Asheville Homes and LAND!- The Keep In Touch Blog


Remodeling with Light- Then and Now- Oh! The Solar-powered Delight.

Remodeling is nothing new. Back in  the mid-1700s Queen Maria of Portugal was into it...on a grand scale.

This portrait, courtesy of Wikipedia , seems to reveal a woman ready to make changes in her home... Maria I of Portugal, wearing the sash of the Order of Christ.And indeed, Queen Maria began making sweeping changes in one of her castles  built in the 1600s.  This was to be the royal family's "Country House" and a summer residence.  The palace would be her escape from the burdens of her work and a place where she could relax and enjoy life. It didn't happen overnight, but after many years, her place in the country, AKA "Second/Vacation Home" underwent a remarkable transformation. But all this time, Maria had left the details to the experts, and did not visit the remodel.

                                One day, as the story goes, the Queen could wait no longer to see the changes.Off she sped to the mountains. It would be a grand time for the whole family. Arriving by daylight, she began her inspection. You could see a number of artisans smile as she marveled at the illuminated gold carvings, and gold framed mirrors throughout . How they lit up the interior halls reflecting the tracery of the Pensile and Malta gardens.  As Queen Maria admired her surroundings, her courtiers flung open the garden doors. Sunlight (passive solar?) poured in. The mirrored rooms flashed beams of  light and nature's reflections. 

"Que Luz!," she exclaimed. "What Light!." 

                 Jumping ahead to this day of "green" rehabs and solar delights for remodelers---We may not have the crew power Queen  Maria enjoyed,  but we have another kind of power, and we can do so much these days with light! We can pull together  a stylish, comfortable, and beautiful “palace” that is also non-toxic and environmentally friendly. Here in Asheville, we are really getting into Solar Power.

Out at the Environmental Learning Center at Warren Wilson College, just 15 minutes from downtown  Asheville, a group of REALTORS® gathered this year to get familiar with how these solar panels work. We touched them, we saw the batteries they powered, and the golf carts that tool around the campus, solar-powered, too.

"Que Luz! ," I exclaimed.... 

Here’s a picture I took while I was there.


Do these littl buggies look like fun for a Queen? =)

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Just found this post. Good story. Love the idea of solar power...then and now.


Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) over 12 years ago

"Here in Asheville we're getting ready for LIGHT"

Hands-on Workshop: Building a Solar Water Heater, September 6-7, 2008

Come on over to Asheville Folks...The Long Branch Environmental Education Center is sponsoring a hands-on workshop with inventor Walt Clark on Building a Solar Water Heater . You canlearn about the design is an "Integrated Passive Solar Water Heating System (IPSWH), also known as a Batch System, Breadbox Solar Water Heater, or Integrated Collector and Storage System (ICS)."

The design is the essence of simplicity: Put  water holding tanks in an insulated box, with glass on the side facing south and fill it with water.No moving parts, nothing to break down, free fuel and no pollution. You do NOT need building skills (though architects, engineers, and building contractors are welcome), and you will be most welcome.... 

Workshop leader is Walt Clark, a solar designer, inventor, and builder with over 35 years of experience who holds an international patent on a unique solar device.

 Issues to be covered include:

  • Introduction - defining passive solar water heaters, classification of types
  • A History of IPSWHs - U.S. history of first solar water heaters and first commercial solar water heaters
  • Basic Design Principles - radiation, available solar energy in various parts of U.S., emmitance, absorption, reflection, transmissivity, reflector types, conduction, convection
  • IPSWH Design - placement, performance related to slope and orientation, color, heat retention, glazing layers, shutters, shades, insulation, reflectors, sizing, hot water needs, backup system, construction, concepts for virtually free solar water heaters, concepts for advanced solar water heaters
  • Operating an IPSWH - reflector adjustment, open lids, conservation or staging of hot water use
  • Backup Heating - wood stoves and heaters, gas, electric, flash heaters
  • Building Your Own - step by step guide to designing and building your own solar water heater including safety considerations
  • The Future is for IPSWHs - energy costs keep rising  

Cost for the workshop is $50 and will be limited to 15 attendees. Participants are asked to bring their own lunch. Please call or email Paul Gallimore at 828 683 3662 or to ensure a place and get directions.

Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) almost 12 years ago

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