Global Warming

Ecofeatures Explained Orientation and plan

Considering the site's geometry and climatic constraints, among them solar angles, air temperatures and wind directions, the log axis of the house is east-west, with four bedrooms and the living room to the south. Ground floor plan (above) and first floor plan (below). Ground floor plan (above) and first floor plan (below). The ground floor is exposed in all four directions. The kitchen, baths and laundry room are located at the northern part of the plan and the garage serves as a western...

Grey Water Systems

Qanat Mexico

Grey water systems reuse either rainwater or water that has already been used once in the home, such as shower, bath and washing machine water, for secondary, non-potable purposes such as flushing WCs and watering the garden. The concept of domes- Section through the village of Khoranaq, in the Central Persian desert north of Yazd, showing the passage of the water from an underground channel or Qanat through the village, being used from clean to dirty uses. On its path the underground stream is...

Azimuth And Altitude Of The Sun At A Site

North Horizontal Sun Path Diagram

The angle with which the sun strikes at a location is represented by the terms 'altitude' and 'azimuth'. Altitude is the vertical angle in the sky sometimes referred to as height azimuth is the horizontal direction from which it comes also referred to as bearing . Altitude angles range from 0 horizontal to 90 vertical directly overhead . Azimuth is generally measured clockwise from north so that due east is 90 , south 180 and west 270 or -90 . Because the Earth revolves around the sun once a...

Good Publications On

Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) Analysis and U.S. Market Potential. NREL TP-472-7850. National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO. Davidson, J. (1987). The New Solar Electric Home The Photovoltaics How-to Handbook. Aatec, Ann Arbor, MI. Derrick, A., Francis, C., Bokalders, V. (1991). Solar Photovoltaic Products A Guide for Development Workers. Intermediate Technology Publications Ltd, London. Duffie, J. A., Beckman, W. A. (1991). Solar Engineering of...

Good Publications On Passive Solar Design

D. 1979 . 'Designing fan forced rock beds'. Solar Age, November, p. 44. Balcomb, J. D. 1980 . Passive Solar Design Handbook. Volume I. National Technical Information Service, 5285 Port Royal Road, Springfield, VA 22161, USA. Balcomb, J. D. 1982 . Passive Solar Design Handbook. Volume II. National Technical Information Service, 5285 Port Royal Road, Springfield, VA 22161, USA. Balcomb, J. D. 1983 . Conservation and Passive Solar Guidelines for New Mexico. Los Alamos National...

Case Study New Anglian Water Housing Project

The idea of large-scale effluent recycling came from Anglian Water's involvement in household grey water studies, from which it became clear that recycling water on a small scale with existing technology was not practical and could not guarantee a sufficiently high quality of water. The concept was as follows to collect all wastewater (referred to as black water) from a development of houses via a conventional sewer and treat this using conventional sewage treatment technology. Approximately 60...

Sunspaces Solar Greenhouses Conservatories

One of the most attractive passive solar features is the use of an attached sunspace also known as solar greenhouse or conserva tory to gather energy and pre-warm ventilation air for the parent house. An attached sunspace is a solar collector that is also a useful space capable of serving other building functions. Occupants not only have the benefit of lower energy bills but also it can be a most comfortable area of the house on sunny winter days. In winter they make an excellent place to store...

Passive Conditioning Of Outdoor

Passive Windcatcher

These can be used not only to lessen the impact of strong hot or cold wind but also, if shrubs and trees are used, the air will pick up moisture from the leaves and so increase its humidity, so cooling the air. 2 Dust. Use air that has passed over natural planted groundcover to reduce dust levels. Ensure that land on the windward side of the site or settlement is planted or maintained so that the earth's crust is not broken because, if it is, this produces erod-ible dust...

Ecofeatures Explained

Comfort is achieved by manipulating the temperature, humidity and air movement in the indoor environment. We can improve the temperature and air flow through the appropriate choice of building material thermal mass , the right orientation, the provision of adequate shading built or natural grown landscaping and the selection and placement of windows for cross-ventilation. The house is oriented facing north with its back to the south using the embankment as its mass for keeping the lower level...

Passive Solar Systems

Rock Bed Passive Heating

The northern facade incorporates three passive solar systems 1 The sunspace, a large glazed volume, is thermally coupled to the house by four complimentary heat flow mechanisms forced convection to a rock bed beneath the living area, natural convection to the living areas through openable windows, radiation through the closed windows, and transmission through mass walls. 2 Direct solar gains are obtained through openings with favourable orientations for winter sun. These windows are in the...

