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Ecohouse. Zero and negative consumption

21.03.2018 — 0

Green building — is a promising way of residential house construction, which only starts to get fame and popularity in the world. Most often the term “ecohouse” is associated with a fashionable home in the style of high-tech. However, the ecohouse is not only a beautiful, but also economical and safe house, created from environmentally friendly materials and equipped for complete autonomy.** 
Zero energy consumption is achieved with renewable energy**, which supplies the homes of a new generation.

Pic credit: https://snohetta.com/

What is an autonomous house?

The main feature of such housing is the lack of need to take communications and energy from a common grid.

Does not depend on external power

The issue of electricity is important in any type of housing. Certain modifications help owners to abandon the use of electricity from the grid, and also significantly reduce the cost of utilities.

The ecohouse’s autonomy is achieved with consideration of the following parameters:

  • The correct selection of solar panels and their location.
  • A suitable model of wind mini-stations and their location near the house (vertical and horizontal types of wind turbines).
  • Careful calculation of power consumption.

Sewerage is not a problem for an ecohouse

Laying of sewer channels is a very expensive operation and depends on the state of urban networks. The search for reliable service companies is another complex task.

In an ecohouse, the drainage communication issue is solved with the help of water purification systems and wells. The septic tank allows householder to defend polluted water, and to immerse clean water in the ground. Such a system does not require a lot of funds and is not complicated. A truly autonomous house can be implemented in any place.

Heating and cooking system

Installation of gas boilers and cookers is an optimal eco-solution, since it is impractical and expensive to use solar energy for electric cookers. A propane boiler is used for cooking.

A geothermal system with an electric heat pump is best way of eco-heating. The installation of this system is expensive and time-consuming, but using this method you can equip the house with a complete climate control, keeping warm in winter, and providing cool in summer. Ecohouse projects are made with good thermal insulation for heat loss reducing.

Water supply

Depending on the owner’s budget, water supply for ecohouses can be carried out in two ways:
• Installing a well —can be implemented by yourself.
• Digging a borehole— will cost more, you need to find a company engaged in such works and arrange a convenient access for the equipment. Water from the well is much cleaner, the well itself will take up less space, and it will pay off soon.
For pumping water from the borehole, water tank and electric pump are installed on the ecohoese’s roof. The reservoir provides water pressure throughout the house.

Hot water supply will not become a big problem either. Since it is enough to install a faucet with a built-in water heater in order to obtain the required amount of hot water, without extra costs.

Pic credit: https://snohetta.com/

Negative energy consumption

In the small Norwegian town of Larvik it was built ecohouse, which not only meets all the environmental parameters and is served by renewable energy sources, but also accumulates the excess. According to the calculations of ZEB designers, the house produces more than 19,000 kW/h of electricity annually, and its own maintenance takes slightly more than 7,000 kW h. Surpluses of electric power are stored for the purpose of subsequent sale, or are spent for powering the electric car and heating the pool.

The house design is made taking into account the natural light, with a minimal darkening. So in the period from spring to autumn, the residents can have dinner in a glassed room, lit by the sun. The roof of this ecohouse is equipped with solar panels and batteries.

Pic credit: https://snohetta.com/

ZEB eco house pilot project is an excellent example for other construction companies. This is exactly what the creators wanted to achieve — to show that ecohouse can save a huge amount of energy and be financially profitable. Over the next few years eco modernized homes’ supply and demand are expected to increase in Norway.

According to the “Directive on the energy performance of buildings”, by 2020 the EU countries will allow building only of houses with zero energy consumption. So the European Commission has identified targets for the major construction companies in Europe — study and implement renewable energy in the usual life of people.