As I shared in my last entry, Nancy and I decided to incorporate a solar hot water system into the design of our new house. We felt that it would be best to install it as the house was being constructed rather than try to plumb it in after the walls were insulated and closed in with drywall. We also wanted it to be inspected and credited as a part of the LEED certification.
I had met Dave Brueggemann president and owner of Solar Cascade www.solarcascade.com a year before we started building at Timber Butte. Dave came to the church as an energy consultant during a time when we were investigating the feasibility of retrofitting our south facing roofline with electric solar panels. He was a world of information and the type of person you can’t help but really like. As a result we asked Dave to design and install the solar hot water system for our new home. Here again we discovered that incorporating some of these newer innovative technologies can be challenging as they have a tendency to put builders, subcontractors and inspectors on stretching learning curves. In our case we discovered that the overlap between the conventional plumbers who were legally liable for the hot water tanks instillation didn’t like the solar guys retrofitting it with their invasive installations. It was a hiccup that we didn’t anticipate, but with collaboration and a bit of flexibility on everyone’s part the conflict was eventually worked out. In the end it was successfully inspected and signed off.