Windscaping Buildings

Wind Effect Buildings

There are many ways to sculpt a building into the landscape and Nestle the building into the landscape. This simple device of hiding a building behind a feature of the landscape is very effective. However, bear in mind that if the wind is needed to cool the building, siting it behind a spur in the landscape may cut it off from the breezes. In some cases people take bulldozers to the landscape to ensure that the winds from the refreshing directions are channelled around their houses and the hot...

The Ecohouse Design Guide

The first question to answer should be what is an ecohouse Eco-architecture sees buildings as part of the larger ecology of the planet and the building as part of a living habitat. This contrasts with the more common notions of many architects, who see a building as a work of art, perhaps on exhibition in a settlement or as 'frozen music' in the people-less pictures of glossy magazines. Some architects see the process of design as a production line with the building as a product to be deposited...

Cold Bridges

Brick Fence Cold How

Cold bridges are the most invidious of all problems that are designed into a building. They are invisible and yet can cause enormous damage to the building and the health of people in it. Plan A and section B through the window of the Oxford Ecohouse demonstrating how to eliminate cold bridging with timber sub-frames around the window, the splitting of the lintels and the elimination of the brick returns David Woods . Cold bridges have been, along with too much glazing, the thermal nemesis of...

The Cost Of Form In Site Planning

Veresegyhaz Sustainable Development

An interesting case study of a new ecohousing development in Hungary demonstrates that there are very real financial advantages of adopting solar strategies in housing layout. The developers, Aldino Ltd of Budapest, bought a 64-ha site at Veresegyhaz some 30 minutes from the centre of Budapest, in April 1993. The land had few trees and sloped gently to the south. The first design Figure 1.15A using conventional housing layouts planned for a maximum density of 380 houses on 1000 m2 plots, but...

Ecohouse Bariloche

Fascia Timber

Limited site location Thermal insulation Greenhouse and rock store integrated into design Roof integrated photovoltaic system DHWS Wastewater reuse for irrigation The Fuentes-Lopez house is located in Bariloche, an important tourist and ski centre in the cold southwest region of Argentina. The house is built in a low-density, hilly and wooded area, approximately 18 km from the town centre, with attractive views of surrounding mountains and the Nahuel Huapi National Park. Planned for convenient...

Detailed Studies Of Two Houses In The Uk

Roaf And Grimwade Houses Zero Energy

A comparative study between embodied energy and energy in use is a complex task, requiring accurate embodied energy figures and detailed information regarding the construction of the building and its predicted energy requirements. It is not something that every house builder would wish to undertake. However, detailed study has been undertaken by one of the authors Viljoen, 1997 of Dr Roaf's Oxford Ecohouse and a similar low-energy house in Suffolk, designed by the architect Roy Green roof from...

Measuring The Environmental Impact Of Building Materials

When choosing materials several factors have to be considered, and it is unlikely that absolute rules can be given for all situations. The first question is how environmental impact should be assessed. This can be thought of as factors determined by the material's inherent qualities and as factors affected by the way materials are incorporated into a design. Living space within a yacht. How much space does one require The quantity of materials used will have a direct effect on the environmental...

Buried Pipes And Evaporative Cooling

Evaporative Cooling Underground

Buried pipes function by injecting into the building air that has been previously circulated underground by means of earth-to-air heat exchangers. The air is generally sucked from the ambient air by means of a fan. The temperature drop of the outlet air depends upon the inlet air temperature, the ground temperature at the depth at which the exchanger is situated, the thermal conductivity of the pipes and the thermal diffusivity of the soil, as well as the air velocity and pipe dimensions. Using...

Direct Gain Systems

Direct Gain Trombe Wall

Direct gain systems are most commonly used in passive solar architecture. The roof, walls and floor are insulated to a high level. Solar radiation enters through the windows and is absorbed by the heavy material of the building. The whole building structure gradually collects and stores solar energy during the day. Heavy building materials provide thermal storage. The collected solar energy is gradually released at night when there is no solar gain. Direct gain systems commonly utilize windows...

The Heat Exchanger

Perimeter Area Ratio

The greater the volume of the building the more surface area it has to lose, or gain, heat from. Figure 1.3 shows that different plan forms can have more or less wall area for the same plan area. The surface area volume ratio is very important in conserving heat transfer into and out of a building. To conserve heat or cold the building must be designed with a compact form to reduce the efficiency of the building as a heat exchanger. Buildings can have very different perimeter area ratios...

