Demonstration House for the Future South Wales

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A competition winning 'House for the Future' has been designed by Jestico Wiles within the grounds of the Musuem of Welsh Life in

Oak Stud Wall

South Wales. Its two key attributes are sustainability and flexibility. It is capable of occupying a variety of situations: a rural location, a greenfield suburban site or high density urban sites in terrace form.

The structure of the house consists of a post and beam timber frame prefabricated from locally grown oak. A superinsulated timber stud wall faced with oak boarding and lime render occupies three sides of the building. The void between the timbers is filled with 200 mm of sheep's wool, specially treated, giving a U-value of 0.16W/m2K. Internally much of the space is defined by non-load bearing stud partitions, allowing total flexibility and adaptability. There are some earth block partitions on the ground floor using clay found on the site. These provide thermal mass, supplementing the thermal storage properties of the concrete floor slab. All materials were selected with a view to minimising embodied energy (Figures 8.4 to 8.6).

The north facing roof is covered with sedum plants laid on a recycled aluminium roof. Cellulose fibre provides 200 mm of insulation between the deep rafters giving the roof a U-value of 0.17 W/m2K. This insulation is manufactured from recycled paper and treated with borax as a flame and insect retardant.

Considerable south facing glazing provides substantial amounts of passive solar energy. Windows on the south elevation are designed to change according to the seasons of the year.

As regards the plan, living space is fluid to accommodate the needs of different occupants. Open living and daytime spaces face south whilst more private cellular spaces are on the north side. The

Bore Well Pump House

Figure 8.4

House for the Future - cross-section

Figure 8.4

House for the Future - cross-section

Figure 8.5

Internal views obtained by Architectural Press

Cross Section Pic Pellette Stove

Figure 8.6

Ground and first floor

Figure 8.6

Ground and first floor number of bedrooms can vary from one to five according to family needs. The house can contract as well as expand.

The energy regime makes maximum use of both passive and active solar systems. Space heating can be supplemented by a ground source heat pump fed by a 35 m bore hole. A heat pump is driven by electricity but one unit of electricity produces 3.15 units of heat. A pellet burning wood stove rounds off the space heating. Gas is not available on the site.

Roof-mounted solar collectors provide water heating for most of the year and a ridge-mounted wind generator and a PV array producing 800 W go some way to meeting the electricity demand. When renewable energy technologies become more affordable the house will become self-sufficient in energy.

Finally, water conservation measures are an important component of its ecological credentials. Rainwater is collected in a specially enlarged gutter which can store 3 m3. It is mechanically filtered and gravity fed to toilets and washing machine. This should meet about 25 per cent of an average family's demand.

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Getting Started With Solar

Getting Started With Solar

Do we really want the one thing that gives us its resources unconditionally to suffer even more than it is suffering now? Nature, is a part of our being from the earliest human days. We respect Nature and it gives us its bounty, but in the recent past greedy money hungry corporations have made us all so destructive, so wasteful.

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