Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Designing Green on Vancouver Island

This home features a few green building techniques that emphasize how easy its becoming to build green and maintain style and comfort. Even though this isn't necessarily my taste as its a little cold, I like the blend of concrete and wood that creates an urban country feel. I also like the abundance of oversize windows which allow you to minimize the need for decor, as the great outdoors creates the perfect backdrop.

The concrete walls create 'thermal mass', meaning that they store heat in cold weather, and are cool in warm weather. (I have to admit though, I really don't like this sofa! The fireplace, on the other hand...)

Again, the concrete floors were outfitted with radiant heat coils; this is more efficient as its not working really hard to heat 'dead air'. Also, the concrete works really well to store heat, therefore you can heat your home at a lower temperature. Finally, heat rises!

The abundance of windows allow for passive solar heating, and keep energy costs down by allowing in plenty of natural light. Make sure they are well insulated though (e factor), so heat isn't escaping through them. Love the reclaimed fir beams.

This is a neat feature: see the chain suspended from the eaves in the background? This is actually attached to the gutter, channeling rainwater down to the garden. Natural irrigation!

all photos: Wish

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1 comment:

  1. About the potential of concrete floors....
    I realy don't like concrete much, but when we raised our first cottage we poured a concrete floor for the lower level because we hit bedrock in one corner and couldn't go lower. As a result, one corner of the place (one third of the floor space) was about 4 feet below ground. In the summer, the concrete stayed cool and acted almost like an air conditioner. In the winter the concrete took awhile to warm up, but since we had a zero clearance fireplace that didn't take very long, and once it was warm, it stayed warm and radiated heat throughout.
    Unexpected benefits!!



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