The Building As A Roman Bath House

Hypocaust Control System

In Roman bath houses the floors were warmed by an under-floor heating system called a hypocaust. A fire would be lit under the great basins used to heat the water for the hot baths and the excess heat from the fire would be ducted under solid floors to heat the bath house itself. So, in such systems, there is a heat source, thermal mass to store the heat in and regulate its dissipation into a space, and a system of heat distribution. This idea uses a convec-tive heat transfer medium, air or...

The Process Of Designing A Pv System

There are many different types of PV systems available with different features, capabilities and costs. It is important to follow the steps described here to get the PV system that fulfils your own particular needs. What type of system do you require Do you want batteries Do you want to power DC or AC equipment Do you want to grid-connect the system to use the National Grid as a store so you can export the excess during the day when you are out at work and then draw in electricity from the grid...

Descriptionbrief

Monama Ramlal

Monoma, named after the clients' late daughter, is in the city of Hyderabad. Hyderabad has a history of Moghul invasion and an Islamic character as far as its historical architecture is concerned. It is among the fastest growing cities of India and is becoming extremely attractive to industrial investors. Although there has been a significant increase in the industrial activity of the region, the rate of growth of infrastructure has not been sufficiently significant to keep up with...

The Form Of The House The Building As An Analogy

Twentieth-century architecture was influenced by a single analogy coined by the great French architect, Le Corbusier. He proposed that 'the building is a machine for living in'. This is very far from the truth. The mistake, at its heart, is that a machine is an inanimate object that can be turned on and off and operates only at the whim of its controller. A building is very different because, although it is true that it can be controlled by its occupants, the driving force that acts upon the...

K J Macks Design For Tropical Cyclones

Off the Grid Managing Electricity from Renewable Sources. The Centre for Alternative Technology. E-mail help catinfo.demon.co.uk Andrews, A. 1997 . Nomad Tent Types in the Middle East, Part 1, Vol. 2. Beihefte Zum Tubinger Atlas Des Vorderen Orients. Anink, D., Chiel Boonstra, C. and Mak, J. 1996 . Handbook of Sustainable Building An Environmental Preference Method for Selection of Materials for use in Construction and Refurbishment. James and James, London....

Building Homes In Cyclone Areas Stephanie Thomas

If you live in a cyclone belt, ventilation occasionally is less about delight and more about survival. Winds, as they get stronger, begin to do damage to buildings. By the time that wind speeds reach 65 m.p.h. they can become really dangerous. Winds of this speed in a 'closed circulation', meaning they go around in a complete circle, are classified as hurricanes or typhoons. The terms hurricane and typhoon are regionally specific names for a strong tropical cyclone they are called typhoons to...

The Environmental Impact Of Building Materials

The choice of building materials affects the environmental impact of a house. All building materials are processed in some way before they can be incorporated into a building. The processing may be minimal, as in the case of a traditional cottage constructed from materials found locally, or it may be extensive, as in the case of prefabricated construction. This processing of materials inevitably requires the use of energy and results in waste generation. In the UK it is estimated that the...

Time And Embodied Energy

Studies conducted in New Zealand suggest that the energy used in a typical i.e. non-low energy residential building, over a 50-year life, is equal to approximately four times the embodied energy of its structure Williamson, 1997 . This kind of direct comparison between energy in use and embodied energy is not very useful, unless we know how long the dwelling is expected to last. It will always be the case that, as energy-in-use requirements reduce, the longer this will take to Recycled...

Results From The Life Cycle Analysis

The results from this study showed very clearly that zero-energy houses had the lowest environmental impact. The first priority of any design should be to reduce energy-in-use requirements as far as possible using energy conservation techniques and then use active and passive solar systems to supply energy needs. The impact of materials is generally of secondary importance. Apart from the embodied energy of individual materials, the study showed how important a building's life expectancy is....

The Embodied Energy Of Different Building Materials

At present, the few published figures available for embodied energy usually refer to individual materials, e.g. brick, concrete, timber or glass. These figures are useful for making strategic decisions regarding a house, i.e. should it be built using a timber frame or concrete blocks, but they are less useful when trying to decide if a particular energy-saving feature should be used, for example mechanical ventilation with heat recovery. This is where cradle-to-grave or life cycle analysis...

How Much Does It Cost To Use Passive Solar Systems

Today's passive solar heating systems can typically provide 30-70 per cent of residential heating requirements, depending upon the size of the passive solar system, the level of energy conservation being employed in the building envelope and the local climate. At the upper end of this range the use of specialized components is often required. These performance results are typical for single-family residential buildings, and small commercial and institutional buildings. The economics of some...

