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Woz Details His Plans for Energy-Efficient House

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the bite-out-of-the-bulb dept.

Power 302

An anonymous reader writes "ECN magazine has posted a long interview with the Woz on his new passion: energy-efficient housing. 'ECN: In PC World, you said, "It's like the way I used to make computers" -- how so? Woz: Simple design. Think about the right way to build something and take a lot of time to get it the best that can be done with the fewest resources used. No waste. Build it right and with few parts it does a lot. Don't cover things with more and more and more technology for features. Design them in from the start. It starts with the architect, of a home or a computer, working from a knowledge of the building materials and a desire to choose wisely.'"

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302 comments

monolithic. (3, Insightful)

User 956 (568564) | more than 6 years ago | (#20230959)

Woz: Simple design. Think about the right way to build something and take a lot of time to get it the best that can be done with the fewest resources used. No waste.

The answer to that is easy. concrete dome. [monolithic.com]

Re:monolithic. (3, Interesting)

kpharmer (452893) | more than 6 years ago | (#20231215)

> The answer to that is easy. concrete dome.

Yep, that would be great. But just like geodesic domes that preceded monolithic domes - there are unforeseen issues like:
    - leakage - in the case of monolithic domes due cracking
    - integration challenges - they're difficult to tie into other components
    - windows - good quality windows don't come in arcs
    - expense - they're not cheap to build (nor necessarily expensive)

A monolithic dome is at the very top of what I'd like to build to live in. Unfortunately, we just haven't yet worked out all the kinks. And worse, many of the kinks are brushed under the carpet by the evangelists behind them. Until years later when they admit that the prior design didn't work - but "the new design fixes that old problem that I always denied they had".

Re:monolithic. (3, Interesting)

mytrip (940886) | more than 6 years ago | (#20231563)

Actually, they dont leak. It is made out of concrete and polyurathane foam. I live near their plant in Italy, Texas and have talked to the inventor, David South. They inflate a large rubber mold of the house and spray 'shotcrete' in it and there is _no_ space for either air or water to come through. If it wasnt for the front door and a few windows, it would be airtight. the monolithic dome is the most energy efficient thing out there due to the fact that the temperature wont change more than 1 or 2 degrees a day. it is a thermal mass that takes hours to heat up or cool down so it builds up heat in the concrete in the day and releases it at night when it is cool. Build one into the side of a hill or underground and you're done

Re:monolithic. (1, Funny)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#20231621)

concrete cracks, and it leaks. fact of life, get over it.

of course it's inventor would be loath to admit any failings.

Re:monolithic. (1)

mytrip (940886) | more than 6 years ago | (#20231727)

Not this one. You coat it with waterproof coating and it has a sealant over the concrete anyway.

Re:monolithic. (1)

MsGeek (162936) | more than 6 years ago | (#20231817)

Interesting. The only big concrete dome structure I can think of is the Arclight Main Theatre in Hollywood, also known as the Cinerama Dome [wikipedia.org]. I was positive they did a similar process but they cast individual hexagonal and pentagonal segments and slotted them together. R. Buckminster Fuller consulted on the design, which was done by the LA architectural firm of Welton Becket and Associates [wikipedia.org]. The building is older than me and looks better, although it's had a couple of face lifts over the years.

Domes are cool. They're retro now, not necessarily "futuristic" anymore. But they're still cool.

Re:monolithic. (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 6 years ago | (#20232501)

Sorry, I'm not buying it. Buildings settle, and it only takes a hairline crack to let water in.

-jcr

Re:monolithic. (4, Informative)

kpharmer (452893) | more than 6 years ago | (#20231947)

> Actually, they dont leak. It is made out of concrete and polyurathane foam.

Right, that's the idea anyway: you inflate a huge bubble, go inside it, and spray a layer of polyurethane foam, then spray concrete over that. This gives you three layers from outside in:
    - plastic bubble layer
    - urethane foam layer
    - concrete layer
The plastic bubble layer is theoretically reusable, but generally isn't. The urethane foam layer provides insulation but is fragile. The concrete is strong.

Unfortunately, the two outer layers are far less durable than the concrete. So, the next step in the failed evolution of this design was to add a second layer of concrete on the outside. The result of this was that the two concrete layers reacted differently to temperature changes - and the result was cracks.

The next step in the evolution was to add rebar to the outside layer (chain link fences sections). That stopped the cracking problem. Or so the vendor said. We'll probably fine out in ten years that that caused other problems (not the least is cost) - but they won't talk about that until they have a fix ready to offer.

Personally, I think it's a good idea - and eventually we'll have a working solution. In the meantime I would never trust the "Monolithic Dome Institute" to be up front about its problems.

Re:monolithic. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20232175)

Heh, didn't you just describe a software company? :P

Edison's Concrete Houses (4, Informative)

westlake (615356) | more than 6 years ago | (#20231865)

> But just like geodesic domes that preceded monolithic domes - there are unforeseen issues

Thomas Edison saw the cast concrete home as working-class housing:

These 25x30 foot two story homes had 500 structural pieces and weighed about 250,000 pounds.

The ultimate test of the Edison process would be in mass production. After careful planning, the first large-scale development began, with forty houses planned to be built off Route 22 in Union, New Jersey, during July and August of 1917.

The street was named Ingersoll Terrace. Basements for the first eleven houses were dug with a steam shovel, and all the equipment and materials were put in place. The first few houses went up very slowly, as laborers struggled to learn the system and become familiar with the molds. Eventually the crew began to move with increasing speed and expertise. By the time the mold was broken on the eleventh house, the process was almost as systematized as Edison had predicted.

In the end the technical side of the monolithic concrete house was another Edison success story. But neither Edison nor Ingersoll had predicted the marketing nightmare they would encounter. Ingersoll decided, as a test, to put the first houses up for sale at the agreed price of $1,200 before building the next block. To everyone's surprise, despite the extremely low price, not a single house was sold in the first month. Ingersoll abandoned the project, and no more Edison concrete houses were ever built.

Some historians and Edison biographers blame the publicity and Edison's grandiose predictions for the demise of his most altruistic endeavor. No one wanted to live in a house that had been described as "the salvation of the slum dweller." People were too proud to be stigmatized as having been "rescued from squalor and poverty."

