“The term off-grid refers to not being connected to a grid, mainly used in terms of not being connected to the main or national electrical grid. In electricity, off-grid can be stand-alone systems (SHS) or mini-grids typically to provide a smaller community with electricity. Off-grid electrification is an approach to access electricity used in countries and areas with little access to electricity, due to scattered or distant population. It can be any kind of electricity generation. The term off-the-grid (OTG) can refer to living in a self-sufficient manner without reliance on one or more public utilities.

Off-the-grid homes are autonomous; they do not rely on municipal water supply, sewer, natural gas, electrical power grid, or similar utility services. A true off-grid house is able to operate completely independently of all traditional public utility services. The idea has been recently popularized by certain celebrities including Ed Begley, Jr. who stars in Living with Ed television show on the Home & Garden Television network. Actress Daryl Hannah promotes off-grid living and constructed her home in Colorado according to those principles, as does survival expert and Dual Survival co-star Cody Lundin, who lives in a self-designed, passive solar earth house in the high-desert wilderness of Northern Arizona, collecting rainwater, composting waste, and paying nothing for utilities.

ICS Eco-SIPs Structural Insulated Panels

SOLARGON HOMES

Solargon cabins and homes were the natural development of refinement and timing. Their designs reflect the trend in downsizing and energy efficient building. Start small and add as you need, or combine our building component sizes to build the living space that fits your needs. Using ultra efficient and super strong polyurethane SIPs walls, roof and floor panels, Solargon has created uniquely designed living spaces that result in optimum living comfort and significant energy savings with the most efficient building systems available. As building codes mandate higher standards for compliance, the cost of conventional building has risen to make SIPs competitive with big advantages over “stick built” homes.

Building Envelope
When planning to build an energy efficient house, most important is the building envelope or external shell which is the “backbone” of a green building.

SIPs Panel Kits
Solargon Homes are built with ultra efficient building panels that are extremely strong, durable and very energy efficient. Our SIPs panel kits transport easily and assemble quickly reducing building costs and construction project timelines.

Green Building Kits = Lower Costs
This method of building equals customer savings with lower contractor and labor costs for your construction project. Interior and exterior treatments such as windows, doors, siding, roofing etc are purchased locally by the customer or builder. This assures better product quality, lower shipping costs and lets the customer choose the building materials for finishing the home while also supporting local economies and businesses.

Solargon | Efficient Green Octagonal Buildings
The Solargon is one of the most efficient green octagonal buildings available with a 5 star + energy rating equivalent to a HERS rating of 63. Solargon’s performs beautifully as stand alone off- the-grid dwellings or as additions to existing homes. Feel free to visit the many completed Solargon projects at the blog link below or contact us for more information.

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Benefits

Green Building Envelope

New Sage Homes offers green building envelope systems that look to the future for long term energy savings. SIP panel technology allows the rapid assembly of your home or backyard space to be as cost effective as possible. Listed below are some of the many benefits of owning the building envelope kits.

Benefits

  • Most efficient building envelope available
  • Increased resale value of almost 10%
  • Shorter construction time frame
  • Premium performance building envelope
  • Passive solar designs /correct glazing ratio
  • Savings on heating and cooling systems costs
  • Lower operating costs than conventional homes for the life of the building
  • Much stronger than conventional construction
  • High-quality construction

NEW SAGE HOMES is located in Loveland, Colorado.  FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL MITCH WEINER 970.218.8300

Pricing | Green Homes For Sale

Pricing is determined by model selection and options. 

smattei@newsagehomes.com  970-227-8864

dkirk@newsagehomes.com     303-668-8081

Off Grid Living

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Solargon Homes received this testimonial from one of their Solargon owners in northern Colorado.

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“Our Solargon has been performing REALLY WELL. Let’s put it this way – the plumbing in the Solargon is filled with water. I have never had to drain the water for fear of freezing, even when we were in India for 6 months last year, because the Solargon doesn’t freeze inside. The system operates automatically and independently. The solar water pump has been great, completely reliable. Also the solar power system (P.V. is probably overkill for the structure, so that we only use about 10% of the available battery power when we run lights, vacuum cleaner and a refrigerator overnight.”

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“We have solar hot water heating a 175 gallon storage tank. This heat is used for hot water when we are there, and when we are not there it is used for the two radiators we installed. It’s enough to keep the interior from freezing even in -30F weather. The passive solar input to the structure through the south-facing windows also heats the interior on the many sunny days, and when summer hot water production reaches the high temperature limit on the solar hot water system, the excess hot water is pumped through 500 feet of PEX tubing under the floor.”

