Top 10 sustainable houses of the world!

The cost of a home can be measured in money, but the construction and operation of a house in relation to the environment, can have costs hardly measured.

More and more people are looking for ways to minimize both the environmental impact and economic costs, by equipping their homes with sustainable technology, resulting in the bloom of sustainable development to become a driving force to the new levels of architectural innovation. Based on this, Gizmag, concludes with ten remarkable sustainable homes.

The term "sustainability" is limited nowadays, but there is more than just adding some solar panels on the roof of an unsustainable building. True sustainability consists of several aspects: from construction materials made from renewable energy sources, claiming primacy to the efficiency and harmony with the surroundings. We believe that the following options meet many of these criteria.


waste house
    

Waste House

The Waste House is a sustainable construction project also installed at the University of Brighton in the UK. As the name suggests, this house prototype is built almost exclusively from waste. About 90% of the materials used in the construction of Waste House from household waste and other structures, including 20,000 toothbrushes, 4.000 DVD cases, 2,000 diskettes and 2,000 worn carpets, which were used to "dress" the facade of house. Although no one really lives in this for the moment, the building is a remarkable achievement and demonstrates the philosophy of the organizer that "there is no waste, but things in the wrong place."s house

 
                                                                                                               

S House

    The Vietnamese architect Vo Trong  Nghia have made some steps forward in the matter of providing practical, durable, and most importantly, cheap houses. The result is S House, a house of $ 4,000 which was constructed using local, easy-to-concentration materials such as palm leaves and bamboo. The interior of the S House is rudimentary and it measures just 30 square meters, with a large interior space. The building is prefabricated and can be disassembled into several small pieces for easy transport by local craftsmen. The architect Vo Trong Nghia, is still working on the design of the S House but the final plan is to incorporate it in the big market.

 

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Fall House

        The architecture company Fougeron, in San Francisco, recently designed and built a very nice luxury house that assures that it will make the neighbours think "green". Located in Big Sur coast of California, and has copper façade that will assimilated over time, as it comes in contact with the sea air. Copper is also designed to provide a degree of fire protection. Besides the enviable appearance and the view of the two-storey Fall House has energy efficient windows and open design that encourages natural ventilation after opening the windows automatically and reduces the need for air conditioning. A recycling system of gray water is also installed.

 

zeb pilot house
 
     

ZEB Pilot House

  The ZEB Pilot House, of  the international architecture brand “Snøhetta” is a remarkable experimental house that is said can make the following remarkable: thanks to the incredible performance and abundant solar panels, said that can produce nearly three times the amount of electricity required – leaving enough excess for charging an EV, for example. To achieve this performance, Zeb Pilot House has the proverbial kitchen sink lasting technology, a large photovoltaic array, rainwater collection system, solar panels, as well as an efficient heat exchanger. Not bad that the house is also very beautiful. The performance of the ZEB Pilot House is currently under review to determine that the claims of energy efficiency is justified.
pop-up house

 
     

Pop-Up House

Whatever type of home you live in, chances, that  its construction took longer than that to build the Pop-Up House than French architectural Multipod desk, and a group of manufacturers in just four days with tools just a screwdriver, is minimal. The company likens the construction process to building with Lego. The Pop-Up House is a prototype prefabricated house that Multipod company, aims to bring to market for around € 30,000. Thanks to the excellent insulation and airtight construction almost no heating is required for the house in southern France, which meets the very energy pattern of building passive.

 
tighthouse                                                                                                             

Tighthouse

Reported to be the first certified passive house in New York and Tighthouse represents an impressive energy-efficient renovation of an existing house over a hundred years. The architectural design office Fabrica718 added a new facade, a rooftop terrace, and an art studio for home. It has installed sustainable technology which includes two solar panels for hot water and photovoltaic panels, which reduce the power requirements of the network. Since the house is almost airtight, a highly efficient ventilation system with heat recovery (HRV) always provide plenty of fresh air.

    blooming bamboo
    

Blooming Bamboo

As architects Vo Trong Nghia,  such as Vietnamese company “H & P Architects”, produced a prototype home that will eventually get into mass production and will be sold to low-income people in Vietnam. However, this particular house is well protected from flooding. The Blooming Bamboo house standing on stilts and is designed to withstand the floods to 1,5 m in depth, although the architects of “H & P” hope to increase this depth to 3 m. The 44 square meter  house, is built around a central frame made of bamboo, lined with local materials such as bamboo, fibreboard and coconut leaves. These houses will be constructed at a cost of just $ 2,500.

  slip house

     

Slip House

  The Slip House, by architect Carl Turner, a model for affordable, sustainable family homes in the United Kingdom. Constructed  between a number of houses in London, the residence is located in a deserted area, formerly used for industrial or commercial purposes. The unusual form consists of three rectangles. The Slip House has a rainwater collection cistern, solar panels, mechanical ventilation, triple glazing and a high level of insulation – that save up to 1092.73 kilograms of CO2 per year, according to the designers. The Carl Turner uses the house as a model for his research, hoping to improve his ideas for the production of affordable and sustainable family homes.

