Sustainable home tour Saturday

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By Lloyd Goding
For the Optic

Sustainable Las Vegas will be holding their their Annual Sustainable Homes Tour (formerly Solar Homes Tour) on Saturday, Jan. 22. The goal for the tour is to show people real-life examples of utilizing solar energy, and “sustainability” more generally.  These examples range from very low- to higher-tech: drying clothes on clotheslines, growing plants, passive solar heating and cooling, active solar water heating, photovoltaic (solar electric) installations, rainwater catcheent, and water and energy efficiency.

The tour will begin at 10 a.m. with a free “weatherization” demonstration, at the Las Vegas Arts Council building at 140 Bridge Street. The public is invited to come and learn simple ways to save energy dollars in their homes.

This year’s tour includes two passive solar installations, one with an active drain-back solar water heating system, another with a 4 kW photovoltaic array and rainwater catchment installations. A nearly completed Habitat for Humanity home and a 1970s era Trombe wall home will demonstrate low-tech, low-cost examples of how to utilize the sun’s power. People familiar with application of passive and active solar principles will be available to answer your questions and discuss the process of utilizing the sun, including methods and materials, practical considerations, and tax incentives.

Maps of the tour may be picked up at the Arts Council during the hours of the tour. The self-paced tour will take place between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. The event is open to the public at no charge but donations are welcome.

For more information, contact Emelie Olson at eolson@desertgate.com or 454-3920.