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  • when you think about making your home more sustainable, you may think about this a lightbulb with growing green, we often turn to these small little changes to reduce our energy consumption and our impact on the environment and while it's good to make sure you've got up to the light bulbs and that you turn them off when you don't need them.

  • It's actually the design of our homes and apartments that has the biggest impact on energy efficiency, something that I wish more people knew about building sustainably is that it's not as expensive or challenging as they may think there are ways to make changes that can make your home much more environmentally conscious without it being this like astronomical price tag architects like Sienna shaw are building with these techniques to bring a household energy demand down by 80% or more.

  • The house that's standing behind me is a project that my partner brian and I did gosh, it was like one of those dreams right?

  • Like well we don't have the money to buy a property and build our own house right now, but we can buy trailer and we can build our dreams basically.

  • But at a much smaller footprint right before we get into how Sienna builds environmentally friendly homes, let's first get into how temperature is actually stored in a house and how it can be lost if you had a cooler that you were trying to keep everything inside cold and then but you had a bunch of holes and you're out in the middle of the desert, like the ice is gonna melt inside, right?

  • And it's the same sort of idea.

  • But if it's completely sealed up and you keep it closed, it's able to maintain that temperature for much longer.

  • So when the heaters blasting, if the house is full of holes, all that hot air is just escaping outside.

  • This is obviously a waste of energy and results in those harmful carbon emissions.

  • Every building has what's called a building envelope.

  • And this is basically that sealed cooler.

  • You ideally want a building envelope that doesn't leak.

  • Like at all, I think about it.

  • Houses used to be built with temperature as the top priority before we had energy guzzling mechanical systems to change the temperature to whatever we wanted.

  • Builders had to use natural forces and clever engineering.

  • So houses were basically thermal batteries, storing heat in case it's needed later.

  • And don't get me wrong, it's great that we now have the technology to heat and cool rooms at the touch of a button because I'm cold like all the time.

  • But air conditioners and heaters take so much energy to work.

  • And in fact, more than half of the average household energy consumption is used just for heating and air conditioning.

  • But what if we built homes?

  • So they didn't need tons of power to be constantly heated and cooled?

  • If we didn't have to rely on these machines, we aren't putting those damaging carbon emissions out into the atmosphere, which is good, like really great.

  • So the technology has been getting more energy efficient over time.

  • Think about those light bulbs and double paned windows and better insulation.

  • We've already improved so much but homes are a lot bigger than they used to be.

  • And so when we expand the square footage, it's just wiping out the gains that we've made an easy way to tell how sealed and insulated your home or apartment or adventure van or whatever you live in is just by turning off your heat on a cold day and tracking how long it takes for it to cool.

  • When air leaks out of the house, it goes through the little holes it goes through cracks and those things exist all over the house.

  • A lot of houses.

  • This is obviously a waste of energy and results in those harmful carbon emissions.

  • The older houses, half of the energy used in them or more can go to heating, cooling newer houses.

  • It might be a quarter or less, especially if you're doing something like a passive house, which is a program that requires really high levels of insulation and air tightness.

  • And if you were in what's called a passive house, it would stay warm for a super long time without any mechanical help.

  • So this mighty house.

  • We tested out building to passive house standards.

  • I think at a small scale this house is a really good example of what an attainable, energy efficient house can be.

  • It's not super high tech.

  • there's not like a lot of complicated materials or techniques or methods that went into designing it or building it.

  • So everything about this house was carefully designed to optimize energy control.

  • The installation is a particularly great example of this.

  • This house has somewhat of a standard internal core, right?

  • Like there's um standard wood, uh two by four wood studs and then there's sheathing layer of plywood and then there's a building wrap on it which stop the wind from infiltrating through the different layers and that's all taped so every seam is taped and sealed to prevent air from going through and then the whole building is wrapped with this mineral.

  • And then the next step is this rain screen which is reclaimed redwood fence boards that we milled down.

  • And then this allows the whole assembly to breathe using all of those carefully selected layers prevents the heat from escaping.

  • Like we were talking about earlier, it was like a great way for us to test all those ideas and to do it with using the highest quality materials that were available at the time.

  • So if every crack in the house is sealed shut, I want to get stuffy.

  • What about like fresh air.

  • Well Sienna thought of that too.

  • This is half of the RV system that I'm looking at up here basically what it's doing is it's pulling fresh air from the outside into the building and then the other half which is located up in the loft is exhausting and these two talk to each other and they alternate so that the air is changed over in the space um continually.

  • So basically that creates a situation where if we close up all the windows and we would still have fresh air in here and these solutions stealing a house insulating it, recovering energy.

  • They work for bigger buildings too, so as far as like taking these details and scaling them up for bigger apartment complexes or multi family dwellings or that sort of thing, it's possible and really exciting to see these principles being implemented at much larger scales because larger buildings, larger impacts.

  • Yeah, it's all exciting.

  • I don't know about you but after all this, I have some new ideas that I can implement in my house right now and for my future dream home, my name is Nita of Notes by Nivea and this is seekers, impact of everything.

  • We're going to be talking about how all kinds of everyday things are becoming more sustainable and giving you the details into how it all works.

  • So keep an eye out for more episodes.

when you think about making your home more sustainable, you may think about this a lightbulb with growing green, we often turn to these small little changes to reduce our energy consumption and our impact on the environment and while it's good to make sure you've got up to the light bulbs and that you turn them off when you don't need them.

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B1 energy building sealed air sienna temperature

We’ve Been Wrong About How We Build Homes

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/11/18
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