Sunday, April 5, 2009

Healthy Housing

Environmental watchdogs repeatedly keep warning that climate change is a real and imminent threat.

We’ve hit the buffers exploiting Nature and polluting the environment in every possible manner. The only encouragement is that the green movement is finding its footing fast.

With rising population and more people living in smaller households, the demand on housing is on the eternal increase. A zero carbon house and a passive home is the dream of the near future.

The Passive House, calls for housing with a dramatic reduction in energy consumption and zero carbon emissions.

A zero carbon house is one with "zero net emissions of carbon dioxide from all energy use in the home". This includes energy consumed by appliances as TV, cookers, heaters, coolers and ventilation.

Passive houses are part of a revolution in building and the ultimate in green development. The concept is based on minimizing heat losses and maximizing heat gains from the home

The first physicist to develop the idea of warm houses without energy demand was the German Wolfgang Feist

.Even on the coldest nights in Central Germany passive houses use a heat exchanger to warm cold air coming into the house and rely on tight seals around doors and windows and super-thick insulation to keep homes warm using no more energy than a hair dryer. The homes use the warmth from the human body and that given off by appliances as well as the warm stale air leaving the house to heat the fresh cold air coming in.

Passive Houses are virtually independent of fossil fuels as oil, coal or gas. It uses minimal energy input to maintain perfect indoor temperatures no matter the weather. Air leaks cause large heat losses throughout the home and so air tightness is critical. But an airtight Passive House is not a stuffy house because of the ventilation system.

Elizabeth Rosenthal’s article on the New York Times is a fantastic piece on passive houses.

This is no magic bullet solution but all efforts towards environment preservation is worthy effort

No comments:

Post a Comment