What this means for the Eco Lodge
Power at Beaconstone
Solar power is quiet, clean, healthy, simple to maintain, and less expensive than drawing power off the highway grid. The house and lodge are powered by active and passive solar power. Many of the lodge windows face the north to pick up the sun throughout the day. Eight 80-watt solar panels and eight 24-volt deep cycle batteries provide the power for the house and the lodge. An inverter draws the power from the batteries into the proper 230 volts for appliances, such as our lights, washing machine, and refrigerators. Three hours of full sunlight will provide enough electricity for daily use. The electrical wiring is around the tops of the walls, so any electrical field is away from where guests sleep.
Water at Beaconstone
Rainfall is our sole water supply for the house and lodge. Rain that falls on the lodge roof travels through a channel into a down pipe and then into a storage tank. From the storage tank, it is pumped into the main header tank, which sits upon a hill that we built behind the lodge. We purify our water through a series of filters, one between the holding tank and the header tank, and several others at each cold water faucet.
The kitchen at Beaconstone
The kitchen includes an energy efficient refrigerator, imported from Denmark. Thicker walls inside the fridge provide extra insulation and allow the fridge to run at a fraction of the energy of a traditional refrigerator. We installed a wooden cupboard ventilated at the top and bottom, modeled after traditional New Zealand batch cupboards. Additional kitchen features include a wood range stove that can provide infloor heating in case of a gas shortage, a natural convection fan, and of course, a compost bucket.
The bathroom at Beaconstone
The stately thrones are perched above two showers in a unique tower structure. Modified from a traditional Clivus-Multrum composting design, these toilets are double ventilated--both by fresh warm air circulating through the bottom of the chamber and the prevailing wind which passes over the apex of the chamber. We researched several composting models throughout the South Island and decided not to cut any corners in the design--the result are clean, comfortable, and fresh toilets, with a stupendous view. A night toilet is inside the lodge for the convenience of our guests.