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Swall Institute -> Design Solution

Summary of design compromises we had to make:

• Standard framing lumber instead of FSC certified lumber
• Fiberglass insulation instead of recycled cotton or cellulose (maybe the biggest compromise we had to make)
• Other miscellaneous recycled or ‘green’ materials were cost prohibitive
• Photovoltaics on the back burner pending funding

"Rentability" compromises:

• Dishwasher, Disposal, and Clothes Dryer -- In order to afford the house, we knew we had to rent it for at various times. To increase "rentability" we decided to include these appliances. The dishwasher is Energy Star rated and has water conservation options, including the ability to was half-loads in the top rack only. The disposal seemed like a good idea to encourage renters to effectively compost waste (the food waste decomposes in the septic system instead of going to the landfill). Clothes Dryers of course have no Energy Star Ratings. To increase the dryer's efficiency, we chose an Energy Star front-loading washing machine with a 1600 rpm spinning cycle that is highly effective at wringing out water from clothes. In the long run, we plan to install a photovoltaic system that will meet the energy demands of these appliances.

In the end, we were fortunate to find wonderful tentants who rarely use these appliances and who prefer to hang their clothes to dry in the desert sun!