energy efficient housing
some simple figures to answer
The thermal demand over ten years for an
average size 3-bedroom house sums up to app.
the equivalent for a modern 5-litre house:
The difference results in savings of
plus £ 21,200.00
and CO2 reduction of
minus 104 tons CO2
as reducing fossil fuel consumption is naturally
followed by reducing emissions the modern
5-litre house causes considerably less pollution.
In his report Sir Nicolas Stern assumed that
one ton of CO2 causes damage worth at least
$ 85.00, i.e. app. £ 42.00, based on today's rates.
According to his thesis not emitting 104 tons of
CO2 will avoid damage worth some £ 4,300.00.
By the way, Switzerland has just announced a
penalty/fee/tax on CO2 emissions, which adds
up to 12 Franken, i.e.£ 5.00, per ton.
Certainly less than Sir Stern suggests, but a
noticeable beginning; should you be interested
in reading the Swiss Government's note see
here, please (sorry, in German, only).
How is this calculated?
You can download the spreadsheets and alter
The above two links
will open into an
excel file, each.
In both files you will
be able to alter some
floor space in sqm
(sqft will be calculated)
price of heating oil/litre
rate of general inflation
and a rate for
the increase of
Thus you will be able
to test yourself.
design follows function
In this case the
reveals its purpose:
what the sun
has to offer
energy efficiency needs to eliminate losses,
There are many terms and phrases used
nowadays in order to describe the efficiency
of a building/home; generally they all have
the above headline in common based on
different levels of efficiency
which is expressed by setting energy
consumption standards. So talking about
the different categories clearly needs one to
know figures, formulas and conversion factors.
None of the terms really take into account
the fact that building materials, processes,
handling, treatment, transports, etc. and even
the possible recycling of the materials do and
will consume a total of energy hardly
neglectable in an overall
energy and emission balance.
Yet, all the above is part of the overall
footprint of the anthro(po)sphere.
When talking and/or
discussing the different
terms and phrases
knowledge is essential.
CO2 and friends
By definition the term "x-litre-house" refers
to the energy content of "x" litres of
heating oil per square metre living area
which is needed for heating and ventilating the house during one year. Of course, the actual consumption depends on individual heating
and ventilation preferences and it is also
directly related to planning, the orientation
and position of the house and the applied
heating and ventilation equipment used.
The "5 litre house" is becoming the popular
European standard; a 100sqm house will
need the equivalent energy of 500 litres
of heating oil per year. The ultimate aim
is to design the "Passive House" which takes
advantage of the sun and the heat generated
naturally by the inhabitants; it lacks
conventional heating systems and is the
natural progression from the
Low-Energy-House as described above.
"x"-litre of heating oil is used as a known and plain way to illustrate the consumption; of course, you might as well calculate in kWh or litres of LPG.
low energy house
It should not consume more energy
That adds up to app. 6.6 litres of heating oil
per square meter of heated floor space
and per year.
6.6l/(m²a) heating oil
low carbon house
Just another word for " low energy house",
but lacking an official definition as to
energy consumption levels.
One (1) litre of heating oil
converts to 10.7kWh
More of these numbers
you will find here
zero carbon house
zero energy house
"Zero" energy relates to the cost of energy.
In such a house, the cost of purchasing energy
is balanced by income from sales of electricity
to the grid of same generated on-site.
The balance does not necessarily refer to an
highly efficient house
type as ample consumption could be capped by higher generation rates.
By definition a Passive House must not
consume more than
15kWh per square meter floor space
per annum for heating (or cooling) the house..
1.5 l/(m²a) oil
There is lots to be learned about Passive House
ideas and experiences,
mainly from German projects, here, please.
In principle it is a Passive House generating
excess energy which is supplied "back" into
the grid; the Active House becomes part of
decentralized energy generation schemes
making the electric grid's distribution
a social practice.
...and what do we have to compare
The average home in Europe in 2007 consumes
energy in excess of 250kWh/m² per annum,
which adds up to the equivalent of 25 litres of heating oil per square meter floor space and year.
house and energy
And here is the
the crossover you
were waiting for...
⇒ basement basics
⇒ model: basement
⇒ save £ 21,200
⇒ CHP makes sense!
⇒ CHP project details
facts and figures
⇒ warm foundation
⇒ hotels, only!
⇒ history of CO2
⇒ CO2 and friends...
⇒ off-grid, or, DIY energy
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