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“The interior temperature of the cabin at the thermostat never goes below 45°F, to my knowledge (I set it at 45°F when we leave). This is entirely off-grid and with NO propane heating of any kind, purely solar. We installed insulated window shades that cut the heat loss from the non-south-facing windows, and better sealing of the doors has helped as well.”

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“We have a 250 gallon propane tank that provides propane to the stove and to the tank less water heater that backs up the solar hot water. Since we filled that tank to 80% in 2010 (200 gallons), we have used … 5 gallons. We’re down to 78% from 80%.”

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“We cook on the wood stove when possible, and the solar hot water has almost always been hot enough to never need the propane backup.

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What can I say? It works as near to perfectly as makes little difference.”

Quadra Design

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The latest snow storms with winds in excess of 50 miles an hour created this almost perfect circle around the Backyard Quadra. The stable design sheds wind well due to roof planes that slope over the four corners of the building.

Winter

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Montana Solargon

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The variety of styles used in the Solargon 30 seem endless. This vacation home in Glendive, Montana combines the washer /dryer within the kitchen area to conserve space.

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Roof support beams have a dramatic impression viewed from the hallway off the kitchen.

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Metal roof and Hardy siding make for low maintenance. Ultra efficiency in this northern climate is an intelligent approach to sustainable living.

New Sage Homes

Backyard Quadra

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As Seen on Tinyhouseblog

New Sage Homes was created in response to the demand for alternative designs of our ultra efficient octagonal buildings. We design and develop high performance backyard spaces and compact model homes. Featured above is the new Backyard Quadra. This small building is big inside for 119 sq. ft. and is manufactured using polyurethane SIPs panels. Like the Solargons they assemble quickly and feature the same cam lock technology and ultra efficient performance. We provide the external envelope or shell of the building and you or your contractor finish the building out. Assembly time for the exterior envelope shell kit is generally under one day.

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Finishing the inside and out with locally supplied materials saves on shipping and the panel to panel cam lock system reduces your project timeline for additional savings.

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With 12′ of overhead space there is plenty of room for a loft. An operable skylight allows good light and ventilation. This model serves as an art studio and occasional guest room for visitors. Body heat plays a role in heating these extremely efficient buildings.

The owner had a custom hardwood ladder built which also supports the loft. The Backyard Series buildings work well for emergency housing and this very model served to house the owners daughter who was displaced during the Colorado floods of 2013.

Backyard Diamond

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The Backyard Diamond is also 119 sq. ft. The owner of this model finished the building out with a loft, kitchenette, big screen surround sound system and bathroom with a shower. He has saved 12,000 dollars in the past two years over the condo he rented prior to building his Backyard Diamond.

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Seasonal window brows were constructed from 2 x 2’s and shade cloth to assist in cooling the building in the summer. In the fall the brows are removed for the winter as the building then benefits from passive solar gain.

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The loft ladder hangs out of the way for daytime activities.

Whatever your needs – from an office space to guest room consider New Sage Homes. Backyard models are lean on energy consumption and perform well for any off grid application. The models shown are only examples of the endless possibilities and ways our buildings can be finished out.

Solargon Interiors

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If you are planning to break ground in the spring, now is the time to design the interior and order your Solargon home. Here are some shots of Solargon 30 interiors Write us for more about the high performance energy saving Solargons.

Solargon 20 Featured in Urgent Architecture

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Bridgette Meinhold’s new book features the above Solargon 20 as a better example of future housing.

“Urgent Architecture is an organized, straightforward, no-nonsense collection of prefabricated, adaptable, affordable and disaster/emergency housing. Ms. Meinhold doesn’t wax poetic or use any of the academic industry jargon that you might see in other architecture books. Like its name implies, the book gets right at the heart of the matter – how climate change, wars, dwindling resources, poverty and natural disasters are affecting our world and what we need to do to adapt architecture accordingly in order to survive. In fact, the introduction, which is a mere 7 pages, succinctly outlines the reasons that we need better housing and serves as a crash course for anyone who might not yet be familiar with all of the issues above.

“My goal is not to explain the serious threats we will face in the future due to climate change, increasing natural disasters, and our rapidly rising population,” Meinhold explains. “Instead, I want to show that one of the ways we can protect ourselves and save lives is by building better housing. We have the technology and know-how to build stronger, more durable, energy-efficient, sustainable, and disaster-proof housing; we just need to prepare and be smarter with our planning and construction. The shelters and homes in this book serve as examples of what is possible, what is on the market, and what technologies and designs will be able to help us in the future.”

Small is Big

Lowering Costs of Smaller Buildings

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Many tiny houses are used as guest rooms and are located near an existing home with accommodations. This approach saves the costs of adding a bath and kitchen.