But there may have been a more important reason for the Edison monoliths' failure to catch on. The architect Ernest Flagg noted that "Mr. Edison was not an architect-- it was not cheapness that wanted so much as relief from ugliness, and Mr. Edison's early models entirely did not achieve that relief." From looking at them, it is hard to disagree.

Ten of the original eleven houses remain standing on Ingersoll Terrace, so the technology of the process has certainly shown itself to be durable. The original owners are long gone, but newer residents have generally positive opinions of the little houses. According to Mrs. Joseph Fila, who occupied an Edison house for half a century, "The twenty-four inch walls keep out the summer heat and provide good winter insulation." Joe Kearny says that the maintenance cost of his concrete house is "zero." Dolores Chumsky is less enthusiastic; her house is plagued by an elusive leak that defies detection. She adds that any prospects for renovation or improvements are doomed. "Just try and get someone to come and make repairs," she says. "They may come in once, but they never come back." Edison's Concrete Homes [americanheritage.com]

> A monolithic dome is at the very top of what I'd like to build to live in.

The general impression can be that of a stage set for Star Trek. Catalog of Monolithic Dome Home Plans [monolithic.com], Torus [monolithic.com] Something that even a geek may tire of very quickly.

Concrete domes (2, Interesting)

amightywind (691887) | more than 6 years ago | (#20231309)

I helped build one of those once in Larkspur CO. Stryrofoam forms, reinforced with rebar, shockcrete... Not sure if the architecture maximizes or minimizes available space. One thing is for sure, the damn thing is bomb proof.

I find shipping container homes [fabprefab.com] (and other modular designs) to be intriguing. I am glad a genious like Woz has a new creative outlet.

Re:monolithic. (4, Insightful)

ElectricRook (264648) | more than 6 years ago | (#20231523)

The answer to that is easy. concrete dome.

There's a common geek mistake, choosing form over function. Having a lower skin area to volume makes a house a little more heat efficient, but functionality falters real quick. There is a lot of wasted space caused by having curved walls when most furniture is square. Try to hang a picture on a concave surface. Granted a rounded blob looks pretty cool from the outside, but there is a reason very few were ever built.

Re:monolithic. (1, Insightful)

MysticOne (142751) | more than 6 years ago | (#20231605)

Just because one form's function doesn't translate to another form doesn't mean either is necessarily flawed. Build your own furniture (or have it built), come up with different ways to use the space, and otherwise change your lifestyle so it works better with your chosen dwelling. If your point is to maximize space and efficiency, you're going to have to do this anyway.

Re:monolithic. (4, Insightful)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#20231667)

yes, because building all your furniture to fit your ill shaped house is practical.

circular use of space is highly inefficent. ever tried to stack a pile of balls? there's a lot of wasted space there.

This is all besides the point that you build a house to fit around YOU, not the other way around.

Re:monolithic. (1)

ElectricRook (264648) | more than 6 years ago | (#20232109)

change your lifestyle so it works better with your chosen dwelling

Change your lifestyle to fit your dwelling? I don't mean to be rude, but... Get a spine...

Re:monolithic. (1)

zakezuke (229119) | more than 6 years ago | (#20232413)

Try to hang a picture on a concave surface.
You don't, you hang from above and let dangle with chains/wire/rope, with an optional one to the wall. Problem solved. You can go for eye level or have it printed 30x20 and hung from above at a slight angle. Or display on a tripod. Not like you can't hang on a concave surface, just it's difficult without seeing the wire or using a very strong bolt/post.

Now, the real issue becomes how does one dust/clean such a home.

Whoa (5, Funny)

Philotic (957984) | more than 6 years ago | (#20230961)

I don't think I can handle that much awesome in one headline. Careful there, submitters, some of us have conditions.

The way I used to make computers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20230963)

He is using a one-button doorbell.

good one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20230965)

Don't cover things with more and more and more technology for features
Somebody tell that to so called java "architects".

Passive house (4, Interesting)

Aminion (896851) | more than 6 years ago | (#20230981)

There's already tons of research on the concept of energy efficient houses. One popular approach is called Passive house [wikipedia.org] and it's pretty amazing how much energy you can conserve.

Re:Passive house (2, Interesting)

ucblockhead (63650) | more than 6 years ago | (#20231263)

What Woz brings, as he essentially tells the journalist, is a name that attracts journalists and gets them to write articles on the subject.

Re:Passive house (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 6 years ago | (#20232235)

You don't need to look like a freak in order to have a remarkably more energy efficient home. You can take tract plans and just apply a little bit of common sense (2x6 & shove more insulation wherever you can) and get very good results. There are some "native" construction techniques like adobe that do very well for energy efficiency and are not bizzare looking or require a particular species of tree. Using quality components and demanding good workmanship also can be very helpful.

        Find a "building geek".

        Steve Wozniak is not such a creature.

Re:Passive house (1)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 6 years ago | (#20231467)

Thanks for the great link, but that seems to be heating-centric. Does anyone know what the model is for high head & humidity climates?

Re:Passive house (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20231569)

Does anyone know what the model is for high head & humidity climates?


I believe you are looking for a bong to live in.

Re:Passive house (1)

an.echte.trilingue (1063180) | more than 6 years ago | (#20231513)

The house in that article has a lot of windows. This is how it says they were made:

To meet the requirements of the Passivhaus standard, windows are manufactured with exceptionally high R-values (low U-values, typically 0.85 to 0.70 W/(m.K) for the entire window including the frame). These normally combine triple-pane insulated glazing (with a good solar heat-gain coefficient, low-emissivity coatings, argon or krypton gas fill, and 'warm edge' insulating glass spacers) with air-seals and specially developed thermally-broken window frames.
That is a lot of effort and resource consumption. I wonder, do the energy savings that these windows provide over their lifetimes actually compensate for all the energy and resources that go into their manufacture?

Re:Passive house (4, Interesting)

KokorHekkus (986906) | more than 6 years ago | (#20231669)

Depends on where you live.

