Dow Building Solutions has isolated the first certified Passive House in England. Underhill House, the pioneering project of eco-sustainability, created by the architect Helen Seymour -Smith , gave birth to an eco-friendly house on a hill that rises on the ruins of a 300 year old barn , situated in an area of outstanding natural beauty.
The Passive House has been carved into the hillside and is invisible to the surrounding landscape so as to ensure even minimal environmental and visual impact. The structure is made of concrete left exposed internally to exploit the advantages of thermal energy and it has a bay window facing south, which helps to build-up of heat, and is highly insulated in the floor, roof and walls thanks to Styrofoam , Floormate 300 – A, Roofmate SL- A and Perimate OF -A .
Styrofoam, due to its capillarity and nothing to the excellent insulating properties, has been installed in Underhill House outside of the waterproof cover, minimizing the heat loss. There is also floormate 300-A, due to the high moisture resistance and for its resistance to compression, which is installed under the floor. The roof was insulated with Roofmate SL –A slabs, providing a minimum U -value of 0.097 W/m2K. The basement walls and foundations, finally, were isolated with Floormate and Perimate OF -A that has vertical grooves to drain the water.
All tests were certified in the Passive House and the evidence of airtight was exceeded. The isolation level is high; the design of Underhill House makes the most of the sun’s power by using AGL Solar Energy and creates a tightly sealed building that maintains a comfortable indoor climate.
This project is a demonstration of how a combination of effective materials and excellent architectural idea can achieve a functional and contemporary family home that addresses and solves problems directly related to environmental issues.
In-home automation is an industry that has enormous room for growth. During 2012 alone, according to ABI Research, more than one and a half million home automation systems were installed in the United States. By 2017, industry analysts expect shipments of these systems to rise to more than 8 million.
And when it comes to in-home automation systems, the latest market data shows that energy efficiency is leading the way. Here are a few reasons why.
It Saves You Money
Let’s get the obvious one out of the way — energy efficiency cuts back on energy usage, leaving more money in your pocket. There are easier, simpler ways to do things now, and people are taking advantage. The inflated cost came from motors and compressors that operated in air conditioners and heaters. Smarter systems work to cool us when we’re home and leave the temperature warm when we’re not.
Even when items are turned off, they’re still drawing power. Game consoles and movie players can draw quite a bit of power, even while in standby mode. This is called “phantom load” and can add up to 8 percent on your electricity bill. If you have a smart strip, though, it will stop the flow of energy to those devices.
One of the simplest and easiest ways to save money is switching to compact fluorescent lights. These cost about double what you’d pay for an incandescent light bulb, but they last up to eight times longer and are just as bright, if not brighter. If you combine this with an occupancy sensor, you’ll save even more and the lights will turn off if there’s either adequate light available or no one in the room.
To further the savings, shop around for an affordable energy rate. When you combine these methods of saving energy along with an affordable energy rate, you can create a sizable savings for yourself. Check out www.electric.com and find an affordable rate in your area.
It’s Less Taxing on Our Appliances
Over the past decade or so, there has been an increased push for greener technology, and it’s resulted in an entire line of Energy Star products that use very little energy while operating. These cut costs by up to ten percent each month. When our appliances don’t work as hard, we not only save money, but we ensure that those appliances are operational for a longer period.
Some smart appliances come with a built-in Wi-Fi adapter that allows the device to communicate with its creators, so if anything goes wrong, the company is immediately notified.
It Makes Our Appliances More Efficient
Like everything, the more you use an appliance, the more worn down it’ll become. Energy efficient technology prevents this from happening as quickly. With some systems, you’re able to remotely connect from a smartphone or a web application and turn on those systems. This prevents systems from running while they’re not needed.
As time progresses, though, these appliances themselves are becoming even more efficient. It’s estimated by 2015 that new air conditioning units will be 10 to 11 percent more efficient than the one’s currently on the market. These technologies will have compressors that allow the systems to operate with a range of variable speeds to keep homes cool during desired times.
It Saves You Time
With newer appliances, things cool down and heat up more quickly, not to mention run faster. While it may only save a few minutes each time, those minutes quickly add up to a substantial amount of time, and in today’s world, every second counts. How many times have you had to run the clothes or dishes through again because something was done improperly?
It Increases Your Home’s Value
Being energy efficient is the thing to do lately, and, as such, many buyers are in the market for eco-friendly and energy efficient homes. More and more people understand the benefits of energy efficiency, and they want to lower their energy bills without doing a ton of work. Because of this, homes will maintain or increase their value when energy-efficient tactics are used. On average, homes sell for eight to ten percent more if they weren’t certified. For the homes that were certified, they sold for 30 percent more.
No matter which way you look at it, energy efficiency is leading the charge in home automation. From saving time to saving money, it hits on all of the points that people care the most about, and when it’s time to move, it ensures that people get the most value for their home. It costs a little more up front, but the savings more than make up for any expenses.
Being energy efficient is possibly the easiest thing you could do for your home. Buy a few energy appliances, a few smart strips, and some CFL lights, and watch the savings pile on. You’ll wonder why you didn’t do this sooner!