Among the many design considerations in an off grid project are the function and mission of a project.
In my case, I am building more than a family home. My plans include a broad range of self-sustainable elements including some important ones like an on-site lumber mill, a production workshop, and hangar for vintage aircraft restoration. When a significant part of a project includes elements like these, the project layout and power requirements are subject to the geography of the site and available power sources.
Without a building site already involved, the different structures have be considered from a more fluid perspective. Each elements design has to be considered from a purely function/mission based view, leaving in a level of flexibility for power. These considerations for the structures also play into the considerations for a site.
Obviously, if there is no lumber on-site, the mill isn’t really a problem, but how will that affect the operation overall? In my case, this could be a problem. A significant part of vintage aircraft work at least in the era I prefer to work with, wood is used a lot in the structure so I need to have wood materials available and part of the self-sustainability is in the work sided as well as the home side.
In the ideal situation, I would have an area that [I can] selectively harvest from and plant new trees providing the raw materials that I can mill as needed reducing waste, time needed to obtain materials, and storage requirements.
At this stage in the planning everything is very fluid and my biggest challenge is to narrow my focus and prioritize the elements, and define the function and mission of each element.
Till next time…
* This post moved from FBJ Off Grid on 2013-02-12