 

  
Illawarra Flame 

Illawarra Flame

Students from the University of Wollongong in Australia, took a typical Australian house «fibro» and retrofit a home with sustainable technology to transform energy-famous home into a house of zero energy needs. The project «Illawarra Flame» includes a lengthy renovation process, such as converting a bedroom into living room and installation of prefabricated pods, contain amenities such as laundry and bathroom. Sustainable additions include a roof system 9,4-KW-based with solar panels, rainwater collection systems and gray water recycling, energy-efficient LED lighting, a building management system that offers very good control and information on all appliances and the stored energy.P.A.T.H.

 
 

P.A.T.H.

Renowned French designer and architect Philippe Starck, has recently collaborated with the Slovenian company “Riko”  on prefabricated houses to bring out a new line of high-end prefabricated houses called Prefabricated Accessible Technological Homes (P.A.T.H.). Apart from the many shapes and sizes, PATH homes may support an outer shell of glass, combination of glass and wood or a complete wooden shell. Optional viable technology includes a roof that is based on solar panels, ceiling turbine and a rainwater collection and filtration system.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Source: 4Green.gr

Burn! Economically and ecologically

When all "burned" to reduce heating costs, those who have turned to the privileges of biomass enjoy their choice. Biomass is a simple, economical and ecological way of heating which will never disappear.

The biomass produced each year on our planet is estimated at 172 billion tons of dry material, while in Greece, the annually available agricultural and forest residues equivalent energy with 3-4 million tons of oil, while the potential of energy crops can, under present circumstances, to overcome comfortable as agricultural and forestry residues. This amount of energy corresponds to 30-40% the amount of oil consumed annually in our country. However, by today's standards, only about 3% of its energy needs, are covered, through the use of available biomass.

A recent census has estimated that the total direct biomass available in Greece consists of approximately 7,500,000 tones of residues in agricultural crops (cereals, maize, cotton, tobacco, sunflower, canes, pomace, etc.), and by 2,700,000 tons of forest logging residues (branches, bark, etc.). Besides being the largest proportion of this biomass, unfortunately still untapped, often is a cause of many unpleasant situations (fires, difficulty performing work, spread of diseases, etc.). Inevitably, therefore, one can conclude that the use of biomass for heating and housing sector is respected proposal.

 

How do we evaluate the quality of combustion

Like all combustion technologies, so the domestic biomass heating systems are evaluated based on the following key features:

– The efficiency (%), defined as the ratio of the useful heat generated by the combustion system to the provided burning energy (expressed as to the lower heating value).

– The emissions from combustion, which relate mainly to various air pollutants such as carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sulfur (SOx), unburned organic compounds and particulates. The main objective of any combustion system is to maximize efficiency while minimizing emissions. This can be achieved, by suitable design of the system, proper fuel selection and appropriate settings during operation, e.g. the supply of combustion air.

The fuel

By definition, biomass is essentially any material that directly or indirectly has a biological (organic) origin. If the biomass used as fuel for energy production, we are talking about solid, liquid and gaseous biofuels, according to their physical form. Solid biofuels include a wide range of materials, such as pellets, firewood, pits, etc., and thei are used to generate heat in the residential sector. There is a huge variety of materials with very different characteristics that can be described as solid biofuel. In practice, the forms of solid biofuels are commercially available specific and mainly include the following:

– The pellets, are small cylindrical particles, having a typical diameter 6 – 8 mm produced from a biomass compression process. In general, the production process of pellets ensures the uniformity of the fuel and low humidity (<10 wt%). Today, the vast majority of the pellets on the market, are made of wood and characterized by low ash levels. It is also possible to manufacture pellets from other materials (eg straw), the production and use in the residential sector but their very limited due to high ash content. In the Greek market, wood pellets are usually handled in the 15 kg packages.

– The pomace is the woody residue, that comes of due to the removal of moisture and the remaining oil, the semi-solid cake remaining after oil extraction at the oil mill. The pomace is generally characterized by higher ash rates than commercial solid wood and biofuels, according to Greek law, it is imposed the oil content in dry matter, does not exceed 2%.

