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Renewables DependenceRenewables

Renewable energy is any energy resource that is naturally regenerated over a short time scale and derived directly from the sun (such as thermal or PV), indirectly from the sun (such as wind, hydropower, and photosynthetic energy stored in biomass), or from other natural movements and mechanisms of the environment (such as geothermal and tidal energy). While the specs for renewables are still being ironed out in this project, the upshot is that it will not in any way depend on petroleum to function.

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Mariposa Meadows will be a net zero energy project, using a combination of renewables (such as solar) and super energy efficient products and building techniques. Photo: VisionHouse Tucson by lathamarchitectural.com

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Renewable energy systems can take a well-designed, energy-efficient home to net-zero energy status. 
 
Production of electricity and hot water at home using natural energy from the sun is nothing new. But technologies have greatly improved over the past few years. Not only do they cost less to install, but they’re more reliable, more efficient—and simply a better deal. In addition, the supporting hardware is vastly superior to the old stuff. The politics of alternative energy is changing too, albeit more slowly than many would like. In many states, utilities are now required to buy back any “extra” electricity you produce. And both wind turbines and solar installations are eligible for 30% tax credits with no upper limit from the federal government, plus certain state and utility incentives. If you’re looking at alternative systems, here’s some essential information. 

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The 11 Tenets

Here are the eco-landmarks we navigate by as we create this sustainable enclave.

 Energy EfficiencyEnergy Efficiency Off-the-grid living demands the ultimate in energy-efficient products. Here’s what we picked.
 RenewablesRenewables Dependence on petroleum is dead; instead, we use these easy-on-the-environment technologies.
Water and Resource Conservation Water and Resource Conservation Natural resources are finite. Here are the techniques and products we use to reduce, reuse, and recycle.
 Indoor Air QualityIndoor Air Quality Healthy buildings mean healthy people. We spec’d products that make the indoors as fresh as the meadow air surrounding us.
 Smart TechnologySmart Technology We harness smart tech that will make life simpler and help us be more sustainable.
 DurabilityDurability See which building science practices and green products hold up to the harsh realities of high-altitude living.
 Resilient Housing Disaster can strike anywhere. Techniques and products can help buffer buildings from these assaults.
 Multifunctional Living SpacesMultifunctional Living Spaces We designed spaces that morph and accommodate more than one function.
 Onsite Food Production Fresh food grown on site is the healthiest and most green way to go (not to mention tastiest!) Here are some notes from the high-altitude larder.
 Indoor/Outdoor LivingIndoor/Outdoor Living New products and design conceits blur the lines between shelter and the soul-healing outdoors.
 Wildlife ProtectionWildlife Protection Wildlife conservation means protecting all plant and animal species and their habitats so nature will be around for future generations to enjoy. Here’s how we address this important concept.