I am making plans. That's what I do. These plans are special to me because they aren't for me. They are for a friend. The plans are for an interestingly shaped cabin. Kind of a long narrow affair. The shape we are kind of stuck with as the trenching and septic is an improvement that she inherited with the land purchase. It has been something that proves to be an interesting exercise for the mind.
What makes it especially tantalizing is that it is for an off-grid home. So now it gets interesting. You can't just throw something in because it will work and it fits... it has to fit the situation. The home has to be built well enough that it requires less when it comes to utilities. Despite it 's smallness it needs to be even more comfortable for the times when she can't get out. I don't want her to go mad or anything. Not only will the need for energy be less but there has to be multiple systems so that if something fails, she will have another way to pick up the slack.
The more passive systems that can be incorporated the better. They just work because that is the nature of the world. For instance, windows facing the south will warm a home in the winter but not in the summer. While west facing windows will cook you in the summer and freeze you in the winter, even if they are double glazed with an argon gas. Water follows the course of least resistance. So give it a course and don't rely on pumps to keep a basement dry. It just takes more thinking before you start and you end up with better living once you are there.
I don't have absolutely exact measurements so the plan is more of a suggestion. And it is a plan that may never be built. I am encouraged though because I drew up the plans for our house. I know my ideas are correct. That's the good part. That's a muscle that has already been flexed and I am empowered by it. And the more that I am empowered then the more I can go on and do. On and on. Just imagine... we could truly change the way we live, and the world, if more of us just felt the empowerment to do so. I think everybody should draw house plans.