Cool home_ homeowner sliced utility bills in half using solar power

Cool Home: Homeowner sliced utility bills in half using solar power A doctor with a vision of sustainability and a goal of limiting her environmental impact turned an ultra modern home into a green machine Check out this story on

Lais Perlstein practices internal medicine. Insulated concrete forms basement walls She first moved to the United States 15 years ago to pursue a PhD on the subject of diabetes. Forming concrete walls snap ties She shares the home with her daughter Camille, 8 years old.

One of the most distinctive features of the house is the use of concrete in most walls and in the flooring throughout the house.

Poured concrete wall crack repair The guest bedroom is located on the ground floor with a view of the pool.

Located on the second floor is the “music room”. Pouring concrete walls for basement What Lais loves most about her home is the fact that it’s “big, but the rooms are not huge. Architectural concrete walls Unlike many houses here. Solid concrete walls So that makes for a lot of different habitats in the house. Concrete retaining wall design example That makes room for an exercise room, a music room, a porch…As opposed to having a huge bedroom with a bed in the middle. Painting unfinished basement concrete walls It creates different environments where you can be in the house.”

Lais Perlstein practices internal medicine. Poured in place concrete wall cap She first moved to the United States 15 years ago to pursue a PhD on the subject of diabetes. Precast concrete retaining walls brisbane She shares the home with her daughter Camille, 8 years old.

The stunning house stands out and is impossible to miss. Interior cinder block walls It’s located a mere five minutes walk from the Maple Ask neighborhood and the popular Cartel Coffee, yet the price of properties decreases significantly on this side of the train tracks. Insulated concrete wall system The homeowner replaced the front lawn with river rock, and has plans to expand on the desert landscaping too. Precast concrete walls for homes (Photo: Ottavia Zappala)

When Lais Perlstein, originally from Brazil, moved to the Arizona desert, she made up her mind that she would do whatever it took to adapt to this environment rather than trying to coerce it to adapt to her needs.

“I think we are creating all of this comfort so that people can live comfortably in the desert, at a very high cost for the environment,” she said.

So the first thing she did when she purchased her Tempe home in 2013 was to install solar panels and remove the front and back lawns of the property. Sandblasting concrete block walls High cooling costs

Before installing solar panels, cooling the home during the summer months used to cost around $800 a month. Concrete block retaining wall diy Considering the home has four A/C systems, high ceilings and 30 feet of sliding glass doors, it’s not surprising.

Nowadays, the price of cooling in the summer doesn’t exceed $400.

She put down $15,000 up front in order to install enough panels to offset about 50 percent of the energy consumption. Insulating concrete walls above grade The total amount of the loan is $30,000, meaning that she’s repaying the remaining $15,000 over time.

The good news is that her monthly payment is only $80 a month, and the interest rate of the loan is extremely low. Pouring concrete walls forms Lower, in fact, than inflation rate.

So, if you do the math, spending $400 (at most) plus $80 for the loan, Perlstein is still spending a little over half what she would have if she hadn’t installed the panels.

The only catch is having some savings handy for the down payment. Precast concrete retaining walls sydney But Perlstein also took advantage of Arizona’s personal tax credit of $1,000. Basement concrete wall paint ideas To top it off, the federal government also allowed her to deduct 30 percent of her solar power system costs.

In about nine years, the solar panels will have paid for themselves, making this a good investment for anyone who plans on staying in their home awhile. Polystyrene concrete wall construction Removing grass

The homeowner also cut her water spendings to a minimum by removing the grass.

“I can’t drive around Arizona and see a place with real grass and feel good about it,” she said. Precast concrete house walls “I just can’t. Polished concrete walls bathroom And I love grass. Precast concrete walls price india When I see it I think ‘that must be so soft,’ and I just want to roll in it. Insulating concrete walls But I just can’t. Sanding concrete walls So I was very happy when I got rid of it.”

Once again, she did her research and found out the City of Tempe offered a $250 credit for removing grass from the front and an additional $250 for removing it from the back of the property.

“There are some good things being done here, but a lot of people don’t know about it,” Perlstein said.

Now, she has a patch of artificial turf in the back so that her daughter, Camille, 8 years old, can still run and play. How to pour concrete walls for basement As for the front of the property, she has plans to plant a desert landscape someday. How to make concrete walls look good Other initiatives

But aside from the solar energy and tackling the grass, Lais has also taken other smaller scale initiatives to be environmentally conscious.

She has two barrels in the backyard to collect rainwater, which she built herself after attending a workshop by the Valley Permaculture Alliance. Precast concrete retaining walls uk For about $50 worth of material, she walked away with two rain barrels.

She swears the barrels are “super easy” to make. Interior concrete block wall finishes The biggest challenge, she laughs, was driving home with them in the car. Precast concrete wall panels india Perlstein couldn’t see out of the car window and ended up having a minor accident. Concrete render interior walls There is a hose connected to the barrels, and the water is used for fruit trees and other plants.

But her current pet project is aquaponics: growing her own vegetables and filtering the koi pond at the same time. Interior cinder block wall covering The residue from the fish water is used to feed plants, who in turn filter out the residue from the water, cleaning the pond.

“So you are growing your own food without any toxins, nourishing it naturally,” she said. Poured concrete walls house “It helps the filtering system of the pond, and the amount of water you need is so much less than if you were to plant them in earth.”

That’s because the plants aren’t planted in soil, but in growing media — clay pebbles that absorb and retain water and nutrients.

Her dream is to grow vegetables out of some raised beds in the front courtyard adjacent to the kitchen. Stamped concrete basement walls Theoretically, one can grow as many plants as the area of the pond.

Perlstein also composts her own food scraps in a compost bin just outside the kitchen door. Exposed aggregate retaining walls And she collects already made compost from the City of Tempe — for free.

“You just call, make an appointment, come with a utility bill and you can get a huge pile of compost,” Perlstein said. Finishing concrete walls in basement “You get there and there’s no one there. Types of precast concrete panels Huge black piles of compost. Poured concrete wall forms for sale It’s like, my gosh, where are the people?” Home’s history

Built in 2006 by architects Szu-Ping Patricia Chen Suchart and Thamarit Suchart, the house is a gorgeous piece of modern architecture. Concrete retaining wall cost per linear foot Perlstein tastefully decorated it with mid-century modern design pieces and some antique finds.

It was initially called “the Sosnowski Residence” after the construction company that built it. How to make concrete walls look nice The builder lived in that home until Perlstein bought it, and he ran his business out of the front facing upstairs room that is now Camille’s bedroom.

Located by the Maple Ash neighborhood of Tempe, it’s different from the rest of the older homes surrounding it. Precast concrete retaining wall systems Some of the neighbors were not thrilled at the time it was being built.

Once, when one of Camille’s friends got picked up by her dad after a playdate, he was surprised: “Oh! You live in the ice cube house! I’ve always wanted to see it!”

That’s how Perlstein found out what neighbors used to call the house. Precast concrete walls pretoria The house stands out so much that one day someone just let themselves in thinking her home was a commercial building.

Nowadays, people find themselves knocking at her door to compliment her on the house.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *