ENERTIA   HOMES No Fuel? No Power? .......No Problem

Q. What is Enertia®?

A. Enertia® is energy made useful by a shift-in-Time. In the 1980's Architectural Inventor Michael Sykes coined the term "Enertia®" for the useful energy that can be captured from thermal, rotational, or electrical inertia. Using inertia, 80% of world energy needs can be met with a simple shift-in-Time. Summer thermal buildup can be shifted to fill Winter thermal needs. Daytime solar gain to fill night-time needs. Downhill inertial gain to uphill power draw. No fuel or pollution is involved. Devices from flywheels to funicular railroads use "Enertia®". Inertia can multiply the usefulness of solar, geothermal, or even fossil-fuel energy. Enertia® is the energy, and inertia is the catalyst for it. Because inertia can move energy from a time when it is "useless" to a time when it is "useful," the resulting Enertia® is, literally, energy from the fourth dimension - Time.

Q. If these houses are really so great, why aren't all houses built this way?

A. They were! Years ago almost all homes in Eastern North America, Northern Europe, Russia, and Japan were built of solid wood. Many examples in Scandinavia, built in the 1500's, are still occupied. The introduction of the power sawmill led to the "stick-framed" house we know today. The building trades have a huge investment in the conventional way of doing things. Until recently, they have had no interest in costs beyond the initial sale, or impact on the environment, or lifetime of the home. Eventually, Enertia® homes will prevail, based on their longevity and simple math.

Q. Isn't the in-ground level just a "basement?"

A. Don't you wish your dark, damp basement were bathed in natural light from front to back, and constantly swept by warm dry air. While the In-Ground level of the Enertia® home is part of the envelope, conditions there are more stable and comfortable than in many slab-on-grade conventional homes. The concrete floor can be heated by rooftop solar panels (via hot water tubing), if you plan to finish the In-Ground level as living space.

Q. Does my land have to be cleared of trees for the Enertia® home to work?

A. No. The best situation is full tree cover on the East, West and North. The South must see a solar "window" approximately Southeast to Southwest. Deciduous or low trees on the South won't be a problem, nor is the Enertia® house as sensitive to South as other solar homes. In warm climates, orientation becomes less important, as cooling is needed more often than heating.

Q. Isn't the Envelope Air Path a fire hazard?

A. It would be if the house weren't made of solid wood. Heavy timbers have an ignition point far above that of framing lumber, and burn-through times that far exceed a stick-frame wall. Timbers tend to char and insulate themselves from further damage. In fact, a solid wood house is considered Heavy Timber or "Mill" construction, and subject to insurance rates that are less than conventional stick-frame homes.

Q. How can you stay warm in a house with no insulation in the walls?

A. While insulation holds in energy, it also keeps it out! That solar energy falling on your conventional home on a clear Winter day is stopped by insulated walls. The way to gather and use that energy is with carefully sized solid wooden walls, with thermal inertia, and thermal lag, and a way of distributing that energy and storing it away. Remember that heat loss equation. Reducing Delta T by natural solar means is just as effective as an energy-intensive increase in the factor "R."