Ecobuilding » Mandala Custom Homes

By: Mandala Homes  09-12-2011
Keywords: energy efficiency

(excerpt from article in More Living Magazine, July 2011)

A DREAM COME TRUE

All is well on Namaste Farm, the sun is coming up and the air is lilac fresh and quiet. Morning birds stir the day with song.  The Gulf Island Peirce residence, a stunning round Mandala Home, sits proudly at the top of the property overlooking the fields and gardens, just beyond the far gardens the early morning sea dances softly.

John and Nancy Peirce are living in their dream home. Each morning the Pierce’s  have the unique opportunity to wake with the deeply contented feeling of having successfully created a home that represents Living Art.

A ROUND HOME

In 2008, The Pierce’s saw a photo ad for Mandala Homes and instantly fell in love with the sustainable aspects, the flowing round design, the signature 5 foot centre skylight, the 20% greater energy efficiency of the round shape, the increased seismic strength of an interlocking building system and the easeful way that strong coastal winds move past a round building. They also felt a resonance with Mandala’s philosophy to increase awareness, understanding and compassion for the natural world by building a home that is beautiful, healthy and sustainable.

 A DREAM TEAM

After an easy and creative collaborative design process, the Mandala was scheduled to be shipped in a kit from Nelson, BC. The Peirces would need a trusted designer/contractor to help them set-up and finish their unique home. They asked Adam Velsen of Gabriola Island’s Velsen Homes. “We needed someone who was local, who was flexible enough to work with some of our different ideas, and someone we could trust since much of the work would be done while we were offsite. We had worked with Adam building our garage/shop and had a very good experience there, so that confirmed the choice. Adam would manage the project from start to completion. It was particularly important to connect with someone who had a good working relationship with local sub-trades, both to choose the best people for sub-trades, but also to have them show up on time!” Family and friends are important to the Pierces as well. “During the summer months we wanted to have friends come to join the crew and contribute. This required flexibility and patience on the part of the contractor and particularly on the part of the foreman.”

A GREEN HOME

Namaste Farms has geothermal heat which heats the home, lap pool and hot water. Peirce says the home is running at 500% efficiency. The passive solar also warms the home even on a cool winter day.  This is partly due to the use of ICF (insulated concrete forms) giving the lower floor of the home an R-value of 40. The passive solar also warms the home even on a cool winter day.

The property has a great deal of natural spring water in the winter and is piped into a large metal cistern, of 30,000 gallons, this helps take the load of the well in the summer months for the garden and house. The water is also collected from the roof of the carport. The house has a battery back up system that is kept charged through the main electrical. When the power goes out, it kicks in and the Peirces have power for a couple of days to run the basics. This system is also solar ready if they decided to put panels on the roof in the future. As of now if the power is out for longer than the time that batteries can keep up they have a generator that when run will charge the batteries. There are many Eco-green features in the home . Mandala Homes and Velsen Homes have been in the green building industry for 10 years and have an extensive knowledge about green, sustainable building techniques. They focus on a high quality product that increases the quality of life for the occupants and the surrounding property. A good home should bring joy to the life of the occupants without sacrificing the health of the earth.

A GOOD HOME

This home has a wonderful feel to it. It welcomes all visitors with open arms through the notched beam entry and under the copper gutter. When you arrive inside you are embraced by both the curve of the home and the beautiful view of the field and the ocean. It is a soul nourishing place to sit and enjoy a warm cup of tea. This home truly is a Namaste experience.

Keywords: energy efficiency

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