– The briquettes are products of biomass materials, usually cylindrical or rectangular and much larger than the pellets. Usually, they are made of wood materials and characterized by low moisture and ash percentages.

– The sawdust (or chips) of wood (wood chips) are small pieces of wood, length 5 – 50 mm. The quality of the biomass chips depends on the raw material and the production technology and usually come from forest residues (branches, tops, whole trees), residues from sawmills etc . There have no compression or a non-physical process of drying, so this usually have fairly high moisture levels which can reach 50%.

Kind of Combustion

The domestic heating systems are characterized as:

– Central heating, in which the fuel energy released by combustion in a boiler and attached to a transport carrier, which through the distribution system delivers this heat radiators properly positioned for heating of different spaces.

– Local heating, when energy is produced and attached in the same place without the intervention of a transmission system. In local heating systems include fireplaces (simple and energy fan heaters) and stoves (simple and fan heater).

Do not forget to

– Urge the technician to measure and convection after placing the chimney

– Properly clean the chimney, since improper cleaning can cause serious fire

-To be informed about the humidity of the wood before buying

– Remove any residue from previous combustion (ash, charcoal) to facilitate air circulation

Benefits

+ Prevent greenhouse effect

+ Avoid air contamination from sulfur dioxide (SO2)

+ Reduction of energy dependence from oil imports of third countries

+ Ensuring labor and retaining the rural population in rural areas

+ Renewable energy source

+ Automatic fuel supply (the devices installed with this feature)

+ Low fuel costs compared with conventional fossil fuels

Tips

– Select the installation place according to the safe use of the device, the position of the chimney and the combustion air supply.

– Observe the specified minimum distance or gap (> 1 meter) from all combustible materials present around the combustion appliances (stoves, fireplaces).

– Pay attention to the installation of exhaust pipes (Burma), so as not to come into contact with wood or other combustible surfaces.

– Remove flammable materials present within 40cm from the chimney. Forbidden to pass cables in the walls or ceiling at a distance of 60cm, from the device is installed.

– Ensure that each chimney is connected to a single combustion device

– Do not place the stove on a carpet or near furniture or curtains.

– Store the wood, in a place protected from rain and ventilated (south side).

– Do not start ventilation while using the combustion device in the same room.

– Never extinguish the fire with water, especially in cast iron devices where extinguishing water can crack or break the cast iron.

– Install carbon monoxide detector in the space where the combustion device.

* Republished by www.4green.gr

Sources: Guide Solid Biofuels & Biomass Boiler for Domestic Applications Heating of the Centre for Research and Technology Hellas (CERTH), Renewable Energy Sources (CRES), Association of Greek Enterprises heating-Energy (EN.E.EPI.TH.E.)

The apartment Nadja of the team “Point Supreme”

Konstantinos Pantazis and Marianna Rentzou worked in various architectural offices across Europe up to take a decision and to start in 2007 their own architectural team. Then the star of Point Supreme timidly emerged in Rotterdam sky. seven years later and it still creatively shines in its territory in Athens.   110040-245037-nadja2

The apartment Nadja Point supreme, has attracted global attention for its innovative architectural design, while some time ago came the distinction-dream architect: the impressive work of Point Supreme, was included in the Wallpaper magazine, the Holy Bible of design.

But what is it that turned a Papagou typical apartment in something so spectacular? To understand the different look of unexpected Point Supreme, we must first make a home visit, for which all the architectural world discusses about.

110040-245044-nadja-5 The apartment Nadja , was once,  two separate apartments. The reallocation of space, imaginative architectural solutions and a total yellow ladder, was everything needed to join the "twins", as they call the apartments, in a bright house of 270 square meters. The two levels are now completely different reality. The first level we meet a huge space interrupted only by bulky furniture. The creators describe them "like islands floating and which casts anchor every time for social activities of the family." Poetic as also essential. In the same logic of the "sea", the usual separation of rooms is lacking, at least in the way we know. The position of the walls, to wit, occupy shelves, tables, cabinets, curtains and internal partitions delimiting the room, but not to prevent visual contact. So kitchen, dining and living room "are looked" between them, creating a flexible environment, perfectly adapted to the needs of the family. 110040-245038-nadja-3 (1)At the second level we meet an earthly version of reality. The bedrooms were designed based on two different types, operating binders. This way, most social spaces come as a continuation of private. On this floor is visible the influence of the architecture of the Greek islands, which becomes more evident in the bathroom or on the arch above the children's bed.

*Source: eletech.gr / athensvoice.gr

Solar 3D printer converts waste water into furniture!

