Practical Affordable ARC
A PAARC is not one of our homes. It's yours.
A Practical Affordable ARC is the culmination of years of research, in which our ideas become your home. We can help you design and engineer a home to fit your tastes and site requirements. Using energy-saving methods and solar capture, you can live in a home that is affordable to build and inexpensive to maintain, while doing your part to lower the world's dependence on carbon fuels. Stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer without the big energy bills.
We are not architects or builders. Our service is knowledge - consultants to help you build the ultimate in energy-efficient homes for the extreme temperature swings of a northern climate.
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Adapting energy-saving technologies to your home needs
Our first PAARC is adapted to pole-barn construction and includes a 1,400 sq. ft. home and a 1,400 sq. ft. attached garage/goat barn. The owners, Mike and Jackie, were looking not only for fuel efficiency for their home, but also a barn for the goats that will never have to be heated. They chose pole barn framing for its cost efficiency and ease of construction.
The owners are building the home themselves while taking advantage of several cost-saving ideas: 1) installation of solar heating panels; 2) pumping and holding the solar heat into the sand under the house; 3) perimeter wing insulation extending four feet from the house to prevent ground frost from reaching the heated sand; 4) superior insulation in the walls and ceiling; 5) open slab heat retention for the barn and garage; 6) double-mulled windows; and 7) geothermal air ventilation system. Heat from the on demand water heater and the clothes dryer vent will be circulated under the house to keep the sand warm. This home is the first to install the new H.U.G. Utility Core. (see below)
An aerial photo of the PAARC construction site in May, '18.
Follow along as the home construction progresses
Mike and Jackie began work on their home in spring of 2018. Follow along week-by-week via video blog to learn in his own words how and why Mike is building it the way he is.
Here is our latest video update: Episode 12
Rendering of utility core as designed for Mike and Jackie's home.
H.U.G. Utility Core
The H.U.G. Utility Core is an all-in-one concept designed to minimize the footprint of the home's utilities, while making sure everything is accessible and easy to maintain. It contains many of the mechanics of a home all designed to work together to efficiently handle all the heating, cooling, ventilation and water heating needs. Many technologies included are H.U.G. heating/cooling innovations that have been tested and developed on the HUG Campus buildings.
The utility core designed for Mike and Jackie contains the air exchange and circulation system, with cooling/heating elements. An on-demand water heater provides hot water for personal use as well as for the in-floor heat. The air conditioning is done with well water run through a radiator in the ventilation line. The water from that then goes to the goat water trough and the gardens.
H.U.G. Utility Core is run by our HUGnet system, which constantly monitors air flow, temperatures, water intake, and more while controlling the pumps, fans, valves, and dampers.
Mike points out the site where the utility core will be installed in the new home.