Starting with this post, I wanted to share with you my ideas on my off-grid house and homestead. I’ll begin with the general ideas on design and house construction, used materials, techniques, etc.

The very first draft of my house design is ready, but some details need to be corrected. It looks like typical small house Polish families build these days, one story high, with rooms in the attic, gable roof, nothing fancy. On the ground floor I want a large room, kitchen in the corner, bathroom and a small entrance hall. In the attic I want to have three bedrooms and a bathroom.

I want the house to be as close to passivhaus standards as possible, so the house will be facing south with three large windows. Two of those will be fixed, which will save me some money and some heat, as such windows have better insulation properties than ordinary ones.

There will be no basement, as I am not allowed to have one in my zoning plan.

Construction details

The house will be made mostly of wood and mineral wool (frame construction). The wool will be covered with OSB boards, and additional layer of styrofoam insulation will be added from the outside. This will allow me to get the overal heat transfer coefficient close to U = 0,1 W/m²K, or in R-values R = 10 m²K/W or in US units R = 56 h ft² °F/Btu.

If I wanted to use traditional building materials like brick or aerated concrete blocks, the wall would have to be much thicker. Since my plot of land is very narrow, this would make it a bit more difficult to place the building optimally.

Because of that, the heat capacity of the house will be a lot smaller, so that I will have to store heat somewhere else. But the building will be much faster, I wouldn’t have to wait for the concrete ceiling to bind.