Solargon: conservation of energy through intelligent design and utilization of super efficient building components to create very green cabins and homes.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Winter Comfort

Well winter is upon us and you can take advantage of huge savings on Solargon cabins and homes with our Stimulus sale!
This Solargon 30 has the optional 10' walls giving you more vertical room for a loft. Click Here to see our post on

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Best Cabin On The Market

Just a short clip of the Loveland Solargon 30 as the interior is being finished.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Owner Bob Sutherland has completed the outside of his Solargon 30 with rough cedar boards and battens and a low maintenance metal roof complete with a large wrap around deck and awsome views.
The architectural lines and woodwork were stunning as we walked in and looked up at a sea of sweet smelling pine.

Here is a view from the loft area. A great place for the kids and sleeps about six.

The glass for the gable windows arrived today and will be a great accent for the knotty pine covered walls and ceiling. Although these windows are not big they seemed to bring the outside in and offered additional light and great views from the loft above. To see the web album click here.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Sanctuary In The Round

This sanctuary in the round north of Crestone, Colorado contains 12 ridge lines and 12 valleys in the roof system. The original roof was canvas and needed replacement. Designer Rob Galloway replaced the old roof with this complex new design. A steel cable at the top of the wall serves as a moment ring keeping the walls from splaying outward. Although a true round building it proves less cost effective to build than an octagon. Click on picture to see a close up.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Sand Creek Solargon 30 Update

The Sand Creek Solargon 30 with completed exterior siding and metal roofing.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Future Solargoners?

This Solargon 30 is nestled at the edge of a mountain meadow. Assembled in just 3 days, the carpenter crew is now building the walk-out deck.
From left to right is John Haas with David and Sal Willet, shown visiting the Bob Sutherland Solargon west of Loveland, Colorado. Solargon sales rep. Sheri Mattei would love to see them all living in our ultra efficient passive solar buildings.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Solargon 30

This Solargon 30 is the latest model with it's 10' high walls and loft area. Located in the Rocky mountains west of Loveland, Colorado this super efficient mountain home will be off-grid. For more pictures click here.

Monday, August 24, 2009

First Solargon 30

The Solargon 30 pictured is the first to go up and is located in Colorado on the Wyoming border. It will be an off-grid retreat for the study of energy efficiency. With wall and roof panels rated at R42 this passive solar octagon is located at nearly 8,000 feet on the high plains of northern Colorado. Assembly of walls and roof panels was less than three days.
It will utilize a large solar hot water storage system with radiant floor heat and a PV system for power. For more pictures of the project click here.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Webb's Twin Solargons with Link

Pictured above are twin Solargons with a new link joining them. There is a loft area above with room below for a power room hallway to the twin octagon. This is just one way to add to an existing home to increase your living space.

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Future of Clean Energy is Now

