Building energy efficient homes

Researching & Designing your Sustainable Home

What insulation will you lose?: Insulating your home is a great idea, it keeps you cool in summer and warm in winter. It also saves you energy and money. If I was designing a home I would use cotton insulation for a few reasons;Cotton is a natural and renewable resource- cotton insulation is sometimes even made from scrap cotton used to make clothes.It can be rolled into batts (a sheet of matted cotton, wool, or synthetic fibers).Cotton insulation does not include formaldehyde which scientists think cause some cancers.Cotton fibers do not cause any breathing problems and do not make existing breathing problems worse.This material is a good water absorber and when treated with boric acid is fire proof.This material is also found to be a good insect repellant which is good when living in the tropics.Use light colors on roofs and walls to help reflect direct sunlight and heat.

How will you make sure your home is water-efficient?: I will make my home water efficient by;Using fixtures and appliances that are water efficient such as water efficient shower heads.Dish washers are the applicants that use the most water in the house so make sure I buy a water efficient model and stack it fully before starting it.Install water tanks to collect rain water to use.Only water and wash cars every second day.Use bath water to water garden.(make sure it is pure water).

How will you allow for convection and air flow?:I will allow for convection by installing a gas wall heater. Gas wall heaters used with the aid of a fan create convection currents because the fan pushes warm air out near floor level so that it heats the entire room as the air rises.I will allow for air flow by having windows on the wall that can let air in and out and install a ceiling fan to let air flow through the house.

How will you orientate your house? (remember we live in the southern hemisphere): I will have my house facing the south purely based on the movement of the sun, my windows will also be towards the south with shade or a overhang to reflect the sun in the summer .By building like this I will save up to 85% on my heating and cooling costs.

How will you design your garden to incorporate shade? What size windows and doors will you have?:"Deciduous trees planted near north-facing windows allow radiated heat from the sun through in winter but block it out in summer." I will use trees to provide shade for my walls.I will have tinted or high performance windows on the southern side of my house and they will be medium sized so I can open them in the summer and get the breeze but I can also cover them.I will have also have medium doors for the same reason.

R value: "The R-value is a measure of thermal resistance used in the building and construction industry.""When insulating your home aim for 4.1 R value for the roof and ceiling and 2.8 for the walls."

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