But in December it would be so nice to sit on a large deck and be warm. My current house attached greenhouse is great but to have the whole house under one, though not practical, is a novel concept.
That's not to say I think the glass house is necessarily a good idea; it's a lot of embodied energy to be able to grow bananas in Sweden. But it's not the hail that has me worried. Any kind of glass that you could use that much of in a structural way would have to stand up to more than a hailstorm. In a world of declining energy reserves, where we'll be hard pressed to get food on the table and medicine for children, to what lengths should we be going in order to preserve the luxuries of globalized agroindustry such as tropical fruit in climates to which they are unsuited?
That being said, I think that an attached greenhouse/sunroom combined with really good insulation should be part of any house in a temperate climate.
Oh, and when you're designing it, keep this photo from my home town just a couple of weeks ago.
Kathleen Sanderson wrote:Somewhere I came across some video taken by a woman who lives in that area and has been building small structures on her land, IIRC made of cob. She had about three big fiberglass or plastic water tanks, painted white, which collected water from a large metal roof. Some of her smaller structures had been built under the roof, which is what I think I would do, were I to move there. You'd have several advantages from building the roof first -- water collection could begin immediately; you'd have shade for the work and protection from precipitation; and you wouldn't need any very elaborate roof system on the structures built underneath the big metal roof. It would also leave you with lots of shaded outdoor living areas, which could be very useful.