In Sweden tri-pane glazing is pretty much standard these days (the place I lived that was built 15 years ago had tri-pane, currently living in a house built in the 60s with ordinary double-pane. I can't imagine any new windows being anything that tri-pane around here. To get it just look at this thermal image: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/f/f2/Pass ivhaus_thermogram_gedaemmt_ungedaemmt.png [wikimedia.org]

When it comes to heavy duty insulation there's more of a trade-off. It's not the insulation itself that's costly but the building process. If you build a heavily insulated house it needs to be air-tight with forced ventilation if used it in a somewhat cold climates. Otherwise the humid air inside will travel along the existing openings and when it makes contact with colder ares it will create condensation. And that condesation will lead to a mold problem... which is usually pretty bad.

Re:Passive house - what about windows (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 6 years ago | (#20231797)

In Seattle tri-pane windows are pretty common in anything built from the mid-90s onwards.

Also, most of our houses have R values of 30 or more.

I used to live in a 1912 house with a big yard, but sold it to move to a townhouse - same square feet of space, but a smaller yard, and my electric and heating bills are about one-fourth what they were in the old house - and I had retrofit that place with insulation.

The air leaks in the old house were, as you say, the largest impact on heating.

Re:Passive house (1)

smchris (464899) | more than 6 years ago | (#20231841)

Yeah, the Woz shouldn't have to do too much research. Over 20 years ago, houses were being built in Southern Minnesota that only needed electricity to run the heat exchanger and your appliances. Check out: The Art of the Possible in Home Insulation by David A. Robinson, and the University of Minnesota Ouroboros South Project.

Re:Passive house (1)

drewtheman (1127999) | more than 6 years ago | (#20232177)

While researching about passive energy efficient houses, I found the Enertia houses. Seems really good, in hot or cold climate and they are so nice!

From http://enertia.com/Science/HowItWorks/tabid/68/Def ault.aspx [enertia.com]:

In the Enertia® Building System, solid Energy-Engineered(tm) wood walls replace siding, framing, insulation, and paneling. An air flow and access channel, or Envelope, runs around the building, just inside the walls - creating a miniature biosphere. Here solar heated air circulates, pumping and boosting geothermal energy from beneath the house, storing it in the massive wood walls. Thermal inertia causes the house to "float" between the cycles of night and day, and even between the seasons.
If you go on the home page, you'll see that Discovery Science Channel is making a report on them on August 22.

Wish Woz had done his homework (2, Interesting)

Ancient_Hacker (751168) | more than 6 years ago | (#20230985)

Using the heat of crystallization of Pine resin is a really cool idea, but it seems unlikely there is that much heat capacity there. Dang, my CRC handbook doesnt list that number.

Why not? (1)

riker1384 (735780) | more than 6 years ago | (#20231863)

Using the heat of crystallization of Pine resin is a really cool idea, but it seems unlikely there is that much heat capacity there. Dang, my CRC handbook doesnt list that number.
Why not? If you filled your walls with ice there would be a lot ot heat capacity. I don't know how pine resin compares to water, but if it's similar then it could be useful.

Re:Wish Woz had done his homework (1)

ElectricRook (264648) | more than 6 years ago | (#20232061)

He's also talking about building in Southern coastal areas of California that have mild temperatures all year. Most homes in those areas don't have air conditioning. They have lots of cooler weather, it rarely gets over 85F there. Now try that pine resin trick in the central valley (Sacramento), on days when it's well over 100F, that trick won't work too well.

Re:Wish Woz had done his homework (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 6 years ago | (#20232577)

Oh, I'm sure there's a lot of heat capacity in the pine resin, which will be all too apparent when a brush fire comes through.

Building houses in California out of highly flammable materials doesn't seem like a good plan to me.

-jcr

Major savings! (2, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 6 years ago | (#20231083)

get it the best that can be done with the fewest resources...

Like placing a reset button right next to the door bell?

energy and pollution (4, Interesting)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 6 years ago | (#20231085)

I like things simple with fewer parts and fewer added technologies. Just think out the right ways to build a home and do it. So few people know how easily all our homes could have been energy efficient rather than energy wasters. I suppose it's an outcome of the fact that energy is so cheap and abundant now. I think of it this way. The timeline of history and of man will be many millions of years long. Over that timeline, at some point man was going to find oil and ways to use it. Whenever in time that had happened, the generations it happened for would have used it up. We are those generations using it up, but if we saved it and didn't even touch it at all, some future generation would quickly use it up. The time that mankind has oil may be a short blip on the long timeline of humans. Whenever the discoveries were made, that blip would have appeared. We needn't think of ourselves as bad just because we were the lucky ones to have the oil blip. - this is the same line of thinking that I have about our current energy production methods and the pollution it causes, only there is one more variable here: population size.

Once the population size reaches some critical mass, there are enough of us on the planet to really impact on the environment in a bad way, but as we do so, we start noticing the problems we cause and eventually in order to survive we have to move to better tech for both energy production and to less polluting manufacturing techniques. From point of view of energy we use what serves us best at the time and at this time burning oil serves us best because it's there, it's easily accessible, it's easy to transport and use. But more importantly it makes it possible for us to grow the total population to a point when we reach yet another critical mass, at this point the oil is going to be pretty much used up and the environment is much worse off then before, but we have so many people working on so many tech advances that it makes it possible to shift to a different energy source (nuclear/thermonuclear/geothermal/black hole gravity pumps or whatever.)

Increase in usage of certain types of energy and resources allows our population to grow, which pushes the tech forward, which allows population to grow even more eventually forcing us to think of new energy sources and other resources etc. It's all about population growth.

Re:energy and pollution (1)

Tyler Durden (136036) | more than 6 years ago | (#20231243)

Increase in usage of certain types of energy and resources allows our population to grow, which pushes the tech forward, which allows population to grow even more eventually forcing us to think of new energy sources and other resources etc. It's all about population growth.

Exactly. The new technologies to live efficiently are great, useful advances. But the real key to improving our world and our lives on it.. Stop. Having. So many. Fucking. Kids. Reduce the population. Over one-third of the land on Earth is used to raise food for human consumption for cryin' out loud. It's time we stop being the Human Virus and return to the Human Race.

