Green to the Extreme

By: Kieran Wilson Email
By: Kieran Wilson Email

It seems that more and more people are trying to lessen their carbon footprints some are going to the green extreme.

Snow lingers on Steve Wisniewski's house longer than most of his neighbors that's because his roof is different than most. Wisniewski says, "it's all covered in earth and the purpose of doing it that way is to create a lot of thermal mass."

Thermal mass that Wisniewski says reduces his carbon footprint along with his energy bill, he says he can wait six weeks longer than many others in the summer to turn on the AC and six weeks longer in the winter to crank up the heat. He says, "even if an arctic front comes through and the temperature drops below zero the temperature inside the house will not change much at all." He says the temperature inside always remains within one degree, regardless if the heat is on or not.

According to Wisniewski the ten-inch reinforced concrete walls and the four- 24 foot domes of dirt block out more than just the outside temperature. Wisniewski says of his home,"it's completely draft free and the traffic noise hardly penetrates all the dirt." On top of all the other environmental benefits, Wisniewski says he can satisfy his green thumb with some spring roof-scaping.

Wisniewski says that these types of houses are getting more popular, leaving qualified contractors in high demand.


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