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Living in a glass house

Last month I did a blog article about the concept of a glass house. I was surprised by how many people have an opinion on the matter and also how many people thought it was a crazy idea. And now I think it's worth the effort to explain some of the thinking behind my position.

First of all a key fact is that the glass being used is industrial skyscraper type tempered glass with three layers so it has incredible installation and strength characteristics. Another factor is that industrial glass like this can apparently be shipped quite cheaply from China. For example a 2.5 x 1 m sheet of R43 glass (ie bushfire proof) can be purchased in lots of 200 units for about $80 a sheet which is really quite amazing.

If you add the ability to frost the glass using an electronic impulse you have the ability then to turn on privacy at a moments notice and to control light and privacy to any panel of glass in the house.

In my own case I am ultimately looking to build a house that is in a very high risk fire area and where our neighbours are not close by. So it makes sense for us to be able to have a house that allows us to enjoy a maximum view of the surrounding trees without significant concern for privacy from nearby neighbours.

Another significant design decision is to go with a completely air tight house design. In fact you will have to go through an air lock to enter and leave the home... this design feature comes from Europe and is designed to completely control humidity, air freshness and temperature.

Living in Byron Bay would typically not present a problem of extreme temperatures, but as this summer proved, humidity is a major problem... even though we only had a few days over 30 degrees celsius, we have had a month of high twenties with 80-90% humidity which has been very unpleasant without air conditioning.

A closed loop circulation system would keep the internal temperature at 19-22 degrees celsius with a relative humidity of about 40%. The Mrs also plans an indoor waist high garden bed which can also be used to stabilize the humidity in the house.
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