June 08, 2006

Provisions For Solar Electric

Doing the grunt work early on makes the project go smoothly and the finished building look well planned and designed. The time to lay in utilities (water, gas, waste water, electric, phone serivce, etc) is when you're doing the footing/foundation. Neglecting the proper installation of these essential services now, means later you will be drilling through finished walls, have exposed pipe & wires to the weather and UV damage; not to mention it will just be ugly.

In the case of my art studio, I will only be using electricity. However, I plan to 'rough-in' black pipe for supplemental propane heat if the bulding's thermal performance upon completion requires it. I also provided conduit for phone or antenne lines if wireless options are not available.

The photo shows 2"-gray electrical conduit extending down the exposed excavation to what will be the utility room of the studio. This conduit will contain the main DC electric load wires from the solar photovoltaic system that will be installed later, on the elevated land to the west of the studio. Not shown are two additional underground conduits that will someday bring electricity to other small ancillary buildings (not yet constructed) that will be adjacent to the studio to complete the hacienda-style layout of the studio compound.

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