Commentary by Steve Clark

It is time to leave behind the polluting ways of the past and embrace the clean energy future. There is a revolution happening in the way in which we make and use energy. We each mustbecome active participants in this revolution.
In the past our energy masters have dug up black rocks from the ground, hauled them to power plants and burned them, fouling the air and water with pollution in the process and sold us the electricity. This primitive, inefficient, dirty method of making electricity is no longer either necessary or cost effective.
Today we have the technology to make the energy that we need from the sunshine that falls on our roofs. The implications of these changes are truly revolutionary and the benefits we will reap are tremendous.
First and most important we must realize that this revolution is within our grasp and stop accepting the advice of “energy experts” who tell us to proceed with caution and not abandon the old dirty methods of making energy. We no longer need new central power plants (neither coal nor nuclear) and the investment in such projects is money wasted. They are neither clean nor safe and the efforts to make them so are misguided. In reference to new developments in solar energy technology David Freeman says, “the prospect of this technology creates a conundrum for the electric utility industry and Wall Street.
Can — or should — any utility, or investor, count on the long-term viability of a coal, nuclear or gas investment? The answer is no.” /280625_solarcell10.html Mr. Freeman is referring to one of the disruptive technologicaldevelopments in solar, the reduction of the cost of solar electricity by 80% from $5 to $1 dollar per Watt.
We also need to wake up from the nightmare of oil addiction. Personal mobility is being provided by our rich drug er I mean oil dealers at an unnecessarily high cost to society and the planet. 40 countries now spend more to import oil than the total amount of theirGDP. Why not drive around on sunshine?
The life cycle cost of electric vehicles is now less than gas vehicles. When Shai Agassi realized this he started Project Better Place. He plans to build the renewable powered infrastructure for charging EVs in Israel first, then Denmark and other places are signing up daily. Nissan will build the electric cars. He will then sell miles of mobility and the cars will be practically free (like your cell phone)
Here is the math on electric mobility vs the old ICE gasoline powered vehicle you drive today. First off nobody wants gasoline except maybe arsonists. Gas is a dirty, toxic, smelly and dangerously volatile, flammable substance. What you want is mobility so stop thinking in miles per gallon and start thinking in Miles Per Dollar (MPD). If your car gets 30 mpg and gas is $3 per gallon you get 10MPD. The new Tesla Motors electric car not only goes fast and will travel 250 mile on a charge it gives you 100MPD.
We presently export $1 billion dollars a day for oil. If we stopped doing that we would keep that money in our local economies and the Federal Reserve banksters could quit printing so much money that it loses value.
Once PBP is working we don’t need foreign oil. Now our economy is stable because we stopped printing a billion dollars a day and exporting it for oil. We stopped wasting time and money looking for impractical ways to get liquid fuels for our inefficient internal combustion engines by growing them or making liquid fuel from coal. Now we can concentrate on feeding people instead of our cars.
But we really must stop the other global climate crisis producing industry - coal power - as well as eliminating the need for oil. Yes the coal industry also makes electricity and we are much more addicted to that energy than oil. We must be careful Mr Peabody doesn’t decideto blackmail us like OPEC does.
Several thin film photovoltaics companies are producing solar panels at less than $1 per watt. One company NanoSolar has built a factory at a cost of $100 million. It has the capacity to produce almost 500 megawatt each year. At that rate it will be over 1,000 years before we replace existing coal generating capacity. Climate change will prevent us from moving that slowly to replace fossil fuel with renewable energy (RE).
But if we have free electric vehicles (EVs) from PBP powered by wind energy and cheap NanoSolar photovoltaics to recharge them we are saving all that money we used to export for oil. We have an extra billion dollars a day to spend. The first day we build 10 NanoSolar plants. We now have full employment installing solar panels. Now it is only 100 years to eliminate coal — still too slow. The next day we build ten more — now it’s ten years to eliminate coal. The third day we build ten more and by the end of that year we are totally powered by RE and our EVs are connected to the grid and we are getting a check from the utility for our solar power and a check for our grid tied EV. Now instead of working to support our cars and houses they are supporting us.
Now we can go to the air force and point out that chicken dinners are cheaper than bombs. They can start dropping chicken dinners on people rather than bombs and other nations will stop hating us. Imagine… And it is only day three of the new economy. What will wedo with our extra billion tomorrow?
But for now lets just say that our communities will be cleaner, quieter, healthier and more prosperous with solar energy and electric mobility… and we stopped the climate crisis and ended oil wars and jump started the economy and… Solar Energy - Free Deliveries Daily!
Special thanks to Steve Clark and

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

April 22, 1970, Earth Day marks the beginning of the modern environmental movement. Approximately 20 million Americans participated, with a goal of a healthy, sustainable environment.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Diamond 20 New Solargon Model

The latest Solargon model called the Diamond 20 with it's distinctive roof, has 400 sq. ft. with a spiral staircase to the loft bedroom plus half bath. (100 sq. ft.) Great solar gain with SIPs R42 wall and roof panels.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Earth Hour Boulder, Colorado

Even though Boulder is a the cradle of so-called green business and attitude, my camera didn't record any lights going off for Earth Hour 2009. Scott Kirk and Sheri Mattei attended the gathering at Resource 2000 in Boulder.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

This Solargon "Smart Cabin" is located at the ICS-RM manufacturing plant in Loveland,Colorado. This super efficient building far exceeds any conventionally built structure for heat gain and retention. You can click on the link below to see real time temperatures inside and out of the performance of our cabin. This 100% passive solar 20' model loses direct sunlight at about 1:00 PM due to the larger building to the west, which is reflected in the data.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Solargon Twins

The new Solargon 30 gives you 700 sq. ft of open living space. By combining two together with a 12'x 12' link you end up with over 1500 sq. ft as seen in this concept home above.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Space saving beds are perfect for Solargons

We've liked the space-saving sofa that transforms into bunks and traditional Murphy bed from UK retailer Bonbon Trading; they've combined those two concepts into "Lollipop," a horizontal folding bunk bed with a couple of cool options.
They can add a folding table to the front, to create additional workspace when the bottom bed is folded, and shelving on the top (pictured above). The whole thing is just 31 cm (just about 12 inches) deep, making it easy to turn any room into the guest/kids room. Hit the jump to see more pics, check out Apartment Therapy's cool round-up of horizontal-opening Murphy beds, and cross your fingers that these smart less-is-more space-savers will be available in the US soon. ::Bonbon Trading via ::The Design Blog

