Introduction

architects, cleveland, washington, sustainability, residential designHello, my name is Ron Sarstedt and I am an architect in Cleveland, Ohio. Over the course of several writings I will be sharing with you the philosophies, techniques, and implementation practices I use for the creation of a truly sustainable home. This home is unique and exciting, reflective of the past while imagining the future, grounded in experience while exploring new possibilities, and respectful of the natural planet. It is a joyous home meant for living and playing. It is a home that transcends fashion and time while igniting the human spirit.

For over 30 years I have been designing sustainable homes for others. It is now time for me to take the observations, techniques, and experience that have been accrued over this time and create a sustainable home for myself. Due to the detail required to illustrate very simple ideas, several writings will be necessary. I hope you find all of them informative and enjoyable.

For a house to be great, it should first meet the physical and metaphysical needs of the owner and second, possess a symbiotic relationship between the manmade environment and the natural world that is holistic in principal. Simply, the house should be more than 4 walls, floor, ceiling, and windows and doors. Granted it should protect you from the elements, but how it protects you is the question. This home will be a carefree, flexible, and a fun place to live while stimulating an imagination of “what could be” while protecting our planet. The home is unique and exciting, dignified and graceful, inspiring yet calming, valued for sensory stimulation, and holistically respectful of the natural planet.

Future writings will discuss how design, not technology made my house a truly sustainable home, both physically and spiritually. I will share with you how I integrated the manmade with the natural, utilized passive solar heating for space and hot water, ventilation for cooling and air quality, geothermal for both heating and cooling, heat recapture, storm water retention and irrigation while managing to lift a few spirits here and there. The last topic will be the ease and cost effectiveness of evolving this housing model into a carbon neutral home. I can only imagine that you would enjoy never paying another utility bill or virtually reduce your travel expenses to next to nothing.