Re:energy and pollution (0)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 6 years ago | (#20231579)

This is a misconception, the only way for us to actually get over the hump of using oil dependent tech and polluting the environment so much is population growth. Without certain number of people on this planet working on all kinds of technical problems, we will not be able to get over the oil hump, we'll just burn it at a much lower rate causing long delayed problem of pollution.

Now, as Agent Smith said in The Matrix: you are a virus and we are the cure.

Assuming that anyone beside ourselves cares that 'we are a virus' (I believe this point of view is created by humans for humans, not by other creatures on this planet for humans,) we should grow our population to a size when enough people are working on this 'cure'. Having the cake and eating it is not allways possible. Agent Smith didn't come out of thin air, we created him. From his point of view we should not be considered a virus, but an ancestor. How different is Agent Smith from an average human? What does Agent Smith bring to the ecology that is better than any existing human?

Now you weren't talking about Agent Smith, you are saying something else alltogether. Do you think any other creature on this planet that is not a human thinks the way you do? Well maybe they should, they are not us and from their point of view we are a dangerous competitor, but have they evolved further than we have, would they have treated us any better than we are treating them?

If you believe that we should reduce our numbers and not grow the population because it will be better for those who are alive today, you are........correct. But then you are only thinking of those people living today. For those, who will live tomorrow it is better if we do what we do now: multiply and create new tech that hopefully will be different from the tech that exists today, because eventually oil and gas will run out.

You see, the problem is that we are not that smart and it takes very very many of us to come up with the new stuff. Consider how much time it took us (as a species) to create the first nuclear reactor. It's a terrible record, but the reactor was only possible because we had over 2 billion people on this planet and a tiny portion of those people were working towards the tech of the reactor.

Same principle applies further on: we have to have maybe 20 or even 200 billion people before enough of us working in the energy field come up with a new way of getting more energy, maybe we'll make thermonuclear fusion finally available for every home, who knows?

We need growth of population, it's the only thing that will prevent our slow demise as a tech species.

Re:energy and pollution (1)

tehdaemon (753808) | more than 6 years ago | (#20232133)

Not necessarily. You basic idea that we need enough people working on the idea is sound. But having more people does not guarantee more people working on solutions. They have to be educated and properly motivated too. Also more people on earth is not the only way to have more people developing new tech - We have lots of people on the planet that are not contributing anywhere near as much as they could be. Maybe we could educate and motivate them?

You can't forget economic issues either - those scientists and engineers directly working on new tech need to eat, wear clothes and have tools/labs/materials to work with, so we do need an economy to provide this too. That takes lots of people too.


Again, your basic idea is sound, a population of X is limited to a max tech of Y, and a max tech advancement rate of Z. Actual rates/levels depend on many other factors. You just left out a bunch of those details.

T

Re:energy and pollution (1)

Tyler Durden (136036) | more than 6 years ago | (#20232135)

I couldn't disagree more. (And I'm sorry I misinterpreted the intent of your original post). From all I've read about the issue, the rate of problems caused by population growth exceeds the rate that said population can fix them. Seems more likely that as the population decreased, the amount of overhead for dealing with problems caused by overpopulation would drop dramatically and give us more time to focus on the issues you highlighted. Why would massive amount of minds working simulaneously be necessary? For my money, less minds in a decent work environment beats a bunch of minds distracted with constantly putting out fires, to use an IT analogy.

Re:energy and pollution (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 6 years ago | (#20232367)

The problem with your argument is this: real world. In real world (not in an ideal world) it is not doable to all of a sudden have extra 5% of people working on an energy solution. In real world we have to increase our numbers so that the absolute number of people working in any particular area is increased by some factor before new progress is made.

I agree with you that if we could set up a world where people could just work towards a common goal, then we could achieve the same results with fewer people, but this is just not going to happen and if your idea is some sort of a revolution (Tylor Derden) then you have already lost your cause and you cannot unite people under your flag, you can only create more divide and new social problems.

Re:energy and pollution (0)

NDPTAL85 (260093) | more than 6 years ago | (#20231767)

I don't know how you could read the grandparents comment, quote some of it, and miss the most important parts.

The point that you missed is that the MORE people we have the more people we have working on solutions to our current problems. When the Earth someday has 9-10 billion people on it we'll have way more scientists than we have right now at 6 billion. We're going to CONTINUE to get more efficient and growing food for ourselves. You didn't bother to distinguish between first and third world countries there in your estimate of land used for food production. Third world nations use way more land for farming than first world nations do.

I have to ask though do you have some sort of anti-people bias? Your wording "Human Virus" makes me suspicious. There's far more ants on the planet for example.

Re:energy and pollution (1)

Tyler Durden (136036) | more than 6 years ago | (#20232033)

I guess I missed his point. I thought he was continuing the cycle of population growth, increased technology, population growth until the process was no longer sustainable. I didn't know his endpoint was going to be a technological utopia. Seeing as how pollution and its effects seem to be growing quicker than our ability to more efficiently use our resources, this outcome seems unlikely.

Just as an aside, 12% of the land for raising food is farmland, the rest is for grazing.

There are far more ants on the planet than humans, but their impact on it is much less than ours. If I really had an anti-people bias, I would push for the human race to have as many kids as possible and argue that the blind pursuit of "progress" without some type of foresight would be the best pursuit of action. If current trends are any indication, it would truly be hell on Earth.

If you would like to read up on just how much of a negative impact we have had on the environment we depend on for our health, happiness and well-being, try reading The World Without Us. It's quite an eye-opener.

Re:energy and pollution (1)

Tyler Durden (136036) | more than 6 years ago | (#20232051)

My bad. 12% of all of the planet's landmass is cultivated. With grazing land added you get another 18+%.

Re:energy and pollution (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 6 years ago | (#20232073)

I guess I missed his point. I thought he was continuing the cycle of population growth, increased technology, population growth until the process was no longer sustainable. I didn't know his endpoint was going to be a technological utopia. Seeing as how pollution and its effects seem to be growing quicker than our ability to more efficiently use our resources, this outcome seems unlikely. - at no time did I mention any kind of utopia. I didn't say our lives will be better or more fulfilling, I didn't say we'll 'solve the world hunger' or will stop all the wars.

Nothing like that, just the fact that we will have enough people working on the next tech problem - shortage of oil.

