"Now if the rest of us poor, working and middle-classes will ever be able to rise above our circumstances again and 'make it', then we should happily join Mr. Wheeler and others in doing our collective part for humanity and the earth."
Thanks for your comments. I suppose that is another part of the equation I should mention - part of the mission (one of the very real constraints in fact) with this project was to hold the upfront cost to a sort of number that would be palatable to the "middle class". The good folks at Collier and I have had countless conservations about how to bring solid design and construction within reach of "the average joe". We were able to keep the square foot cost on this home maybe 30% - 40% below the "going rate" for other homes in similar communities.
Appreciate the criticisms above. They are valid concerns to be sure. Signal works for us with four children as private school is not within our reach. My oldest is 16, the other public school options some 11 or so years ago were not particularly attractive to us so we moved to Signal. Wife stays home, church, school, and even groceries are close to the house. SUV, yes (an older one), but again, with six of us (plus two dogs) I haven't found a good alternative.
In any event, part of the thrust of this project was to see how far we could take a "normal" home in terms of efficiency and the like. In spite of momentary delusions, it isn't likely that the majority of Americans are ready to live in urban settings, move to an "off the grid" home, give up their cars, etc. We've managed to reduce our energy consumption by more than 40% from our previous home; I'm pretty excited by that.
I absolutely welcome the dialogue and the criticism presented here. I would be more than happy to continue on this public venue and / or in person, over the phone, etc. If anyone is seriously interested in the positive or potential negative aspects of what we've done I would be happy to arrange time to meet at our home, downtown, or whatever might be convenient. You can get my contact information from our company web site, www.twharch.com. />
All my best,