"No trash, no plastic, in seas and coasts," said Petros the Pelican. But because we didn’t hear his advice and our oceans are full of plastic waste, a 3D printer came to save the day!

Neither a machine God, nor God’s machine. In fact, a machine by Alexander Groves and Azusa Murakami who have vowed to contribute to the cleanliness of the oceans!

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Due to the enormous contamination in vast oceans of our planet we have created large and small garbage islands. One of the largest, the Great Pacific garbage patch, is about the size of … Turkey! The garbage spot located in the North Pacific and consists mainly of plastic waste, micro-particles, petrochemicals and other coarse polluting materials. Because of the volume has repeatedly won the attention of environmentalists and researchers, and obviously the aforementioned authors.photo-original

In an effort cleaning this gigantic chaos, the Studio Swine of Groves and Murakami had a brilliant idea: to design a solar fired  3D printer that uses plastic waste to print … furniture!

Solar-powered-3D-printer 1

Alex and Azusa started from Cornwall, picking up plastic waste from the coast and then building their own machine to shred the garbage. The resultant material, was the substance used by the 3D printer to print their first project, a chair with three legs, the Sea Chair. The next task waiting for them on the open sea, where they came out with a fishing boat and nets, they collected as much plastic trash as possible. Ultimately, through the experiences and their cooperation with a specialist mechanical, they managed to make the solar powered 3D printer, which can move and work anywhere!

 

 

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Alex and Azusa succeeded in early October to win funding from Kickstarter, so traveling at this time in one of the largest sources of recyclable plastics in the world. Their average is the Sea Dragon, a sailing vessel of steel, equipped with laboratory microscopes and trawl nets to collect plastic garbage. The Sea Dragon has length 22 meters and has already come out for exploration in the North Atlantic.

Source: 4green.gr

Green roofs and “living” walls

The studies and the figures relating to the ecological and economic benefits of our green roofs and "living" walls, multiply rapidly.

The green roof reduces the need for air conditioning of the building during the summer months, depending on the individual characteristics, from 50-90%. The temperature at the surface of the roof of a building with a green roof does not exceed 25-30 ° C, even in summer, while the corresponding a conventional building, can reach 75 degrees. In London and Shanghai, only in the year 2008, 100.000m² planted  green roofs. In France, planted annually 1.000.000m² year, while in Germany 11.000.000! These figures, clearly demonstrate the huge investment already made in green growth and the seriousness with which, citizens face the phenomenon of global warming.

Musee du Quai Branly, Παρίσι, από τον Patrick Βlanc, τον “εφευρέτη” του πράσινου “ζωντανού” τοίχου.

The economic benefits of Ecological Roofs

• Reduction of heat loss in winter

• Reduce heating and cooling costs up to 50%

• Reduce the temperature of the surface of the roof to 45-50 C

• Reduction of the building maintenance

• Immediate return of the investment

• Increasing the market value of the property

• Doubling the duration of the life of the roof insulation from 30 years, with conventional insulation, to 60 years

Planted roofs

As a green roof or else called, planted roof, green roof, roof garden defines all or part of the roof surface, roof, balcony etc., which makes interventions for vegetation establishment. The green roof is composed of several layers by specialized materials, which is generally the base of the plant, the drainage network, the substrate and vegetation. There are three types of planted roof, the extensive, intensive and semi-intensive.

• extensive: It is the most appropriate application for Greek buildings in relation to other types as well as collect the most advantageous proportion to the climatic conditions, the installation and maintenance costs. The depth of the substrate is only 2-15cm, the ecological benefit is high, the vegetation support is mainly herbaceous and needs little care and maintenance.

Intensive: Intensive formula is to create an entire garden on the roof of a building. The result is very impressive, but the cost is quite elevated, and its manufacture requires special structural design (weight amounts to 150-800kg / m²), needs deep substrate (0.15-1.5m) and costly maintenance. Also, it takes a long time to recoup the investment. However, the final form is a natural oasis in the urban landscape, well placed trees, paths, water features and shading systems etc.

semi-intensive: This formula combines elements of both these types, while in this range is more appropriate for the Greek climate, the semi-intensive tending to the extensive type. Prerequisite for the installation of a green roof is mostly the static ability of the building to hold the weight of the structure. Otherwise, it is a safe and very useful application for all types of buildings.

Patrick Blanc, Astralia - Cité de l’Espace, Τουλούζ.

Select vegetation

The type of vegetation that will be chosen for each planted roof, depends on the depth of the substrate to the building can withstand, the method of construction of the roof / housing, environmental conditions and the manufacturing cost limit. Also, they should be taken into consideration, the desired operating and energy results, but also the aesthetic perception of the interested. Indicative, can be planted various species of flowers, herbs, turf grass and sod Mediterranean plants.