Re:energy and pollution (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 6 years ago | (#20232255)

>> Stop. Having. So many. Fucking. Kids.

Tell it to the rest of the non-industrialized world.

The "polluting nations" actually have the opposite problem. This has been the case for decades now.

Re:energy and pollution (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20231381)

"Once the population size reaches some critical mass, there are enough of us on the planet to really impact on the environment in a bad way, but as we do so, we start noticing the problems we cause and eventually in order to survive we have to move to better tech for both energy production and to less polluting manufacturing techniques."

There are at least two schools of thought on this. One is along the lines you have described, and that technical solutions will be found before problems get too bad. The other is that we will "overshoot" that limit (think about it: a bunch of people are already "on the way" (i.e. born) when we might figure out there is a problem), and things will get really bad before (if) they get better. If people are struggling to live hand-to-mouth because of the poor conditions, they might not have much time to think about technical innovation.

So, yes, it is all about population growth, and growth in energy/resource use per person, but whether it will play out the hard way or the easy way when we reach practical limits is very debatable. Certainly, many biological systems don't handle that limit gracefully, and historical human civilizations aren't much cause for optimism either (although the constraints were not usually energy, but agriculture). We have the benefit of enough intelligence to perhaps see the problem ahead of time, but that doesn't mean people will react to it collectively and effectively in a reasonable amount of time.

I'm not trying to be cynical, but it might be much harder to adjust than you suggest, and it might require radical solutions. To pick an extreme example, a mud and grass hut in a warm climate or an igloo in a cold climate are very energy efficient homes and composed entirely of renewable materials. That doesn't mean that they would let us keep our current lifestyle if we decided to adopt them, or were forced to because the resources to sustain more elaborate housing were unavailable or prohibitively expensive.

I look at it this way -- as the original poster suggested, yes, oil would have been used eventually anyway, but as a currently energy-rich industrial society we have an obligation to either find an alternative way for the next generation to continue with a similarly rich lifestyle, even as non-renewable resources dwindle, or to fundamentally change.

I don't want the next 10 generations to be scraping out a meager living while cursing my generation for squandering the golden opportunity granted by a cheap energy supply. I don't want people to look back on the 20th and 21st centuries as a "golden age" when things were the best they ever got for humanity, and it was downhill from there. I want it to be sustainable or better. Anything less is irresponsible to the many generations of struggle that got me here, and the many generations that I hope will follow after I'm gone. The last thing I want to do is be complacent about the challenges, and expect it to just happen automatically.

Re:energy and pollution (1)

NoMaster (142776) | more than 6 years ago | (#20231433)

<quote="Woz">We needn't think of ourselves as bad just because we were the lucky ones to have the oil blip</quote>
We're not bad because we're the lucky ones to have oil; at least sensible people don't think that. The belief that it's "bad" is the woolly thinking of the loony fringes, and the consequences of dumbing down the debate/education to fit into the mass-market delivery system of the media.

What is "bad" is the near-total disregard we've had of the side effects, and the near-absence of planning for the inevitable time when our "luck" runs out.

The faith that technology, out of the blue and without having to put in the hard yards of understanding and research now (or, better still, back then ), will magically pop up with a solution to the side-effects and problems verges on the mystical. It's the technologically semi-literate equivalent to believing in a benevolent sky-beard...

Re:energy and pollution (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#20231725)

"at this point the oil is going to be pretty much used up "

asshole greenies have been spouting that bullshit about oil running out for the last 20 years, and there's still millions of barrels produced every day. crude oil is a finite resource, there's no doubt, but please PLEASE stop talking this rubbish that we are going to run out of oil in our life times. Your basing this on absolutely nothing but propaganda from various anti government organisations.

hell when i was in high school they were telling us it was a FACT that we'd be all out of oil by 2010. utter rubbish.

Re:energy and pollution (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 6 years ago | (#20232065)

You are taking my words out of context. Here is what I said:
But more importantly it makes it possible for us to grow the total population to a point when we reach yet another critical mass, at this point the oil is going to be pretty much used up and the environment is much worse off then before, but we have so many people working on so many tech advances that it makes it possible to shift to a different energy source (nuclear/thermonuclear/geothermal/black hole gravity pumps or whatever.)

I was talking about an event that is going to happen, I didn't put a date on it, my position is that at some point in the future we will run out of oil but this will not happen now, it will happen when our population is at some other crisis point and more resources will have to be put towards research into energy. I am talking about having enough population to work on the oil deficiency problem.

Great (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20231093)

But what if he builds a 40,000 square foot house? He'll still be an energy hog.

Re:Great (2, Insightful)

rumblin'rabbit (711865) | more than 6 years ago | (#20231189)

He used to live in a 7,100 square foot home [bornrich.org]. It was up for sale a year ago - I don't know if he's sold it.

I get a little tired of rich, jet setting, mansion owners going on about the environment, even when I agree with them or approve of the work they do.

Re:Great (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 6 years ago | (#20231581)

7100 ft^2? That's practically an apartment for a guy with that kind of scratch!

I agree with your sentiment completely (Al "don't worry I buy carbon credits when I take my private jet" Gore being a good example, especially because I approve of his work), but in this case I think Woz is actually doing a better job of "walking the walk" than most such people. For whatever that's worth.

Logical fallacy (0, Redundant)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#20231665)

Your statement is Tu quoque.

Just because they live in mansions doesn't mean there views on the environment are invalid.
Now, If a rich mansion owners can create a mansion that is environmentally friendly, what's wrong with that?
If it is successful, some of the idea may be incorporated in new houses saving even more resources.

Your just whiny because you aren't rich.

Re:Logical fallacy (1)

rumblin'rabbit (711865) | more than 6 years ago | (#20232159)

I'd be whiny even if I was rich.

But the problem with living in an energy efficient mansion is that it would probably require massive resources to build. There's more than one way to harm the planet than inefficiency.

And I agree that living in a mansion doesn't make one's views invalid. It can, however, make one a a hypocrite, and thus difficult to respect. The day Gore (example #1 of the breed) sells his planes and fancy cars, moves into a 1500 sq ft townhouse, and cycles to work is the day I start liking the guy.