What Are Photovoltaics

Photovoltaic cells convert sunlight directly into electrical energy. The electricity they produce is DC direct current and can either be converted to AC alternating current power or The basic element of a photovoltaic system is the solar cell that is made of a semiconductor material, typically silicon. There are no moving parts in a solar cell, its operation is environmentally benign and, if the device is correctly encapsulated against the environment, there is nothing that will wear out....

Brenda and Robert Vale

It is in its electrical systems that Graham Duncan's house differs substantially from convention. The house is entirely self-contained for its electricity supply, although there is mains electricity available from Mercury's lines directly outside in the road. The electricity is generated by two renewable sources, the sun and the wind. The solar contribution comes from 16 60-W Solarex polycrystalline photovoltaic panels mounted on the north-facing roof at a slope of 42 . The panels are spaced...

Heat Reuse From Photovoltaic Cells And Thermal Solar Hot Water

A heat core is created at the centre of the house comprising the vertical hot air ducts from the solar collectors, the wood burning fireplace and a high-thermal-mass structure. Landscaped ceilings will collect and recover heat via a central distribution exchange unit (part of OM Solar system, see House at Hamamatsu case study). A strip of photovoltaic panels will be placed at the lower end of the solar air roof. As photovoltaic cells have a tendency to overheat this location will benefit from...

Renewable Energy

The Indian Renewable Energy Development Authority (IREDA) offers a low interest loan that provides soft loans for industrial and commercial projects at 8.3 per cent interest, with 5 per cent for non-profit organizations and 5 per cent for domestic applications (September 1999). This is a substantial subsidy on capital budgets, which clearly proves that as such policy decisions are taken at the level of the government, the fossil fuel situation in India is in a critical state. In Hyderabad there...

Windphotovoltaic And Battery Backup Power Supply

David's house combines wind and solar power to compensate for seasonal variances and to produce a consistent and steady supply of renewable energy. 28 BP Solarex photovoltaic panels, which provide a 2.1 kW peak rating, are mounted on a simple garden timber trellis permitting optimal solar orientation without relying on the house orientation. This also prevents excess heat build-up on the panels and allows them to be cleaned without the need for roof ladders. It also allows the system to be...

Case Study Gledlow Valley Ecohouses

The Gledhow Valley Ecohouses are three timber-framed dwellings that are being built to meet high environmental standards. The clients for the scheme are the owners and future occupants of the houses, who undertook their own architectural design, as well as being involved in the actual house construction. An autonomous water system was developed for the houses, without a link to a mains water supply or sewage outlet. The water supply operates off a three-pipe system drinking water is supplied...

Wastewater Systems

Wastewater may contain substances such as human waste, food scraps, oils, soaps and chemicals. In houses, wastewater can include the water from sinks, showers, bathtubs, toilets, washing machines and dishwashers. Businesses and industries also use water for a wide variety of other purposes. Wastewater can include stormwater (rainfall) runoff. Although many people assume that stormwater runoff is clean, it isn't. Contaminants such as hydrocarbons wash off urban surfaces...

Plants In Buildings

Plants modify the environment in buildings by three processes 1 photosynthesis, during which a green plant converts CO2 and water to sugars and oxygen for growth 2 respiration, the reverse process to photosynthesis. This releases CO2 back into the atmosphere and in so doing makes energy available for cell metabolism 3 transpiration, which is the evaporative loss of water from a plant, a process that turns large amounts of energy into latent heat, so producing a net cooling effect from the...

Planning A New Grey Water System

1 Make a brief inventory of grey water sources and the number of uses that they get. Try to determine how many litres per cycle your appliances use -or use the short-form sizing estimator given in the box below. Approximate water use of standard appliances US washing machine (top-loading) 120 l European washing machine (front-loading) 40 l Dishwasher 10-201 Low-flow showerhead (per shower) 10-20 l Other sink use (shaving, hand washing, etc.) 5-20 l 2 Use the general site data and design...

Rainwater Harvesting

Hyderabad has a history of water shortages during the dry months. Receiving over 795 mm rain annually justifies storing rain water for inter-seasonal storage. Rainwater harvesting is a method of collecting rainwater and using precipitation from a small catchment area. The water stored will be a valuable supplement for domestic water consumption and irrigation of the garden. As soil from the site is used for building blocks, the resulting pit proves to be an optimal location for the storage...