I started my pursuit of sustainable living back in the late 70’s. I was living in the house that my grandfather built in 1910. Back then I made sure all of the beer and soft drink cans were separated and turned into cash. We then moved to take glass, metal and paper products out of the waste stream. Have you ever visited a recycling drop off point? Today there are people too busy to separate an aluminum can from their trash. Recycling just one aluminum beverage can, will save enough energy to run a new flat screen LCD TV for over 3 hours!
In 1984 I started a search for the perfect solar oriented lot in order to build my dream home. My travels around the city took me to developed and undeveloped lots that had one thing in common. Good solar access. I ended up choosing lot 105 in the Overlook Park Addition. It was undeveloped and I would be the second owner. I remember the banker commenting that they would not normally recommend building a $150,000 house on a $13,000 lot.
Well, by October of 1986 my wife, Jo, and I moved into our earth-sheltered, passive-solar, geodesic dome, and we are still here with no plans to move. We love our dome home. However, I cannot recommend that others choose a dome home due to the continued discrimination against a geodesic dome house. What I do recommend is the use of Insulated Concrete Forms or ICF. The exterior walls of our dome home are made of concrete and expanded bead polystyrene. The same foam that goes into ICF’s and SIPS.
For new construction my first choice would be Insulated Concrete Forms. Coming in a distant second are Structural Insulated Panels (SIPS). The problem with SIPS is that they provide absolutely no building mass. Which means it is that much more important to put the rock, brick or concrete on the inside of your structure.
I met Bill Ball, who is a solar engineer, in 1999. Bill immediately invited me to attend a continuing education seminar he was giving to Architects and Engineers. I know I was the only Financial Planner in the group. Some things never change. Even today I am usually out of place among the builders and contractors that have slowly become interested in this green building movement. By the way, my day job is that of a CFP®. Just as with my financial planning clients, I am here to help you make smart decisions with your money.
In 2002 I saw Bill and his wife, Marcie, in the lot next door to our home here on Overlook Drive. They were surveying the lot. I asked him what he was doing and he said that he was going to build the first net metering house in Arkansas. I immediately told him that I wanted it! My plan was to talk my mother-in-law into partnering with us to build the house. I would be able to move my woodworking shop from out in west LR into the lower level of the house, Jo would have space for an art studio and we would have her mother nearby when and if she were to ever lose her independence and instead require our support or care.
The house was completed in 2003, and we have never looked back. We all learned many important lessons back then, and that experience is part of what has led me to create this website.
There are many links to what I consider the best websites on the different subject matter at hand. If you know of others that you think are special, then please let me know. I have included documents or links to documents on the web that I feel are the refined versions of the information you may be seeking. The product websites are for those items that best fit their intended purpose. The solar products are the specific companies that go into making up solar electric or solar hot water systems provided by Stellar Sun. The other products are ones I found intriguing and innovative in solving specific needs. Your comments are always welcome. I am an agent of change and will always be open to the new, better, faster, smarter way of doing things. Knowledge is POWER! SOLAR POWER is SMART, CLEAN, and GREEN!
The website is free and the information is free. If you decide you still would like to use our services, then we stand ready and look forward to working with you on an hourly fee basis.