Close proximity to the main house can save big when it comes to gaining additional living space for guests without adding a bath and kitchen, plumbing, electrical, foundation costs and permits.

A small space can have a big feel if a bath and or kitchen is not sharing available square footage.

An unplumbed building not being used on a regular basis does not require constant heating and with a passive solar design and super insulation will heat passively during the day time sun.

The building above is a guest room with a loft and has been used by a student, visiting guests, and occasionally as an art studio.

7 Smart Home Essentials

1) A meal will sustain you for a few hours.

2) A pair of shoes will last months or maybe a year.

3) A car can last a decade but a home should last a lifetime.

4) Americans now spend on average 87% of their time indoors. When planning to build a home one should take into account the overall quality of the environment.

5) Factors that make up the living space should benefit the occupants.

6) Natural lighting, air quality, openness , how living space flows from area to area are all important for body and mind wellness.

7) The time it takes to intelligently plan for your home will have returns for the rest of your stay.

Simple Compact Architecture

Ideal Shape for a Low Energy House

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New Sage Homes follows green homes guidelines by building with simple compact architecture. Square compact shapes retains an extraordinary area to volume ratio. It is an almost ideal shape for a low energy house. To check the optimality of a certain house shape we calculate a Area to volume ratio – the rate between house envelope area (A) and house heated volume (V). More energy efficient houses have lower ratios. Interestingly, more thermally efficient building shapes in most cases also mean lower construction expenses, as there is less wall/roof/foundation for the same space.

High Performance Building Envelopes

Simple Compact Architecture at New Sage Homes is combining efficient architecture utilizing high performance building envelopes which in turn results in additional energy costs savings for the life of the home. Low Energy Home

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Passive Solar Building Advantages

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The prime Passive solar building advantage is that the design uses sunshine to heat and light homes. Passive solar heating is the least expensive way to heat your new home and is one of the most attractive strategies available for energy-efficient construction and sustainable building. It is usually part of the design of the building itself, using certain materials with correct placement of windows including correct placement the building itself.

Optimum Solar Gain Through Window Placement

Because much of a building’s heat is lost through its windows, the majority of windows in our buildings are located on the southeast, south and southwest walls for optimum solar gain. In the winter when heating is required, the sun is low in the sky, which allows the heat to penetrate into windows on the southerly faces of a structure. In the summer, south-facing windows are shaded by roof overhangs, shades or awnings to keep out the hot summer sun.

Polyurethane SIPs Panels

A successful passive solar building also needs to be very well insulated in order to make the best use of the sun’s energy. Polyurethane SIPs are unsurpassed in performance and the result is a quiet and comfortable space, free of drafts and cold spots. Passive solar design can also achieve summer cooling and ventilating by making use of convective air currents which are created by the natural tendency of hot air to rise.

As renowned architect Frank Gehry proclaimed, “sunlight should always be utilized because it”s free.” So not only is passive solar building eco-friendly it can also substantially lower your energy costs.

Super Insulated Building

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Super insulated building is now a force in the marketplace. Super insulated building practices are included in Canadian building codes and are standard practice in many parts of Europe. Changes to the Model Energy Code have been implemented by the US Department of Energy and US Department of Housing and Urban Development in this country. Monetary incentives, such as Energy Rated Mortgage which increase the borrowing power of buyers of energy efficient homes, are in place at banks right now.

Energy Performance Rating System

Programs like the Energy Star Homes Program, sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy, encourage builders to build Super insulated homes and provide a rating system to evaluate energy performance.

New Sage Homes consumers who are interested in healthy indoor environments, decreased energy costs, environmental friendly lifestyles, and quality in their homes can insure that super insulated building becomes standard practice in the US.

SIPs and Heat Transfer | Energy Performance Building System

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New Sage Homes starts with the top energy performance building system available – structural insulated panels with a polyurethane core or Sips for short. This is important to providing the best thermal barrier between the inside living area and outside elements of a building.

Other forms of insulation, such as fiber-glass, cellulose, Icynene, and blue-jean material, have half the R-value, allow air-flow, and do not eliminate any of the six mechanisms of heat transfer.

Smart Green Building Strategy

Another significant factor in reducing heat transfer and increased performance is the amount of area of the building that is exposed to the elements. Buildings should be designed to create the most floor-space with the least amount of building materials, thus the least wall area. A circular building is most efficient, with an “efficiency ratio” of floor area to lineal feet of walls of 8.9. However, a circular building is more difficult to build than one with flat surfaces. An octagonal building, which has an efficiency ratio of 8.7, is much easier to build. A square building with a ratio of 7.9 is still very efficient. The more compact the design the better the performance. That is why using our energy performance building system reflects this smart green building strategy.