The Great World House
Learning to be a World Server
by Brian Kraichely
FIVE STEPS TO A ZERO ENERGY HOME
There are things that we can all do to help our homes to be more efficient and save money on our utility bills. It is important to design your home with this in mind as every dollar spent on efficiency saves two on capacity.
is isolation or making sure your home is airtight. This is the number one source of heat loss. It is a myth that your house must breathe. If you want it to breathe, open a window.
is insulation. It is important to insulate everywhere, including downward. Hot air rises, but heat moves in any direction. It is also important to insulate between your house and the earth.
is thermal mass and is the most underused. Heat and coolness can be stored in large thermal masses such as water, concrete or stone. It provides a flywheel effect that evens out temperatures and helps us feel more comfortable.
is passive solar and should be incorporated into the design of the house for maximum benefit. Orientating the direction of your house, the placement of the windows, the overhang of the roof, even trees and foliage all have an effect on your utility bill and should be factored into the planning process.
is active solar and uses technologies like photovoltaic or PV cells to generate electricity directly for use in the home.
Emily Ashley - Igniting Heart through Education
Jonathan Duerbeck - Building an Education and Stretching a Dollar beyond Physical Limits
Elizabeth Horton - Harmony, Beauty in the Character, Peace in the World
Walter Hyrcaj - The Light of the World
Heather Hunt - Creating Strong Bonds
Brian Kraichely - Learning to be a World Server
I am grateful for the wealth of experiences that I have had in the nine months that I have been a student at the College of Metaphysics. It is the only place I know of where I would have the opportunity to learn and apply such a wide variety of skills on a daily basis. The work-study program gives me the ability to serve in areas that I have expertise in as well as in ways that are completely new to me. No matter what activity I am involved in, I know that I am serving the whole.
It is in the learning of different parts and serving in many ways that I have developed a greater understanding and appreciation of the whole. I see more clearly how far across the world the School of Metaphysics reaches out and touches people’s lives. That global influence is powerful.
I had a spiritual awakening several years ago, right before I found the School of Metaphysics. I realized that I wanted to dedicate my life to raising the consciousness of the world and help people to live happier and healthier. The School of Metaphysics is a great vehicle for me to fulfill that desire because the school offers so many ways to serve the world.
One way that I serve the whole is in designing and building earth friendly, sustainable structures. I have ten years of experience in home building and construction and have been studying renewable energy technology for a few years now. I have a desire to build beautiful, efficient, inexpensive structures that are in harmony with nature. As I continue to grow spiritually, I want my outer environment to reflect this consciousness.
We are designing an earth ship structure for our barnyard. An earth ship is constructed by stacking tires and filling them with packed dirt. These walls are then covered with stucco or a cob material. It is durable, inexpensive and energy efficient. We will also incorporate passive solar technology through having south facing windows, a solar water heater and a thermal mass to store energy. We will utilize active solar energy through photovoltaic or PV panels to power our water pumps. I am excited to finally be building an alternative structure that will be a prototype for the homes that will be built in the near future for our growing campus.
We are also incorporating these latest technologies in efficiency and renewable energy systems in the designs for our new World Headquarters. We are building a monolithic concrete dome similar to our Peace Dome and four times larger. I am honored to be a part of this project and to use my talents to build a place where people from around the world can come to study, share, learn and grow. This new headquarters building will allow us to serve humanity in greater ways. I see clearly a beautiful, state of the art world house built in our field of dreams and I know that when we build it you will come.
Meet Craig Wiles of Preferred Energy...He's one of the many people who are helping us to manifest a dream for generations to come
HARNESSING the POWER of the SUN
“Harnessing the power of the sun directly is one of the best things to do for the planet and every one on it” said Dr. Daniel Condron, the Chancellor of the College. Which is why Craig and Deanna Wiles from Preferred Energy gave a power point presentation on renewable energy at the College of Metaphysics last week. The Wiles have lived off the grid for thirteen years now and have helped other people to do the same. Craig is knowledgeable in energy solutions as well as world history and is also the Pastor of The Seventh Day Adventist Church in West Plains.
Craig said the definition of sustainable living is meeting our needs today without compromising tomorrow. In the United States today, it takes ten calories of fossil fuel to produce one calorie of food. Most of our food travels over 1,000 miles before it gets to us. One million pounds of food is shipped into Springfield every day. The way we produce our food today is not sustainable.”
Wiles believes people need to shift to renewable sources of energy. Natural gas and oil currently provide 62% of our energy and 88% of our energy comes from fossil fuels. “If we increased our efficiency and supplemented solar energy where it is feasible, we could extend our supplies of fossil fuels indefinitely and reduce our pollution significantly.”
Craig says that as a country we are not serious about changing our consumption patterns until we implement a system where the more you use, the more you are charged. Germany is a great example of how quickly positive change can occur. In 2001, they instituted a program that paid back to the consumer 120% of the cost of a renewable energy system the first year, 100% the second year, 80% the third year and so on for six years. After six years, Germany is now importing no oil from the Middle East.
Of the different types of renewable energy available, Craig is sold on solar. “The sun hits the earth with enough energy to power the planet six times over everyday, we just don’t capture it.” He quotes Thomas Edison, “I’d put money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that.”
There are two types of solar energy-active and passive. Active solar energy is capturing the sun’s rays with photovoltaic or PV cells that convert it into electricity. Passive solar energy is using the sun’s rays directly to store heat. The newest PV cells on the market are only 15% efficient. By contrast storing solar generated heat is 80% efficient. Passive solar is also the cheapest and easiest to use.
In 1932, before the proliferation of cheap energy, there were over a million solar water heaters in use in California and Florida alone. Solar water heaters are a good place to start because they are inexpensive, easy to install and can result in significant savings. In Hawaii, it is now state law that every house must have a solar water heater.
Wiles says that there is not one big magic bullet that will solve all of our energy needs. “There are, however, lots of small bullets that work together to make a significant difference in our energy consumption and can even take us off the grid if that is our desire.”•