Solargon Cabins and Homes: Solargon Concept Village

Solargon Cabins and Homes: Solargon Concept Village

Friday, March 20, 2009

Monday, March 16, 2009

Poly vs Soy

Polyurethane spray foam was invented in a laboratory accident in the first half of the twentieth century. Originally used as coatings in aviation applications, foam polyurethane products evolved and were eventually applied to home building situations where hermetic sealing by insulation was desired. Over the years spray foam went through ups and downs: at everlasting holy war with fiberglass; formulating a version that discouraged mold growth; making the price more reasonable; and of course - how environmentally friendly can a ultra-efficient house really be filled to the gills with polyurethane?
Enter the BioBased soy-oil based spray foam product. BioBased Spray Foam Insulation is a spray foam with all the good traits of its polyurethane forerunner, like being able to hermetically seal a house to ultra efficiency - while being installed in a fraction of the time that fiberglass takes. BioBased ratchets this up a notch by formulating their product from soy bean oil, a renewable resource which also renders the insulation inert - no more mold.
As any sage in your life may have told you at one point or the other, there is no such thing as a free lunch. So what’s the catch with soy foam? The product performs, it delivers serious cost and environmental impact reductions to the home owner and it is renewable. But soy is a monolithic crop. It has taken biodiversity out of thousands of American farms and pushed fresh foods to an afterthought in the place of cheap and easy to prepare processed protein substitutes. Is a product that would encourage more expansion of soy bean growth really as good for the environment as the end user merchandise? In the grand scheme of environmental impact, maybe polyurethane foam is the better product after all. A thorough study is in order.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Scott Kirk positions the scaffolding for the next set of roof panels.

Makasha's Solargon Assembly

This Solargon Smart Cabin has found a home in the mountains of northern New Mexico. Set beside a stream this will be the office for our dear friend and solargoner Makasha with the Hummingbird Community Ranch.
Thanks to all who gave so much to bring this project together.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Somewhere in Paonia, Colorado is this Solargon home.The early prototype in the foreground was stick framed. The latest addition next to it is an updated 20' model in SIPs panels. The owners plan soon to link them together to more than double their living space with a story and a half link. With the new baby they welcome the added living area. There are plans to install a Web Energy Logger in both units for a live feed to the net. This allows any time access from anywhere to data of the buildings energy performance. The difference in energy savings between the two building systems is dramatic. As a builder of forty years I see the shift from standard building components to greener systems. Codes are changing which drives the new green revolution.
Solargon homes are inspired by design elements from Native American and Asian nomadic tribes and combine them with passive solar design principles. Using the latest in green building technologies we have created structures that work with and within the environment rather than dominating or disregarding it. Green building is the practice of increasing the efficiency with which buildings use resources –energy, water, and materials-- while reducing building impacts on human health and, the environment through better siting, design, construction, operation, maintenance, and removal — the complete building life cycle.
Our open octagonal designs allow convective airflow for more even distribution of solar generated heat. Properly sized windows are placed at the southeast, south and southwest walls. Passive homes reduce final demand for heat by factor 10, and total energy consumption by a factor 6 when basic passive solar principles are implemented. They represent one of the largest and most promising concepts to contribute significantly to sustainable energy.
Our new 30’ diameter building makes an ideal starter home, and can be attached or linked to additional Solargons. Your desired square footage and building arrangement can be tailor-made to fit a variety of needs with unlimited design options. Each unit is green built, has an “extreme insulation” value and is affordable, with less than half the heating requirements of conventional buildings. The pre-built wall and roof panels (SIPS) are assembled onsite in less than three days for our 30’ model and only hours for the 20’ model. The interior and exterior can then be finished with treatments of your choice. Remember an efficient envelope is the backbone of a green home. This building system surpasses conventional framed buildings for R-values and strength by a large margin. The wall panels are manufactured with electrical conduit embedded at selected locations and are ready to run wiring after the building is erected. With the addition of appropriately sized solar panels and an optional solar radiant floor heating system, heating costs can be reduced to near O.
Large homes generally use a tremendous amount of energy to heat and cool. This energy usually comes from the combustion of fossil fuels, depleting these resources and emitting greenhouse gases and pollutants into the air. The octagonal shape of the Solargon uses 20 % less materials to enclose the same space as say a rectangle. By combining passive solar principles with an efficient building envelope you can upgrade your lifestyle by reducing living costs and downsize your living space without losing a sense of openness and light.