The ecological benefits of Roof Garden

• Increase the percentage of vegetation in the urban landscape and create natural environment for urban flora and fauna

• Reduction of air temperature

• Improving air quality by absorbing particulates

• Enrichment of air with oxygen through photosynthesis

• Remove the phenomenon of "heat island"

• Protection against overflow of water in storms

• Protection against electromagnetic radiation

• Fire protection

• Soundproofing

• Reducing the amount of water flowing in the drain system

Greens 'alive' walls

If the idea of ​​a green wall sounds  new, remember the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, who remained in history as a technological breakthrough and an aesthetic marvel. The idea of ​​hanging gardens implemented by other people such as the Vikings, while the roofs with beaten earth that were used in the island traditional buildings, in the Mediterranean region, serving the same logic. In modern times, the French botanist and researcher Patrick Blanc, considered the 'inventor' of the green 'living' wall. His collaborations with numerous private and public institutions such as museums, schools, airports, public buildings, shopping centers, etc., as well as large-scale and high aesthetic value of applications make the green walls a great achievement in the building sector and eco-design. The green walls exhibit the aforementioned advantages of green roofs, and in addition, provide optical isolation, can cost less and do not require much space, maintenance and care.

Πράσινος τοίχος που έφτιαξαν οι μαθητές στο Discovery High School του Μανχάταν

Categories

By installing green roof is achieved by reducing the surface temperature of the roof up to 45-50 degrees and the increase in the commercial value of the property.

There are two kinds of applications: green facades and the "living" walls.

Green facades consisting mainly of climbing plants, which grow directly on the building or to specific embodiments, an image that is often found in Greece. The "living" walls is a structure consisting of cell lines, in which plants are placed, and are suitable for both indoors as well as outdoors. The number of cells depends on their size and the surface covering and changed when worn or when they have reached the peak of their life. Usually cells 1m length dimensions are used, width 0.5m, 0.12m depth  and weight 88kg / m², which are based on the specific context and placed into different rows of plants.

Only 1.5 square meter planted roof produces enough oxygen to meet the annual needs of an adult in the fresh air. You knew that …

Vegetation

Plant walls, are configured to maintain a balance between water and air to the substrate, making ideal conditions for the growth of plants and allowing them to grow, both horizontally and vertically, thus covering the entire surface of the cells . However the weight of the plant depends on the type and age, but when the plants are fully grown should not surpass 12kg per m² for plants such as grass and 24kg per m² for the rest. The plant species that thrive in plant walls are many, but rather is trailing due to their rapid spread on surfaces. They are selected after  a specific study and have arange from grass to shrubs and low-growing, wild flowering plants. As alter, either the color of the leaf or the flower relative to the period of time, they form a course changing canvas natural aesthetics in the urban environment.

Είναι εδαφοκαλυπτικά, λόγω της γρήγορης εξάπλωσης τους πάνω στις επιφάνειες και επιλέγονται ύστερα από ειδική μελέτη.  

The benefits

In Greece of the economic crisis, in addition to our ecological conscience,  in our installation of green roofs and walls, also can lead us also our pockets. All individual benefits, pay money according to the particular features of the application and of the building, for example the building's energy losses, the rate of the roof surface planted, local climatic conditions, etc. Besides the economic, the ecological benefits are also particularly remarkable.

   Source: 4green.gr

The most sustainable building in the world is a reality!

The Center for Sustainable Landscapes (Center for Sustainable Landscapes – CSL) at the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens and  in Pennsylvania Pittsburgh became the first building in the world which took the four higher sustainable building standards.

The installation just added the certification «Living Building Challenge» in the list of subdivisions, certification which is considered the most stringent sustainability measure. Considers that, buildings based on criteria in seven different categories, location, water, energy, health and happiness, materials, equality and beauty. The CSL initially achieved the certification Living Building Challenge Net Zero Energy Building in February 2014, with full certification to come in March 2015, after some additional water sustainability measures implemented. For full certification, buildings must demonstrate that they have absolutely zero energy and water use during a year.

phipps-center-for-sustainable-landscapes

In addition to the certification of Living Building Challenge, the CSL was the first building in the world to certify WELL Building Platinum buildings, the highest rating awarded by the International Institute WELL Building, which aims to improve the health and well being through the built environment.

