Josiah and I are leaving Wheaton Labs to get married and care for my dad and his ranch back in Texas. We're so grateful for the people we've met at Wheaton Labs, the amazing things we've learned, and the opportunities it's opened up for us. In our first year or two in Texas, we are planning to implement holistic planned grazing of the cattle, build a tiny home out of natural materials to live in for our first few years, and start working our way through a long list of other cool projects. We'll be documenting what we're working on (probably starting with a rocket-fired outdoor kitchen for catering our wedding and plans for the aforementioned tiny house) here going forward, starting in mid-September when we arrive. So stay tuned to this thread for updates!
When it comes to cooling, look up what they do in hot northern Australia (zone 1)
Avoid Solar Gain:
Roof: Shade Sail, green roof, reflective metal/white roof, R-40 insulation
Walls: white paint, shaded by trees/cloth/etc, living wall, roof overhang, earth bermed
Windows: roof overhang, awning/etc, low-e glass, place most windows on the north or east side
Floor: Earth Coupled or blocked crawl space, shaded ground, pex pumping with cool water.
Avoid Heat sources:
Kitchen: Try cooking outside, maybe bake less often, soak things to reduce the cooking time, eat more raw food, etc
Bathroom: take cold shower vs hot, reduce humidity by using a rag, run the water less, take a mini bath
Laundry: Try sun dry, or keep the appliances outside, wash with cold water vs hot water Appliance: Use a 20W laptop vs a 1000W gaming computer to read the news
Floor: mop the floor with cold water, pex piping pumping cool water
Bathroom: vent the humid/hot shower to the outside vs inside the house
Kitchen: Vent the hot, steamy fish smell outside before it fill the house
Ventilation: prevailing wind, wind trap vs wind break, cross ventilation, ceiling fans to cool humans, whole house fan/vents
As for the stem wall. I recommend earthbags filled with gravel/stone/sand.
NICE! Congratulations, reading that you're getting married has me stuck in a permanent smile here! I think you'll both do a great job cultivating a happy life together.
I'm not quite a lumberjack, but that's OK, I sleep all night and I dream all day; I'll coppice trees, I'll grow my food, and compost poo and pee! With a well and off-grid solar, it's a permies life for me! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FshU58nI0Ts