Thermal behaviour of an earth-sheltered autonomous building – The Brighton Earthship by Kenneth Ip
There is a resurgence of people that interested in heavier construction due to its advantages against severe storms. “Earthship” is an earth-sheltered heavy construction method that has been pioneered by an American architect Michael Reynolds and was used in Brighton. The building’s main goal is to be self-sufficient through the use of recycled and reclaimed materials, excellent insulation, and other technologies. Storing heat through the use of a thermal store is one of the key features of the shelter. This technology helps in regulating heat during the summer through absorption and releases heat during winter. The “earthship” is still in its early stage, which means that studies are still being conducted to improve the optimization of the heat store feature with the rest of the house.
Building a Green Home
The reality of effects of global warming is becoming more evident. An increase of interest on environmentally conscious living had spread through out the globe. Housing is one of the areas this movement is quite evident. Technology is in the forefront of this change. Solar technology, in union with the fast evolving technologies, allows for the production of compact fuel-free energy sources.
Houses are starting to “act more like an appliance than a container”. As advance technology gets integrated further into our homes, it opens doors of possibilities to conserve energy with a touch of a button. Prefabrication of homes is also one of the ecologically viable trends that recently emerged. Flexibility, adaptability, and interactivity along with technology are characteristics that will be evident in tomorrow’s housing.
Would you live in a Passive House? Why or Why not?
Yes, but based on the examples shown, if aesthetics could be improved while still keeping its efficiency.
Prefab Passive House or site specific architecture?
The combination of two would make a better house. But to chose one, site specific architecture would seem more practical because of the fact that there’s more opportunity to be efficient with energy and optimizing what the site provides.
Which of the passive design strategies would work best in Winnipeg? The least?
Vegetation would be a challenge to implement during winter.
What have your learned form this class? How could this affect how you design in the future?
I’ve come into the realization that creating ecologically efficient houses does not mean that aesthetics should be compromised. Efficiency could be the main focus of a design and beauty would come naturally.
Unknown. “Building a Green Home”. Article. http://www.worldchanging.com/Shelter (accessed April 7, 2013)
Ip, Kenneth et al. “Thermal behaviour of an earth-sheltered autonomous building – The Brighton Earthship “. Renewable Energy 34 (2009) 2037–2043.