Green and sustainable architecture project.

Questions, answers, and discussion specifically related to practical working issues with LEED and other robust green certification systems.

Green and sustainable architecture project.

Postby hvillagran » Mon Feb 09, 2009 1:28 pm

Hi,

I am an architecture student in NYC. I have a project for one of my classes this semester which focuses in the concept of green and sustainable architecture. My central idea for this is to design a medium size home with renewable materials and green systems.

Some of the criteria I am using for the selection of materials is their embedded energy and their ability to be recycled. Some of the materials that I am choosing are steel and aluminum in order to make a skeletal design feasible. The system I am favoring for HVAC purposes is Direct exchange geothermal heat pump system, the only problem that I have found with this system is that is inefficient in colder climates, therefore, to alleviate this I am thinking about using a Solar thermal collector that can collect thermal energy and make the geothermal system more efficient in colder temperature.

My inquiry to you is, to provide me with suggestions for additional materials and or systems that can make this work. Also my professor suggested a type of "Slab that absorbs heat" but he didn't provide me with any names for the material.

Any Help would be greatly appreciated, thank you.



PS: I am new to this website so if I posted this topic on the wrong section, please move it accordingly.
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Postby Antisthenes » Mon Feb 09, 2009 3:31 pm

Portland cement maybe died black, only where the sun hits inside the home on the ground in winter/cold times of the year
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Postby cousinbirgco » Mon Feb 09, 2009 8:05 pm

Sounds like an excellent start to the project. While not an expert in geothermal heat, I would agree that geothermal systems lose efficiency in colder climates. It is also my understanding that it is an expensive system to install along with a need for a large lot area for the underground piping (unless you drill vertically which can also be expensive)
I am currently installing an evacuated tube solar collector to provide heated water to a radiant floor system. It claims to produce solar hot water efficiently and at a reasonable cost of $5-7000 for a system, the payback period should be relatively short. This system may be useful for your idea of boosting the geothermal efficiency but others may offer an opinion as to feasibility.
As Antisthenes stated, Portland cement (or any dark masonry type material) exposed to sunlight thru glass or a tromb type wall, would be an excellent solar heat absorber, giving off heat into the evening after the sun sets. You need to give extra thought about the glass providing the pathway for the sun to shine on the slab. Too much exposed glass can negate the benefits of daytime heat gain by letting heat escape through a large expanse of glass at night.
Hopefully this will get the ball rolling for you. Good luck with the project.
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Postby csintexas » Tue Feb 10, 2009 12:21 am

Vertical wells are not uncommon here. I suppose it makes a big difference if you have to drill through rock or not.

I have not read about a coupled system but would guess that it would be feasible. Look at earthships also water for thermal storage.

Think about what would you do if you had little electricity or money to build with and that will be green.

here are some of my own ideas toying with green concepts:
http://www.inspiredhabitat.com/communit ... .php?t=144
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Postby hvillagran » Wed Feb 11, 2009 1:18 am

Thanks for the input guys, and that is some pretty fine work you did Chris. I am just getting so much ideas from your concept, too bad here in NY we have snow that can render the solar fixtures on the roof difficult to use. But Using your idea of orientation I'm thinking about using the walls instead of the roof for the same purpose. Hopefully I can come up with something.


BTW, I'm still accepting ideas.
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Postby csintexas » Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:52 am

Yes, you have a whole different set of problems to deal with in your climate.

Also look for the "Main Solar House" they have a good website for a house that was built a few years ago.

The optimum pitch for a roof at that latitude is much steeper.
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Postby mortimer33 » Thu Apr 16, 2009 3:10 pm

This is not my area of expertise however I read an article recently about a carbon neutral concrete called Hemcrete which might be useful.
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