A Series on Building the Sustainable Home in Tucson, Arizona
We are now in the final phase of design: Matthew is generating construction documents that include various technical details like electrical, plumbing, and mechanical plans. It’s not as exciting as choosing a floor plan or selecting materials, because most of it is behind-the-scenes stuff that I never think about, and never want to have to think about—it should just work. But there have been a couple of actual choices to make.
For instance: outdoor lights on switches, or light/motion sensors? Plumbing and rainwater system with PVC or alternative materials? Whole-house surge protector, or not? They are still choices I have to make, and some of them have environmental consequences, but it doesn’t generate the same amount of enthusiasm as the more visible, higher-level thinking. What I want now, really, is to start building. I want to drive past my lot and see progress there, not only on my computer. Of course, we can’t do that without complete plans. And even if we could, I wouldn’t want to—I continue to believe that a decent share of obstacles and hiccups can be avoided by thorough planning. But people keep asking! And I keep seeing photos of spaces and reading articles about environmental concerns and wanting it all to be more tangibly underway.
Matthew is working fast, and I can see it unfolding, one system at a time. We’ll be collecting bids and choosing a contractor soon. It’s been a tough and troubling two weeks in the world, and having concrete projects to work on that combat some of the damage we may start seeing as a country that has elected a climate change-denier to be the president certainly helps to keep my mind in a productive place. I hope you, too, are finding ways to feel, and be, productive, along with whatever other feelings we all have.
Photo of lightbulbs courtesy Pixabay.