Materials And Technologies
Future living in a house made of TIMBER
We are confronted daily with the shift in our global climate and the direct consequences of rising energy costs. Therefore, a change in our energy habits is, without doubt, necessary as well as a duty. One of the ways in which we can reduce the environmental impact is to build a timber-framed low-energy house.
These houses are built with renewable and eco compatible materials which guarantee a healthier living ambience, a non-traditional heating system, an anti-seismic structure, anti-incendiary materials and high thermal and noise insulation with a greater respect for the environment.
A Healthier Living Ambience thanks to Controlled Ventilation
The basic principle for the construction of a low-energy house is the high level of thermal insulation used and the absence of heat bridges in the fabric of the building envelope. Here, controlled ventilation is fundamental and increases the comfort of living.
Our desire for clean and fresh air inside our homes is of great importance to our overall health. On average, we would need to ventilate our home several times a day but this isn’t always possible, leading to condensation and eventually mould, which can seriously damage our health. This is an ideal breeding ground for dust mites since they need little oxygen to live on and so nestle themselves in our mattresses, armchairs, duvets, etc.
Controlled ventilation in a low-energy house guarantees clean and fresh air and also adjusts the temperature within the house.
How does it work?
Controlled ventilation is the process of exchanging the heat energy contained in air that is extracted from a dwelling and transferring it to the incoming replacement air. The expulsion of the used air and the suction of the fresh air is carried out by diffusers installed either in the walls or in the ceiling. Eighty per cent of the thermal energy in the used air is recycled and transferred to the fresh air via an appropriate exchanger. The installation has the advantage of precisely and constantly regulating (day and night) the quality of the air, eliminating the humidity and any lingering odours. In addition, it allows you to save a lot of energy as it reduces the exchange of air needed (when compared to manual ventilation). There are no drafts or noises in the house as a result of such a system.
Therefore, the best comfort levels are achieved:
Better living without noise pollution
Many of the nuisances of modern living are down to noise pollution in our immediate vicinity. Thankfully, these can be avoided with a low-energy house because there is no need to open the windows to air the house. That doesn’t mean, however, that one can’t open the windows. The house is completely automated as regards ventilation and can efficiently regulate the temperature, humidity and noise insulation when the windows are closed.
Triple pane insulated glazed windows
Detail is vital in a low-energy home. A badly fitted window frame can compromise the whole energy efficiency of a house quite significantly. A low-energy house must have large south-facing triple pane insulated glazed windows. In winter, the glass surfaces serve to capture the sun rays so as to heat the building. In the summer months, providing there is an efficient sun screening system, triple grazing prevents the house from excessive over-heating. There is also no build-up of condensation or mould on the windows of a low-energy house.
A house that has an efficient thermal insulation, an airtight building envelope, triple pane insulated glazed windows and a south-facing position doesn’t really need heating. If ideal conditions are lacking, or for those that want a higher level of comfort, there are a number of alternative central heating options. One can choose from traditional wall radiators, under floor heating or ventilated heat. The heat can be generated by different installations, for example, by a heat pump combined with solar panels or a geo-thermal implant. Alternatively, one can choose a pellet or a wood-burning stove in line with the demands and wishes of the individual.
During the summer months, the hot water is produced solely by solar panels. During the winter, or on cloudy days, a heat pump can assist, as well as a wood burning or pellet stove, or any other energy source.
The demand for comfortable indoor living areas during the summer months is becoming increasingly important. The highly insulated building and the window screens are the main reasons why a sustainable house is highly livable, including in the summer months, allowing for cooler temperatures indoors. The ventilation system, as well as the floor or wall heating, guarantee the cooling of your house at the temperature you desire. Also here the energy source can be the heat pump or alternatively a geothermal heat exchanger.
The installation of a green roof instead of a traditional roof, without doubt, has a positive effect on the environment. The roof produces oxygen and filters pollutants and carbon dioxide from the air. Furthermore, they absorb rainwater, provide insulation and create a habitat for wildlife.
Advantages of a green roof:
Natural Insulation Materials
There is an increasing request for natural and renewable insulating materials. They guarantee a pleasant indoor climate, are completely free of noxious substances and preserve our planet since their production does not require the use of pollutant fossil fuel.
Nowadays a large spectrum of natural insulation materials is available with high thermal and acoustic insulation standards.
The large south-facing windows, typical of sustainable houses, are of major importance for heating during the winter months by way of natural solar radiation.
During the summer months, however, an accurate screening of the windows is necessary to avoid overheating. There is a wide range of types and designs, but essential is that the screens are fitted to the outside of the building, thus regulating the internal temperature of the building.