The building is also the first and only Four Stars Sustainable SITES Initiative for landscape projects and is certified with LEED Platinum. The CSL is located above a former industrial area, that has been restored in a green landscape with native plants and green roof. Its design is based on what the Phipps calls approach «outside-in, passive-first». The building is oriented to maximize exposure to the sun and use a variety of heating and cooling methods, one of which is the Energy Recovery Unit in the ceiling which helps in heating, cooling, ventilation and dehumidification.


phipps-center-for-sustainable-landscapes-0The building shell is designed to minimize heat loss and solar cooling loads, while maximizing the amount of natural light to the interior. High performance walls and roof insulation has also been used, together with low emissivity windows providing solar and thermal control. This is a project that started in December 2010 and was completed two years later, in December 2012.

 

Source: 4green.gr

 

8 tips for proper insulation

The new data on the insulation market in recent years have created enough opportunities for every consumer who wants to improve his/her  home, especially in terms of relative cost

 

On the other hand, it has created a series of "traps" that he/her should know to avoid, so that  not become a "victim" of bad work.

The economic crisis in Greece  apart from the obvious effects,  caused also a mobility in the offering  supply. Many professions and in this case the construction or the building industry,  suddenly were found with no job or perspective to work for many months or even years.

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All occupations related to the construction itself and not with the repair, were out of the market as the issuance of new building permits, literally froze.

Employees therefore with these professions (builders, plasterers, masons,  marble constructors  etc.) necessarily, most mostly moved to other building professions related to repair and renovation- the only construction sector continues to show some activity.

This activity is especially relied significantly on programs such as " Saving  at home ', associated with the energy upgrading of existing buildings, mainly those constructed before 1990. A large percentage of foreign technicians also moved either in their home countries, either in other more dynamic economies than ours.

 

The technicians movement has the following results:

a. It causes inflation in offering services in building construction sector, particularly those related to energy upgrade of a building. A significant number of technicians therefore switched to the insulation space sector. Insulation notoriously links to the protection of all of the shell or the shell of a building from moisture, heat, cold and noise. Companies involved until recently, with other construction activities, switched primarily to building insulation. As did many engineers or mechanical engineers.

b. Lack of demand dropped prices significantly and combined with the high competition, high taxes and lack of liquidity, most companies were and are at the limits of their strength. The same happened with the country's major industries, which produced  insulating products, that where found suddenly a severe decline in their turnover, mainly because of the massive shortfall in domestic orders.

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c. The above resulted in a significant decline in the quality of implementation. The non-experienced technical staff and new companies have caused and cause a host of technical failures. All this are exacerbated, by the fact that Greece is one of the very few countries in Europe that has no professional training schools, from which should graduate a specialized workforce with certified skills, for example in the field of insulation. Also, until recently there was no Regulation or national technical specifications to help or to provide the knowledge base for the establishment of such schools but also for a reliable application of existing craftsmen in the industry. Meanwhile,  the lack of consumer awareness,  that goes along with technical specifications, it is making them almost useless, as it does not apply only in very few cases and even poorly. Even references to them are limited. 

As a consequence…

… Companies go to bid guarantees for the work and materials. Bidding that  reaches the limits of the joke sometimes, because even guarantees "for life"were given -and here the question is why whose- because this most often is vague. Phenomena, such as application of  materials that have no life expectancy of more than 5 years and companies to give 25 or 30 years of good operation of insulation guarantee,  is a common practice and not the exception to the rule. Phenomena where sealing or water proofing materials, appear to do and insulation, are also many and even at times advertised in TV channels.

All these are the perfect recipe for the failure of insulation. Competition goes to the  cheapest and there the problems that arise are severe.

The consumer often becomes a victim, as the vast majority of cases it buys dramatically falls short of the expectations.

ΑΡΘΡΟ 10-12-15

 

8 tips for the insulation of your home

1. First of all you should apply to suitably experienced companies in the industry and with extensive experience in the field. Although the years of experience is not a prerequisite in conjunction with the rest we suggest, it is a relevant safeguard. Avoid independent craftsmen, who say they "know" or make insulation. Something is wrong in most cases. As they neither suggest for low supplies nor have a relationship with the companies , also they have not  suitable-experienced of support staff (since to keep such, is required to have an established company) and you do not have the knowledge to ask for repairs when something goes wrong.

2. When you contact with a company, you should ask a technician to  visit the project. There are parameters and peculiarities of each project, if not taken into account can lead to failure even more good material but also the most good fit. Recording therefore vulnerabilities and whether the technician is able to identify  in a necessary condition.

3. The technician with whom you will discuss about what exactly you want to insulate, must be highly qualified and if possible talking with specifications and not by the type of certificates "must be done".