Re:Great (1)

isaac (2852) | more than 6 years ago | (#20232131)

I get a little tired of rich, jet setting, mansion owners going on about the environment, even when I agree with them or approve of the work they do.


Woz is a nice, funny guy. He's not exactly a committed environmentalist living a spartan low-footprint lifestyle. He likes to joke about his energy efficient Hummer ("it's super efficient because it carries four segways at a time" to segway polo matches.)

-Isaac

souther yellow pine resin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20231145)

cool. wonder of effective it is

Here's A Few Already (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20231191)

Some very simple house designs that have a lot going for them: straw bale houses, yurts (see www.yurts.com) and the sort of concrete-over-foam that Habitat For Humanity build. Can Woz really improve on these? I figure he'll find something that already exists and popularize it, with a bit of apple polish.

Re:Here's A Few Already (1)

Fry-kun (619632) | more than 6 years ago | (#20231283)

Jobs is polish; Woz is functionality

Re:Here's A Few Already (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#20231723)

Clearly you ahven't been paying attention to Apple history.
Both are about functionality, and both are about Polish.
With Woz it's all on the board, with jobs it's all the exteriour.

Both understand human interface.

Build Quality (4, Insightful)

failedlogic (627314) | more than 6 years ago | (#20231229)

I think the better idea is to start first by thinking about build quality of houses. My house has had several repairs - things which were minor things to do right the first time end up costing thousands of dollars. The quality could easily extend to Woz's (Woz'z ? ;) ) analogy of the computer.

If the goal of the energy efficient house is to save money on heating and cooling, my thought is we have to look at the expenditure of a house across its lifetime. The materials needed costs something in energy to manufacture, transport, etc - nails, screws, tiles, 2x4, shingles, etc. When these things are thrown away due to shoddy construction* - it leads to more energy demand and wastage to replace it.

*Its usually not the materials that fail except in natural disasters. In disasters. better construction practices, building to code or better codes would help. Again quality the issue.

Hope he is serious! (2, Interesting)

perfectionachieved (1142789) | more than 6 years ago | (#20231279)

Whenever I hear about wealthy people talking about the environment I always have to wonder if they are serious about improving it, or just seeking acclimation from the public

how many houses? (2, Interesting)

Sebastopol (189276) | more than 6 years ago | (#20231285)

has this guy built? i mean, just staying in the same house forever will save far more energy than building X number of new ones, regardless of how energy efficient they are. seems a bit self-inconsistent to me, dare I say hypocritical.

He's not advocating that you move into a new house (1)

FatSean (18753) | more than 6 years ago | (#20231361)

He's advocating using sound energy efficient design principals in the event that you will be building a house. I don't think his scope is 'world wide'. When energy costs keep climbing and climbing (see: gasoline, electricity, natural gas) it's a good idea. If costs continue to climb at their current rate, your energy costs might begin to approach your mortgage payment!

Re:how many houses? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20232281)

> seems a bit self-inconsistent to me, dare I say hypocritical.

Yes, because we all know that whenever a rich person builds a new house they always burn the old one to the ground...

Santa Clara Architect/Developer for Off Grid? (-1, Offtopic)

Resident Netizen (769536) | more than 6 years ago | (#20231327)

Hi Slashdotters!
I'm looking to build on property in the north-east corner of Santa Clara County (CA) and would love to find an architect that knows the area and is also familiar with off-grid requirements and rural (AR) projects.
Any recommendations?
Thanks in advance!

Re:Santa Clara Architect/Developer for Off Grid? (1)

ElectricRook (264648) | more than 6 years ago | (#20231973)

There is a reason nobody lives there. That are is better suited for grazing livestock than building permanent structures.

It's prone to magnitude 8+ earth quakes. California earth quake insurance typically has a 50% deductible and only pays if damage is > 90%. So it's basically worthless. Stay with a single floor wood frame structure, they typically survive earth quakes. Don't build on or under any kind of slope. The soils there are really crappy Franciscan (old sea floor), and don't stick together very well. The soils lack potash, and don't grow trees except at upwellings of water (springs and creeks). Fires can race up the canyons in no-time. When you call 911, nobody comes for a really long time. The rocks are serpentine, and contain asbestos (white asbestos is carcinogenic, the other five are not as bad), and serpentine is not very strong structurally.

What is your commute going to be like? Are the roads paved? You'll get lots of rain. Plan the drainage before the house, drainage is not something easily bolted on after construction. But that seems to be a common method. I guess the architect and builder don't care if you get flooded the winter after they get paid.

What is the source of your utilities? Water, gas, electricity, sewer.

The external view of a house is the very least important thing about a house. But it's the place where most people focus. I suggest you draw your own plans... At least the basic layout. The current fad is lots of smaller rooms. Some folks may like that, I'm not one of them. Consider the thing's most important to you, easy to build, or easy to live in. The architect or builder prefers easy/inexpensive to build. They won't insulate the interior walls, but it's a nice thing to have if you are trying to sleep when the laundry is running.

The remote living is more conducive to a stay at home lifestyle. Cuz there ain't no pizza or starbucks around the corner. So you'd better like to stay home with the barbecue and home-brew. If you enjoy hanging out with the friends after work, and getting away most weekends, you're better off staying in town.

If you can't do just about everything yourself, the remote areas are not for you. That includes going back for a chain-saw to clear a fallen tree from the road, or finishing off the deer you hit with the car on your way to work in the morning.

That being said, I prefer the rural life-style. I live where it's five acre parcels, and my nearest neighbors are several hundred feet away. Granted that's not very far, but we're in an oak woodland forest, and you can't see their houses very easily. I'm on the east side of Folsom Lake, and my commute to Folsom is about 35 minutes.

The Fountainhead (3, Interesting)

Graff (532189) | more than 6 years ago | (#20231339)

After reading this article it dawned on me - Steve Wozniak is a real-life Howard Roark [wikipedia.org]. Woz matches pretty closely with the fictional character: they both have uncompromising principles, they are both creative geniuses, they both use the materials and techniques of their craft to achieve creations far beyond their peers.

I wonder how Woz would feel about the comparison.

Re:The Fountainhead (3, Insightful)

ucblockhead (63650) | more than 6 years ago | (#20231461)

There's one huge difference. Howard Roark was an asshole.

