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What to Add to a Steel Building to Make it Self-Sufficient?
More and more people are starting to think about going off the grid and living in a self-sufficient home. These autonomous buildings provide freedom from utility companies, which means virtually no utility bills. However, making your steel building self-sufficient isn’t going to be easy, nor, in the beginning, will it be cheap. However, it can be done. Here are some of the things you’ll need to add to your building to truly make it self-sufficient.
If you have purchased something like a steel shipping container or have had a corrugated building put up, you’re going to notice right away that it’s not very comfortable inside. That’s because these buildings often have no insulation in them. You’re going to definitely want to add insulation before you do anything else since it will make it easier to control the climate inside.
A Smart Design
While it be a rectangle or other basic shape, you’re going to need to carefully design the interior. You’ll want windows set opposite each other that will allow a breeze to flow through the entire building, for example, so you can save on cooling costs. Having things like shade trees near can also help.
A Renewable Energy Source
Next, you’ll need some sort of energy source for your home. In most cases, this will be solar panels on the roof. However, wind energy is becoming more and more popular. If you happen to live very close to a river, water power may even be an option, although that’s very rare. You may even want to have both solar and wind collectors if you want to ensure that you do not need to have any sort of utility connection. In addition to solar panels or wind turbines, remember that you’ll also need to have large batteries to store excess power. One nice benefit with a steel building is that you really don’t have to worry about the weight of your solar collectors. You can add them to the entire roof without fear that it will be too much for the structure of your building.
You’ll also need a way to collect rainwater. In many areas, this is the true sticking point in becoming completely self-sufficient. It just doesn’t rain enough during some parts of the year for the building to be truly self-sufficient. However, rainwater collectors can account for a large amount of the building’s water during the rainy season. It will also be needed for sewage and waste removal.