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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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 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...

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...

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...

Composting toilets

Composting toilets use no water for flushing. In its domestic form this toilet is usually electrically powered, heating the waste material to enable composting action to occur. The major problem with this type of toilet is its size the smallest domestic model is about twice the size of a conventional WC suite. Large greater than 15 m3 composting toilets do not usually require the external input of energy for the process, as the aerobic decomposition is sufficiently exothermic to be...

Insulation

The colder the climate, the more insulation is needed. The Inuit people of the Arctic get most of their insulation from the skin and fur clothes they wear that keep them warm even when living in houses made of ice. In a similar climate, in the Antarctic, a Mantainer container for people was designed for Robert Swan's expedition, in which the wall of the capsule provides most of the necessary insulation. The structure Figure 3.1 is made of a timber fibre honeycomb base panel 12 mm thick ,...

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...

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 Solar Systems

Solar Sunspace Greenhouse

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...

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....

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...

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...

Acknowledgementscontact Information

House Hamamatsu Solar

This project was part of a course-related assignment at Oxford Brookes University. This project has become an example of student solutions generating a real project. Kapoor Prashant, London, UK. E-mail designpeople building.com Rainwater harvesting. Section showing in situ sand filter. Rainwater harvesting. Section showing in situ sand filter. The solar water collector works by thermosiphon. The solar water collector works by thermosiphon. Touichi Akiyama, Land Architects Inc., OM Solar, 1991...

Brick In A Storage Radiator

Oxford Eco House Kakkleoven

In very cold climates the rooms of buildings, just like people, huddle together to keep warm, often around a central 'hot core', a heat source such as a fire place. Figure 1.10 shows a classic hot-core building from Lativa where an extended warm wall into the communal room is always a favourite place to sit in winter. The principle is similar to that of a brick in a storage radiator. The heat comes from perhaps a fire or the sun, and is absorbed in the thermal mass of the building, as it is in...

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...

Urinal flushing cistern controllers

Urinal flushing cistern controllers have been widely used in the UK for some time. Water Byelaws for such appliances have to be checked for each area. In the UK such Byelaws state the maximum rate at which cisterns may be filled. Since 1989 new cisterns are required to be refilled only when the urinal is in use. There are various methods of sensing use and operation. Some use changes in water pressure to identify operation of taps and therefore, by association, the use of urinals others use...

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....

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...

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...

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...

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...