Re:The Fountainhead (1)

Graff (532189) | more than 6 years ago | (#20231501)

I'll totally agree with that, everyone always says that Steve Wozniak is a great, easygoing guy. Howard Roark certainly doesn't come across as being anywhere near as pleasant as Woz does.

Aside from that they really do seem similar, at least when you consider their outlook on the projects they undertake.

Re:The Fountainhead (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20231743)

You'd likely be an asshole as well if everyone in your entire industry told you that what you were working on was worthless and bound to fail.

Re:The Fountainhead (1)

FleaPlus (6935) | more than 6 years ago | (#20232161)

There's one huge difference. Howard Roark was an asshole.
Hm... so I guess in that case Howard Roarke is Richard Stallman instead?

Re:The Fountainhead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20232221)

RMS or Theo... whomever is worse, I shan't venture to guess.

San Luis Obispo? Not very challenging (4, Interesting)

mnemotronic (586021) | more than 6 years ago | (#20231485)

Although I think Woz was talking about end-to-end efficiency, it's not too much of a challenge to build an energy-efficient house in someplace where the average temp varies between 42 and 82 [weather.com] (nasty flash). How about a more challenging location with a wider range [weather.com]? How about someplace at altitude [weather.com]? Talk to me about energy efficiency when it's butt-cold in the winter, with no sun, and triple-glazed windows are the standard. When summertime is unbearable heat, oppressive humidity, intense solar UV, or giant brain-sucking mosquitos. It's easy to build a show home in paradise.

Re:San Luis Obispo? Not very challenging (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20231635)

Hmm, this comment deserves Score: 5, Hit the Nail on the Head (pun intended).

Also, the article was somewhat lacking in detail - lots of talk about energy efficiency; how about talk of economy? If his energy-efficient 1500 sq. ft. house costs $30 million and there aren't obvious economies of scale to be made with the materials/techniques, it's not a particularly useful example.

Re:San Luis Obispo? Not very challenging (4, Interesting)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 6 years ago | (#20231675)

While I can't solve all your problems, I have a few ideas that might be worth trying.

For windows, during the summer months, you want high reflectivity. During the winter months, you want low reflectivity to let more radiant energy in. Solution: double windows. The outer panes swing open like shutters. The main window can behave however you want. The outer pane basically consists of a two-way mirror, and closes during the summer heat. It opens in winter to let more radiant energy in. Make it electronically controlled based on the output of a photocell on that particular window. Alternatively, use shades in the same fashion.

For added thermal conversion factor, use the most dirt cheap black and white passive matrix LCD panels you can find as shingles. During the winter months, set them to black so that they absorb energy and convert it to heat (and disable the vent fan in your attic). During the summer months, set them to transparent (with a foil back) so that your roof reflects the sun's energy back out. Alternatively, use a crawler robot to stretch out a reflective Mylar sheet over your roof during the summer and retract it during the winter.

To warm yourself further in the winter, you'd ideally like a solar concentrator. Use an array of mirrors that track the sun and focus light on your house. During the summer months, point them instead at a solar collector to produce electricity. Alternatively, during the summer, burn the house down with the solar concentrator (due to a "technical glitch"), collect the insurance money, and buy a beach house in Florida. :-D (Kidding!)

Mosquitoes like standing water. Drain and fill the lake. Alternatively, pour alcohol on the surface of the lake and ignite it during breeding season. Alternatively, turn it into a salt water lake.

Other issues? :-D

San Luis Obispo? Not very green. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20232317)

I think you were going for a funny, but there's one item most people forget about when it comes to energy efficiency. Landscaping.

Throw it away (1)

Bloater (12932) | more than 6 years ago | (#20231527)

> Build it right and with few parts it does a lot. Don't cover things with more and more and more technology for features.

And when you need an extra room, don't convert the loft - just knock the house down and build a new one. Think continuous revenue stream^W^W^Wdifferent.

Neat concept, but I bet it can be improved. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20231561)

If Southern Yellow Pine has this magic property of absorbing a lot of heat from melting above room termperature, then refreezing and letting off the heat - couldn't we make a similar synthetic substance that is even more efficient? Like a sprayable foam of this resin, instead of just using it for the building material. Would be especially neat if it could be installed in existing normal houses. Think of the market!

Also, I'd like to point out that some of the houses shown on the Enertia website are like some sort of giant hippy McMansions. The Brandywine design is 3432 square feet, while the Southern Comfort design is an astounding 6,473 square feet. Unless you have 17 kids or live in a commune, I don't see how an "efficient" 6,500 square foot mansion makes sense. Shouldn't they be concentrating on the smaller homes that have less internal space to build/heat/cool/light?

Re:Neat concept, but I bet it can be improved. (1)

A Numinous Cohort (872515) | more than 6 years ago | (#20231935)

If Southern Yellow Pine has this magic property of absorbing a lot of heat from melting above room termperature, then refreezing and letting off the heat - couldn't we make a similar synthetic substance that is even more efficient? Like a sprayable foam of this resin, instead of just using it for the building material.

Already done: http://www.basf.com/corporate/080204_micronal.htm [basf.com]

Sequester carbon: use lots of wood (2, Interesting)

G4from128k (686170) | more than 6 years ago | (#20231567)

Woz can help remove CO2 from the atmosphere by using lots of wood or plant fiber (from local sustainably-managed plantations, of course). If each person on the planet used about 30 tons of wood or plant fiber for their house, it would return the Earth's atmosphere to it's pre-industrial level of CO2 (1 ton of wood sequesters roughly 1.2 tons of CO2). The only challenge (aside from growing enough wood) is termites which have a nasty habit of converting wood into CO2 and methane.

Re:Sequester carbon: use lots of wood (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#20231601)

It would be better ti just bury the wood, trapping the CO2 under ground.

Re:Sequester carbon: use lots of wood (1)

G4from128k (686170) | more than 6 years ago | (#20231697)

I don't see how burying wood is better than using wood unless Woz finds another building material with a lower total footprint. Given that the footprint for wood is strongly negative (assuming a local plantation using sustainable techniques), I have a hard time thinking that he can find a better material (even rock has a positive footprint). Perhaps underground storage of wood offers a slightly better sequestration (near infinite versus 50-200 years for a home), but I doubt even this is true if you factor in the carbon footprint of build the cavern and the potential methane leaks from decomposing wood.

