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Month: May 2011

How Eco Architects Design Carbon Neutral Eco Homes

How Eco Architects Design Carbon Neutral Eco Homes

When designing eco homes, eco architects consider the environmental impact at every level. This holistic approach helps eco architects towards their goal of creating a carbon neutral eco home.

Harnessing the latest green technology and heating strategies, eco architects are able to design eco homes that can generate their own electricity and minimise the energy that’s wasted, helping to minimise an eco home’s carbon footprint.

Along with using eco furniture, eco textiles and eco materials for the interior, there are many strategies used by eco architects when building eco homes:

Passive solar design through orientation – Eco homes are designed to maximise the heat gained from sunlight. So the majority of windows are positioned on the south-facing side, whilst there are fewer windows on the northern side to minimise the heat that’s lost.

Ventilation – To ensure there is a constant flow of clean air, stale air is ventilated out of the house through a pipe running underground or through rooftop wind-catcher vents. Heat exchange technology is used to transfer heat from the air that’s leaving the eco home to the air coming in.

Insulation – High levels of insulation in the walls and triple glazed windows help eco homes to retain higher levels of heat. For the insulation, eco architects will use environmentally friendly eco materials, like locally manufactured sheep’s wool, recycled cellulose, flax or wood fibre.

Energy generation – Utilising wind turbines and solar panels on the roof, eco architects can design homes able to generate their own electricity. Glass tube solar panels are estimated to provide 65% of hot water requirements.

Eco materials – Eco architects will use reclaimed building materials, recycled materials and wood from FSC regulated sources. They will also source building materials from local suppliers to minimise the carbon footprint involved in transporting materials to the eco home.

Rainwater harvesting – Water collected on the roof is directed to a subterranean rainwater recycling tank. This water can then be used for the toilets, washing machine and for watering the garden.