In a world that drives on technological innovations, it might seem hard to stay updated and still stay eco-friendly. However, as the gap between normal and eco-friendly materials is narrowing down, it is becoming easier day by day. Building designs like Inflatable Dome Home show how even with a very out of the box design, you can still stay environmentally friendly. Here is everything you might want to know about this building along with how, by learning more about green building materials and construction, you too can make your house eco-friendly.
Energy-Efficient Inflatable Dome Home in Louisiana
The monolithic dome home is Louisiana is a manifestation of its owners’ – Charlie and Margaret Simmons – pursuit for energy-efficiency. The steel-reinforced concrete tension rings support a plasticized, inflated airform (balloon) that further envelopes a steel rebar structure. Dual insulation, on the interior (foam spray) and exterior (concrete base and apex), promises minimum energy costs.
C. Simmons says…
The efficiency of the house appeals to me as an engineer, and I like having something that is a little different, too.
And yes, the 3,400 sq. ft. employs a 1½ ton A/C unit for air conditioning purposes. Construction on the Dome Home began in April of 2008 and it was completed in November of 2009.
As is mentioned above, dual insulation absorbs the sun’s energy and offers a relatively constant temperature. An air-to-air heat exchanger brings the fresh outdoor air and a HEPA (99.9% efficiency) air filter to takes out any of the contaminants.
Airtight interiors employ air pressurization
No energy leakage is there, which is attributable to a hermetically sealed, solar thermal envelope. Dust stands no chance of leaking into the structure, thanks to the HVAC system that ensures normal distribution.
Tested against winds, earthquakes, fires
The model was tested in a wind tunnel at Texas A&M University and it can withstand 600 mph winds. The aerodynamic shape of the dome makes it brave against powerful winds. So, the wind’s energy glides through with no damage caused to the basic structure. Second, the monolithic design evenly distributes the weight and also has a low center of gravity. The fire-retardant GE paint can withstand 550 degrees F.
Other features of Inflatable Dome Home:
- Teak wood flooring, and cabinets and doors made from recycled cypress.
- Energy-efficient LED lighting.
- Spacious Floor Plan.
Things to have in an energy-efficient house
1. Check for the building material
Building material speaks volumes about the eco-friendly or not so eco-friendly nature of a structure. Use of sustainable materials makes a building an eco-friendly structure.
If the timber used in the building comes from a source wherein wood grows and is harvested under strict conditions, as in it does not come from a source where reckless deforestation takes place.
If the timber used satisfies all these conditions, and if you buy wood from such sources, it would help to reduce the level of deforestation that is degenerating forests, which is a harmful phenomenon for the environment and for the society.
b) Recycled Materials
The next point to remember while investigating building material is the usage of recycled materials. A number of building materials can be the recycled ones, and if a particular building sports the usage of such materials, then certainly, its eco-friendly quotient is much higher than the ordinary buildings.
Tiles, bricks, wooden floorboards, and some other building materials can come from recycled sources, which help save energy and material usage. Using recycled materials not only does good to environment but gives your home a peculiar and a beautiful look as well, probably which you can never achieve with all new materials.
c) Paints and other decorations
Paints and other decorative products used in a building are other materials you must consider to check whether they are environmentally friendly or not. Some materials, especially some paints are made using harmful chemicals that are harmful for humans and for the environment as well. In green buildings, you will find eco-friendly paints.
2. Low Impact Living
Green homes are the ones that have minimum environmental impact. Environmental impact of green buildings is lower than the non eco-friendly buildings because the green materials do not harm the environment around. To check this status, you must consider these following features in a building:
3. Energy efficiency
A green home is always a home that is energy efficient. It makes use of appliances that use lesser energy, and make use of alternate energy that has no or minimal environmental impact. Such houses have proper insulation systems that lock warm heat inside in winters and the cold air in summers, thus, reducing dependence upon electrical gadgets that help maintain a required temperature inside a home. Energy star electrical appliances help eliminate electricity wastage, as they use minimum amount of electricity.
Making the most of natural daylight is also a tip which will take you places. In fact, once you start implementing the same at home, things at the workstation will improve. Choose your shower head while purchasing one for hot showers. Incidentally, the installation of an AAA flow low one will certainly serve your purpose and decrease costs.
Instead of using the thermostat to blindly regulate the temperature, use simple strategies. For example, drawing the blinds or curtains in areas made of glass for prevention of the escape of heat. Keeping doors closed for rooms which are not used frequently used might also take care of the circulation of cooling or heating.
4. Water Conservation
Green homes have rainwater harvesting tanks that makes use of rainwater for a number of purposes such s gardening, or in toilet. In bathrooms, use of low-flow showerheads and faucets is prominent; toilets with a dual flush system can be seen. In kitchen, also you will find low flow faucets, and energy efficient dishwasher that uses least amount of water to do the dishes. Coming to laundry, washing machines are highly efficient as they conserve both water and electricity.
5. Manage electricity draws
If you look carefully, the kitchen of an ordinary household is usually the space which consumes the maximum amount of energy. In that case, you should look for ways which will successfully curtail the amount of energy consumed.
For example, why run half loaded dishwashers? Be it a full load or just a partial load, the same amount of energy will be consumed as the thing takes pretty much the same time. So, the tip number one would be to run a dishwasher only after the whole thing is full.
Nothing consumes more energy and releases waves more than a microwave oven. Most of us should try to curtail the use of microwaves as well. Using the stovetop instead to make food or reheat thin might actually be more environmentally sound than using a microwave oven too much.
The next area which you should focus upon and is without fail a major electricity draw is the area you do laundry in. most households run a load only after it full. The problem lies in the choice of the washing machine. It is better that you choose a front loading one than a top loading one. The electricity consumption will go down and so will the consumption of water. Using cold or water of normal temperature will serve the purpose better than using warm water.