Partly due to my hectic daily life and the absence of ‘play time’, I don’t get the chance to build my own house from scratch. Land price is insane here in Jakarta, Indonesia. So, before the price goes even crazier, I recently bought the best property I could find. I think I got a good deal out of it. The house was never occupied. The interior and exterior are in good condition. The previous owner left practically everything stock and still intact. That gives me a bit of leeway.
I decided to transform the house into a green house. The plan is to complete the project within a year. Whenever I have more ‘play time’ to spare with, the project will be accelerated. First, I needed to see what can be done, what cannot be done, and what are in between those two.
The first thing I do is to get a solar water heater. It is the most common part that locals use to heat their water, mainly for taking bath. As usual, I did a lot of research in solar panel. I chose the cylindrical solar panel. Cylindrical solar panel allows the absorption of the heat to be spread more evenly on most of its surface. Coupled with white roof, it’s even more effective. So, I’m going to get the roof painted in white on where the solar water heater panel will be installed. I see no reason why I should paint the entire surface of the roof in white. It will only consume more paint and more maintenance in the future. Actually, I am exploring another option of not painting a part of the roof in white. There is still a week to go to decide.
The next thing is to reduce the use of paint. Nowadays, most paints are water based. But that does not make it any less consumable than it was. We still need to repaint the walls whenever they turn into awful looking finish. I cannot completely eliminate the use of paint. The house is located in a cluster where all house look exactly the same. So, the idea of turning my house into one completely different house than the others never crosses my mind. Let’s play for the team. That leaves no option on the face of the house where paint is need and repainting will be needed, at least until I can find something that is much more durable and in the same color. My friend introduced Lemkra. Lemkra is pretty much the same material used in many properties in the US. The applied surface will outlast paint easily. It is also more resistant to crack. So, I’m replacing any painted surface (mainly interior walls) that I can do without repainting with Lemkra.
The third act I chose is to replace every single bulb with LED bulbs. The high quality ones, not the questionable ones. There are lots of questionable LED bulbs. Some people sell them simply for LED reputation as being the best traditional light bulb replacement. Well, not all are created equally, you really need to look carefully.
The fourth act is to inspect, repair, and add insulations. Insulations are very important because they play a huge role in controlling the temperature.
The fifth act is to eliminate useless corners of the house. Again, I cannot alter the face of the house but I can do whatever I want in the inside. So, I made some cuts in the interior and some parts of the unseen section of the house. Places where dust will easily settle are eliminated. It’s going to cut down maintenance and at the same, cut down the use of cleaning agent that used to be necessary.
Reducing maintenance and future repair have always been one of my goals, I’m replacing much of brittle materials used in the house with sturdy, durable, and long lasting materials. There is a part of the roof that uses a sheet of polycarbonate. Polycarbonate is notoriously known for weak and not long lasting. I’m replacing it with a simple solution, a roof made by Onduline. It will probably outlast polycarbonate many times over.
The seventh act is to grow a sustainable grasses and trees. There will be no fashion trees. All will serve its purposes. Fruits like mangos, oranges will be grown on site.
This eighth act is one thing that still consider whether I want to go all out or settle for at least a considerable sum for the time being. It is solar panel for electricity. I cannot find a single manufacturer or a brand that does a whole house powered solely by solar panel. If I install one just to power light bulbs, what if in the future, I want to install one for the whole house, will the old one still be useful and can be used or at least retrofitted? I don’t think I want to make that bet. That leaves me to importing the one that can power the whole house from the US, the brand that I’m familiar with. We’ll see how it goes.
The last piece I would like to install is also one thing that I’m seriously looking into. But this one is still a puzzle as I really have no idea how this works. It is a rainwater harvesting system (converts rainwater into safe consumable water that I can use).
So far, those are the plans.