4. The technical training of technical and recognized by the way they address the technical issue. The more synthetic is to address the issue, the deeper understanding and justification demonstrates both closer to choosing a good technical solution and implementation are. So you can ask as many "whys" as you want. If the answers you receive are secure, have a depth of knowledge and understanding of composite structures, you can be more safe as a consumer.

5. Do not take decisions on technical issues based on the lowest cost. This usually turns a boomerang in your pocket and for sure very soon. Choose what you consider best and see if you can achieve some better prices.

6. Ask for a detailed offer for an update from the Internet for use and the mode of application of each material. This online survey on the technical details of the project can and in general to have done it before the collection of technical solutions-offers. But do not make the mistake to get some value for a technical solution and then try to impose it to some other company. If the  company knows the solutions or believed they would share it with you, and in most case the details make an insulation different. As well, do not get an offer and show it to another company. It is sure when you will get the lowest price, is almost  sure you will get lower quality of work.

7. If you have received two or more bids and you have difficulty to choose, but do not know how, another good selection criterion is whether each company has systematize its experience and what they propose. Sometimes a visit to their site, can reveal to you technique poverty or conversely high expertise.

8. Finally, ask for credentials proving the relevant skills, for example through specialized training courses or certifications according to DIN or ISO.

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Article by Mr. George Mavrouli, Head of Scientific Department of the Panhellenic Association of Companies Insulation

 

Source: 4green.gr

The chores of spring: 7 + 1 solutions to reduce costs

8 actions with multiple benefits can take place in this time of year, with the aim to upgrade the eco-energy of our home and the renewal of the environment in which we live.

"In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell dirt," says a famous proverb, mentioning in the best way, the fact that spring is the best time to perform tasks related to the house. Small and simple, but also more difficult and expensive work, this can take place on this time of year, with purpose to upgrade the energy output of your home, renew the environment we live in and our mood.

1. Cleaning your Solar Panels

Whether it's solar panels, or photovoltaic panels, a simple cleaning / washing can dramatically increase system performance. A simple washing of the removed dusts and sludges can have now affixed to the panels by means of rain.

To maximize performance, the process must be repeated at regular intervals, with a minor cost.

 

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2. Cleaning air conditioning filters

By changing the operation of air conditioning from heating to cooling season, it comes the time for cleaning your filter. This procedure must be performed at regular intervals and according to the manufacturer's instructions and the filter type.

In this way they are removed from the filters potentially pathogenic microorganisms, but also reduces the consumption of the air conditioner, as a "flooded" filter requires more energy for the operation of the air conditioner.

Purification of conventional filters, except for washing with water, can be done with specific ecological chemicals, designed to inactivate bacteria and viruses, but also for the removal of dust and smoke. And in this case, the cost is small and limited to the cost of the special chemical cleaning for the filters. Also do not forget the programmed mechanical service, of our air conditioner.

 

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3. Replacement lamps

Replacing light bulbs, with other on higher energy class, such as saving bulbs or LED lamps can result in significant energy savings, air renewal, or various lighting effects through new technologies.

The Cost and labor is little required and depends on the quality of the bulbs.

 

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4. Ceiling Fans

Although they have a low cost, they can be particularly effective in achieving thermal comfort during the summer season. In their function, they facilitate the circulation of the air in the space and thus offers to the user, the feeling of freshness.

It is much less expensive, than other methods of cooling and air conditioning, both in their acquisition, as well as their function.

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5. Install shades

One of the measures that can significantly reduce solar loads in the house during the summer as awnings and pergolas.

Although their cost is small compared to other measures, such as insulation, the result can be large.

Depending on the orientation,  they can contribute both thermal comfort, and also the visual comfort, minimizing the possibility of dazzle from excessive brightness, and the angle of incidence of solar radiation. The cost depends on the type of blinds, as there are affordable (tents), but also more accurate and effective solutions (mobile awnings, pergolas etc.)

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6. Painting

Painting, whether it is indoors or outside the building, can bring about an improvement in the energy situation of the building, but also a significant renewal in the spaces we inhabit every day, improving our mood.

In the recent years,  there have appeared on the market colors, which can be as an additional insulation layer. More specifically, new exterior colors, known as cool colors or heat-insulated, have a much higher emissivity and reflectivity compared to a plain white coating.

Costed about 20-30% more expensive than conventional paints, while the thermal resistance per unit of thickness is much greater than that of conventional thermal insulation. However, they could not contribute as much as the conventional thermal insulation due to the very small layer thicknesses which are.

The interior colors have the particularity that is ecological, without volatile compounds. Ecological are the colors that minimize environmental impact throughout their life, from manufacturing until use and application, and disposal in the environment.

