The Energy OutWest Board rotates meeting locations throughout the region once each year. The hosting state usually organizes and coordinates a field trip to a local utility, agency or some type of demonstration project that incorporates innovative energy conservation technologies or sustainable building practices. These trips help give context to the ever expanding opportunities for renewable energy, baseload measures, heating, cooling and the challenge of conserving energy in varying climates.
Fall 2002 Tuscon Arizona, Jesus Duran coordinated a day that included visits at Cevino a planned sustainable community, a straw bale house in progress, a completed straw bale house and a beautiful rammed earth home.
EOW members visited Cevino a planned community outside of Tuscon. Many of you will recognize Rick Hansen (right) former weatherization staff person from Snohomish County who currently lives in Cevino.
These shed roof type garages made great platforms for installing photovoltaic panels.
All homes were insulated beyond code using varying techniques of construction. Check out the new galvanized metal roof, this is a common roof type in Arizona not seen much today in the northern area of the region.
Most homes were outfitted with rainwater catchment systems.
The homes were arranged like many older cities with parking and garages in the alleys.
From the street the homes had great curb appeal with native vegetation for landscaping and covered sitting porches.
The solar oven received a lot of attention. It was outfitted with a tracking system to follow the suns path.
Here is a wall detail on a completed straw bale home. The builder/owner used the thick wall detail to incorporate window seats in a covered patio area.
The straw bale house also incorporated some solar collection for hot water heating and space heating (seldom necessary).
This is the beautiful rammed earth home we visited. The owner/builder was an architect. The home was one of many in a revitalization project in the barrio area of Tuscon.
While the exterior was quite stoic the interior was magnificently detailed. The home incorporated an enormous amount of mass that helps equalize the indoor temperature reducing heating and cooling costs.
The home had an interior courtyard that was traditional Southwest Hacienda.
Fall 2003 Energy Out West met in Sacramento CA., site of the 2004 Energy Out West Conference. Leslie Campanela and Kathy Ely from the state office in California organized a great off site tour of Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) projects. We started out at SMUD headquarters looking over displays including solar programs, lighting and a tour of their magnificent headquarters building that included a small stand of redwoods in the foyer.
Next stop was a site visit to some super insulated homes in progress.
In the afternoon we took a trip to SMUD’s wind-farm. We had an opportunity to see some of the latest technology in generation.
We also got a chance to see some old wind technology.
The new towers were 165’ tall outfitted with 60KW generators. This optimal location generates near capacity the equivalent of 10 months per year.
SMUD subcontractor explaining construction, operation and maintenance of the wind project.
Jack Hruska OR, Alan Schein WA and Craig Davis NV inside the base of one of the 165’ towers.