. . After about 12 months of being buried in work, we will now pick up
from where we last left you in the construction process of
Solterra. We are actually much further along than the progress
pics show, but we wanted to maintain the continuity of construction for
those of you following along and wanting to know all the details.
Leah and I apologize for the huge delay in updating. We moved in
April 15, 2005 (with the inside not finished at all) and have
completed a HUGE amount of work since then. You will see that in
future updates. But for now, check out the progress pics!
(click the photos above for a larger view)
** L A T E S T ** N E W S
Farmland News Article --Click to Enlarge
Toledo Blade Article --Click to Enlarge
We have moved into Solterra and continue to work on the inside jobs. They take a LOT of time!
We are progressing however, albeit a little slower. . . it has now been
over 4 years since Leah and I have started building Solterra, and we
hope to be completed in about another year.
Thank you for your enduring patience.
It's been over 3 months and a huge amount of work has been done despite
the fact that since April 1, over 2/3 of all days have been rain!
Unbelievable, and extremely frustrating! The weather seems to be
turning normal now and we're trying to catch up from lost time. We can
now add "working in the rain" to our list of experiences. See our
Progress Pics for the latest in our ongoing construction. Everything
continues to work out exactly as designed.
NOW AVAILABLE !
Packet of product brochures and specification sheets of materials and
suppliers used in the creation of SOLTERRA. See the LINKS page for
Ralph and Leah are mentioned as the only residential recipient in NW
Ohio to receive a state grant in an article by The Blade dated
Wednesday, September 17, 2003. Check the front page of the second
Solterra will be featured in an article for the October issue of Ohio Magazine.
Ralph and Leah Semrock were just notified that they received a grant
from the OHIO DEPARTMENT OF DEVELOPMENT, Office of Energy Efficiency,
for SOLTERRA, in the amount of $25,000! The grant was made because the
house is very unique in its use of alternate fuels and promotes
technologies that can be incorporated in any new or existing home.
Since our proposal is funded as a demonstration site, the OEE will be
developing a case study of Solterra. We are very excited that our
proposal was accepted and look forward to working with the OEE.
JOIN US IN HONORING OUR CONTRIBUTING SPONSORS:
your needs arise, please contact our contributing sponsors and
companies dedicated to the completion of Solterra. Collectively, they
have donated supplies, labor, and equipment valued at over $69,500 to date.
We are immensely grateful for their generosity and their commitment to
us and ask that you kindly refer to Solterra when inquiring about
products and/or services offered by those who have helped make our
dream a reality:
Archon Engineering, Inc. Rob Smart PE (See Links page)
HoldFast Technologies (See Links page) Loewen Windows (See Links page)
L Hartley Inc. (See Links page)
ESP Inc. (Envionmentally Safe Products (See Links page)
Holman Aqua Drilling (See Links page)
Seaway Scaffolding (See Links page)
White Cap Construction Supply (See Links page)
Gross Electric (See Links page)
Extol of Ohio, Inc (See Links page)
Lake Roofing (See Links page)
Radiant Floor Company (See Links page)
Royal-Gard Royston Labs
Howard Lawn & Landscaping Service, LLC (See Links page)
Tinman Heating & Cooling, Inc. (See Links page)
Hearth & Home Technologies (See Links page)
Thermal Associates (HRS System) (See Links page)
Jameson Company/ Reddi-Set-Home (See Links page)
Hardware Unlimited (See Links page)
Carpets by Otto (See Links page)
Superior Seamless Gutter LLC (See Links page)
Certified Tile & Flooring (See Links page)
Family Choice Painting, Rob Hughes (See Links page)
Jeff Rollins Drywall (See Links page)
UBC Building Supplies
CoraVent (See Links page)
GKG Builders, Keith McCullough (See Links page)
Bob Perry, Mason (See Links page)
Hite Pumping (See Links page)
Artek Construction, Wade Johnson
Samsen Furniture, Doug Samsen (See Links page)
Design Tanks, Inc. (See Links page)
Tri County Block & Brick (See Links page)
THE MEANING OF SOLTERRA
Official Solterra Emblem
name SOLTERRA means the sun "Sol" and the earth "Terra". Like our
subtitle says, it's where "The Sun Greets the Earth". The logo to the
left is actually a design that Leah came up with (she's the graphic
artist in our duo). It means so much to us that our wedding rings were
specially cast in the shape of the emblem. The trapezoid sections at
the left represent the earth, the circular shape to their right, the
sun. The rays of the sun form a "W", which stands for our Inner Wisdom,
Who continually guides each of us in all areas of our lives, including
the construction of our unique home. Finally, the stars to the right
signify us meeting on the vastness of the internet. This design became
the logo of our dream house, an earth-sheltered, passive solar home
with 5 alternate energy sources. There isn't a house like it in the
whole country, and one which has taken 23 years to research, plan, and
now finally, build. Find out a little more about us below.
IT HAS CONTINUED JUST LIKE OUR INNER WISDOM SAID IT WOULD
Ralph and Leah Semrock
started with an idea, then it became a dream, and now after 23 years,
Solterra has begun. Over the years, building materials and technologies
have improved, the house plans have gone through four evolutionary
changes, and both of us have had some pretty fair sized life changing
experiences. All of these things make each part of this experience
Join us in the journey.
are more members of our family, the 2 rottweilers, Cary, and Skip, who
already reside on the property in our existing 21 x 42 steel building
which is 1/3 kennel and 2/3 art studio. (Leah's dream come true and
home away from home much of the time now.) Can't wait until the house
is done so that they can become housedogs!
on the left is our grey cat who is very friendly and will go up to
anyone. Tommy is on the right and has an extra toe on each front paw.
He's affectionately known as "Tommy two thumbs".
(Purrs Junior) is our loverboy and is the most laid back cat you ever
saw. You pick him up and he becomes a limp, relaxed doll.
He's a cutie.
That's our family. Now go on to page two and see our Design Plans.