 

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7. Change frames / glazing


It has been much discussed  in the recent years, about changing the frames in our homes. By changing the frames substantially, you can reduce the loss of your home. The use of thermal insulation aluminum frames, guarantees the energy shield of a building, resulting in:

– The significant savings, not only energetic, but also economical, resources in the short and in the long run, by drastically reducing the energy needs of the building

– The drastic reduction in the emission of the building, by significantly improving its energy efficiency (reducing the overall heat transfer coefficient through the frame and consequent reduced need operating heating or cooling systems)

The technical and quality characteristics of the frames are expressed by indicators that describe their behavior, to specific requirements. One of the properties to be identified is the coefficient of heat transmission Uw (W / m2K).

The Coefficient of Heat Transfer window Uw depends on:

– The dimensions and the surface ratio (profiles, windows, etc.)

– The heat transfer coefficient of the center glazing system (Ug)

– In linear coefficient of the heat transfer (Psg) between the windows system and profile.

– The coefficient of the heat transfer profiles (Uf)

The coefficient Ug depends on the number and type of the glass (with or without reflective surfaces), the gap between the glass and the filler material (air, gas, mixture).

With the implementation of the instruction on the thermal performance of buildings, came into use (energy) glasses with special coatings to reflect heat (Low E-glass).

These windows are double layered, where the one surface has a special coating with high thermal reflectivity. Moreover, the filler material in the gap of the glass may be a gas of low heat transfer. Such a glazing system, achieves heat transfer coefficient (Ug) about 1,2 W / m2K. (This rate can be reduced even more.)

By using triple glass with special reflective coatings and the use of gas with a low conductivity for filling the gap, can be achieved coefficients 0,5 W / m2K.

In any case, it should be selected window system that brings excellent energy results in relation to costs.

From the above analysis we can concluded that glazing plays an important role on the energy performance of the building, while the replacement is more economical than replacing windows.

The energy effect that they  give, may be  much better even from  the change of frames and for this reason it is proposed, if the existing frames are compatible with the addition of double or triple glazing, to reduce costs are changing the windows with corresponding energy.

In the market there are several types of frames:

• Opening systems

• Folding systems

• Sliding systems

• Retract systems

Those that have fewer losses and are proposed, in case technical selection can be made,  openable are suggested.

The cost for either the change glazing or a complete change and frames, with modern thermal insulation is a major investment with huge economic and energy benefits.

 

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8. Insulation

For the full energy shielding of a building, a good thermal insulation is the key measure. Depending on the year of construction of a building, there is a possibility that there is some kind of insulation, the internal insulation, the insulation between the core bricks and external insulation.

In older buildings, there was no requirement by law to have some insulation, and this depending on the age, a building can be completely insulated at.

For new buildings these days  is required by building regulations to be well insulated, depending on the region where they are located, while older buildings can be added extra insulation abroad.

Such an intervention, although relatively expensive, has great benefits to both in thermal comfort, and quality of life in the building.

With insulation showcase the economic benefits are very large, especially as regards the cost of heating and cooling air-conditioning of the building.

The thermal insulating materials owe their insulating property, primarily in the presence of a large number of these very small pores containing entrapped air. The motionless air presents less known thermal conductivity. The presence of a significant number of air cells within a material results in the appearance of low bulk density, which is a second common characteristic of the thermal insulation materials.

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Insulating materials and advantages of the outer insulation.

The insulating materials are characterized as:

1. Inorganic or organic, depending on the origin and the composition.

2. Natural or artificial origin, depending on the level of treatment that exist before release for consumption.

3. Open or closed cells or wind resources

4. Large or small phenomenon

weight.

The materials most commonly used for the insulation of walls is polystyrene foam, the polystyrene, polyurethane, glass wool / rock wool, etc., but also more complex materials that promise better thermal resistance, such as polyesterin granules that contain graphite. Depending on the material the thermal conductivity ranges from 0,045-0,02 W / (mK).

The advantages of adding external insulation are:

– The area retains heat / cool for long periods after cessation of the heating / cooling

– The smooth functioning of the building is not prevented and does not reduce the usable space within it’s placement.

– Ensure the total coverage of the building, even the thermal bridges, such as plates, beams and columns

– Is the masonry protection layer

– It reduces to a minimum the risk of humidity display

In the market there are complete external insulation solutions, easy to install, while its cost is proportional to the material and features that are used.

Moreover, the insulation of the roof is very important and should not in any case be overlooked.

It can be done relatively inexpensively, using composite insulation materials (ready-insulated tiles), while the losses in this case are significantly reduced and always after in-depth study of experts.

Source: 4green.gr