer when the temperature rises above 90 degrees F. However, our bill rarely is over $100 dollars a month in the summer and far less in the winter which I should install a solar hot water system which would eliminate the need for gas. Dome homes are as, or more, efficient as earth-sheltered passive solar homes and the can also be built into the ground as well. The way they are made is very interesting. They blow up a bubble and shoot it with spray-able concrete followed by a layer of polyurethane insulation which is also applied by a spray gun which expands to 3-4" thick. Another coat of concrete follows this over the foam making a super-efficient and nearly indestructible structure. You can use passive solar as well by orientating the home to the south. That is it briefly.
  8. Glad to be here!

    Hello Steve, Thank you so much for your introduction. I am very glad that our forum started to attract people with such an experience like yours. Welcome to the board! P.S. You mentioned dome homes and earth-sheltered passive homes. I have no idea what kind of homes those are but the part that they can stand up to about anything nature can throw at them is quite intriguing. Would love to know more about it. Maybe you can share more about it in the "New Ideas" forum? Thank you!
  9. Sewage

    No, we will not have a central sewage system. Everyone will have their own septic.
  10. Energy Source

    Primary it would be solar, but it's a good idea to have a very small wind turbine as a backup for bigger houses. It would be up to the customers and according to their needs.
  11. HI eveyone!

    Hello MrFoster! Welcome to this Forum!
  12. Hello

    Welcome! I will be glad to answer all I can!
  13. Off the grid greenhouse

    Yes, usually greenhouses consume a lot of energy. However, there are many ways to lower the consumption need. I currently live in a house that is completely powered by solar panels, and we are even selling the surplus to the grid. For our heating needs, we are using a geothermal system. We use solar water heating panels to heat the water in the water heater. Similar systems will be used for the greenhouse. It is much more effective to control the temperature in the greenhouse by heating or cooling the water in the aquaponics beds using geothermal system vs. conventional ways of doing it. We would like to hear your ideas on how to build an off-grid greenhouse. Does anyone know any other effective ways to do it?
  14. Earthquake-proof house

    Even though I understand the concept in general, I am not able to explain the construction part in detail. I asked this to be addressed in the blog, and the answers are coming soon. While we are waiting for that, do any of you have any great ideas how to build an earthquake-proof house?