Re:Sequester carbon: use lots of wood (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#20231757)

Then how did all the plants that made fossil fuels get trapped for millions of years?

Anyways, yes use it for houses; However look into other item.

I was half joking, but now I wonder how much carbon a 10 year old tree contains, and how much it would take to seal them away.

yes, I know not all tree as the same.

Re:Sequester carbon: use lots of wood (1)

poopdeville (841677) | more than 6 years ago | (#20231827)

(1 ton of wood sequesters roughly 1.2 tons of CO2)

Citation? This seems to violate the Law of Conservation of Mass.

Why 1 ton wood = 1.2 tons CO2 (1)

G4from128k (686170) | more than 6 years ago | (#20232259)

The mass is conserved, but the carbon is more concentrated (by mass) in wood than in CO2. A bit of basic chemistry will show that 44 grams of CO2 plus 18 grams of water yields 30 grams of cellulose (composed of COH2) plus 32 grams of O2. That gives a ratio of about 1.47 tons of CO2 per ton of cellulose. But if you factor in the non-cellulose components of wood such as water (about 15% in dry boards), mineral ash, lignin (a protein), etc. then the ratio drops to about 1.2.

Real Energy Design 101 (2, Interesting)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 6 years ago | (#20231773)

If he actually cared, it would be more like this:

1. Use as little space as possible, so as to reduce unnecessary energy use.

2. Realize that the more space you devote to a garage, the larger the number of inefficient automobiles you will buy to fill it.

3. Spend all money saved in replacing inefficient corporate jets with green jets that use half the fuel to carry the same passenger load - or ride coach.

But that would be efficient design of an energy-efficient house.

Now, maybe he'll get a plug-in hybrid for the garage, that gets more than 100 mpg, that might help a bit.

Re:Real Energy Design 101 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20231877)

If he actually cared, it would be more like this:
I believe that Woz does really care, he just cares about efficiency and total cost rather than feeling good with the choices closest to him - say - like an electric car.

Just because a car runs on hydrogen or is 100% electric doesn't make it more energy efficient. Every time you convert energy from one form into another, there is a loss. Chemical to electrical - losy. Heat into motion - losy, there is no perpetual motion machine. Don't believe it when "they" say hydrogen fuel cells are more efficient. There's no way to know that without including the cost of creating the hydrogen and every thing else that was used to create the hydrogen. The Well to Wheel cost is what counts: http://www.memagazine.org/mepower03/gauging/gaugin g.html [memagazine.org]

Re:Real Energy Design 101 (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 6 years ago | (#20232473)

The goal is to maximize comfort for the minimum footprint. You want to use as much space as you can afford (up to the point where additional space does not make you more comfortable) as efficiently as possible.

You weren't supposed to think the cities of "Caves of Steel" were great places to live.

The Woz has been duped by snake oil salesmen (4, Interesting)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 6 years ago | (#20231795)

Hard to believe the Woz can be taken in by this whole "southern yellow pine" bullshit. Energy efficiency is much more than using the same wood we us by the million board-feet here in the southeast. I happen to be an engineer who workes in the residential market, and I can pretty much guarantee that there is no miracle in S. Pine.

There is a certain amount of value to thermal mass, but it's not a panacea. You see, if your diurnal cycle lies outside of your comfort zone, it's going to take a massive amount of energy to keep those walls at your comfort temperature, and solid substances used in building are all very conductive. Want R-19 walls? Great - go build your walls 15 inches thick! Getting that temp cycle to work for you requires that your average temp is your indoor desired temp (Lisa, in this house...).

When thermal mass houses are subjected to extended cold (like we have here, even in Virginia), they suck - heat that is.

There are lots of great things you can do, but energy efficiency can be helped most by doing the following:

1) Don't build a new house - buy an existing one.
2) If you build, don't do the code minimums - they are there so production builders can make 25% while giving you a Wal-Mart quality product (excuse me, "affordable" housing is what they call it) ... and the best way to save energy...
3) Move somewhere where you don't need to heat or cool your house to be comfortable.

Now, if you're still dead set to build something energy efficient, give me a call and we can talk about my fees. The last house I built from scratch - about 52,000 conditioned cubic feet with several hundered square feet of windows in a 6500HDD environment cost me just about $40/mo to heat and cool, on averge, throughout the year.

Re:The Woz has been duped by snake oil salesmen (2, Interesting)

Megaport (42937) | more than 6 years ago | (#20232541)

I have to agree. As much as I love the Woz, its time that he put down the crack pipe on this one. According to TFA, Woz is shopping around a few Californian locations such as Half Moon Bay to build the house...

Thus sayeth the Wiki about Half Moon Bay, California [wikipedia.org]: Half Moon Bay usually has mild weather throughout the year. Hot weather is rare; the average annual days with highs of 90F (32C) or higher is only 0.2 days. Cold weather is also rare with an annual average of 2.5 days with lows of 32F (0C) or lower.

Of course the eco-house will remain at body temperature all year around, but so will a tent in that part of the world. This looks too much like cheating.

-M

Woz really knows how to sacrifice (2, Funny)

Sean Hermany (4507) | more than 6 years ago | (#20232217)

I am looking for sites but haven't had enough time to narrow one down yet. I'm mostly interested in areas of the California coast, like Half Moon Bay or San Luis Obispo. ... I have always had an interest in my own self-sacrifice to help the environment.

Oh yeah, because living around the California coast is such a self sacrifice. I mean Half Moon Bay? Who could think of living there? Only savages. [ritzcarlton.com]

Energy of Conversion (2, Interesting)

Icono (238214) | more than 6 years ago | (#20232233)

The energy of conversion is the energy it takes to change a matter's state from a solid to a liquid, or back again. The temperature of the matter remains the same, be it liquid or solid, only it's state changes. The energy of conversion for water from a liquid to a solid is about 1,050 Btu/pound of water.

I don't know what the energy of conversion for the resin at 71F is, but that house can store and release thousands of BTUs over the course of a day and night.
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