The next step after the Zoning Commission was to present our plans to the Board of Design Review. They meet every two weeks and require a full set of drawings, because if you get approval from them you just have to wait the required number of days and then you can go pick up your permit! Although for me it was a big deal to prepare for, it's not much fun to read about the process, so I'll keep this post brief. I submitted my full drawing sets a week ahead and showed up to the meeting with my hubby by my side for moral support. Again I had sweaty palms as I waited my turn and then presented our plan, and again the Board was so easy to work with and thrilled to see a "green" home going up in Rocky River. So, after being granted our approval Mark and I headed out to the Wine Bar to celebrate, and nine days later we were rewarded with this:
We have a building permit! Things are heating up around here! Oh, and for any of you who are interested, here is a sneak peek at the design:
You may notice it's more or less a square floor plan, which allows for maximum efficiency in the thermal envelope(and is very cost-effective as well). Though we may not be able to afford to go through all the hoops to get the official certification, we are working to get as close to Passive House standards as possible. To sum it up very crudely, this involves a very tight thermal envelope, excellent insulation values, and, as a result, a very small non-traditional heating and cooling system. The whole house will be heated via one mini-split unit mounted on the dining room wall, and cooled by a very small A/C unit mounted on an exterior wall. A heat recovery ventilator will keep fresh air flowing in while recovering the heat from said air, and internal circulation fans will keep the heated/cooled/fresh air moving throughout the house. It all sounds so high-tech and crunchy granola at the same time....So pretty much right up our alley! We'll try to fill you in on more of the technical details as we go along, but for now we're just happy to have permission to build!