Green Home Concepts
Empirical Energy-Efficiency Approach
An empirical energy-efficient home approach stresses the areas through which the efficiency is obtained: insulation, summer shade, sealing air leaks, through advanced windows, implementing ventilation, buying energy-efficient appliances, installing solar water-heating systems, etc.
Green Energy-Friendly Home Concepts
But besides this empirical view, there are different concepts of green energy-friendly homes, some of them largely common and inter-related:
Zero Energy Houses
Passive Solar Houses
Straw Bale Homes
The Zero Energy House concept is focused on a goal: to get zero operating energy costs. In other words, a Zero Energy House is a building with a net energy consumption of zero over a year.
Zero energy buildings are designed to make use of renewable energies and to obtain energy gains in water washings, baths or natural lighting.
Zero energy buildings are optimized to use passive solar techniques, natural ventilation or thermal gains in walls and roofs. The concept is often associated with super-insulation and super-insulated houses.
The concept of super-insulated homes is specially focused on a thick insulation of walls, roofs, attic, foundations, etc. The concept also stresses the internal home heating sources (appliances and people…) and passive solar techniques.
A Passive House means, loosely, an approach involving environmentally-friendly buildings with low energy costs. A Passive Solar House uses passive solar techniques (solar exposure, construction materials, landscape features…) for cooling and heating.
In a more strict mean, a Passive House is inspired by the German Passivhaus standards. The Passive House model involves a set of goals to attain extremely efficient houses through super-insulation, efficient windows and doors and proper building materials.
Passive Solar Homes
A Passive Solar Home is a building that takes advantage of climatic conditions – especially associated with the sun and the wind – for heating in winter and cooling in summer.
A Passive Solar Home uses Passive Solar Techniques and involves a well shaped building with a favorable sun exposure, shading strategies, advanced windows, proper insulation, ventilation and draught proofing, etc.
Straw Bale Homes
A straw bale home uses… straw bales in its walls.