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“ecodomima” a holistic sustainable house
Dimitrakopoulos Dimitrios, Doulami Marina
Keywords: Holistic Design, Autonomy, Ecological principals,
Abstract: Why to build a “green” house? The building material industry, the transport of materials and products, their constructions on site and the pollution and energy wastage coming for building collectively has wider impact on the environment than most other human activities. The impending global oil crisis, the consequences of the global warming, and the ongoing environmental pollution are forcing us to find immediate solutions. The “ecodomima” is an example for sustainable houses.
Imagine living in the Mediterranean Sea and producing the equivalent of all the energy you need for a year from just the sun and the wind. Imagine a hygienic house without damaging the environment during construction while living in it. Our mission is to unite the urbanisation with nature creating ecological and viable houses. The target is to build an ecological house totally autonomous with zero carbon dioxide emission. We decided to build “ecodomima” as a model house in order to show how conventional houses could be replaced. It’s not an easy challenge in any climate but the prospect is particularly intriguing in northern Greece. We have started designing the house by studying the houses before concrete and petroleum. We have chosen a design similar to the traditional houses in Northern Greece and similar to ancient Greek houses, believing that the experience and knowledge of the past could be useful because earlier people had to live without central heating systems. History tell us that Plato deplored the deforrestation in Athens, and that Greeks started using passive solar orientation in their settlements when they ran out of firewood.
2 defining green building
First, it is better to define what we mean by green building and sustainable building. For a building to be green it is essential for the environmental impact of all its constituent parts and decisions to be evaluated. This is much more of thorough exercise than simply adding a few green elements such as a grass roof or a solar panel. Sustainability is a human value independent state of social, economic and ecological affairs. Sustainable development is a process of change in which the exploitations of resources, the direction of investments, the orientation of technological development, and institutional change are made consistent with future as well as present needs. In this house the ecological dimension is a perspective, stating that sustainability is more akin to the concepts of ecological or biological integrity. For this reason it is necessary to explain what green building is in practice:
2.1 Principles of green building
Reducing Energy in Use: Use maximum possible low embodied energy insulation, but with good ventilation. Use renewable energy resources. Keep to a minimum, heating with none to low pollution heating. Make use of passive and active solar energy wherever feasible Use passive and natural ventilation systems.
Minimizing External Pollution and Environmental Damage: Design in harmonious relationship with the surroundings. Avoid destruction of nature habitats. Re-use rain water on site. Treat and recycle waste water on site where possible. Try to minimize extraction materials unless good environmental controls exist. Avoid material which produces damaging chemicals as a byproduct.
Reducing Embodied Energy and Resource Depletion: Use locally sourced materials. Use materials found on site. Minimize use of imported materials. Use materials from sustainable managed sources. Keep use of materials from non renewable sources to a minimum. Use low energy materials, keeping high embodied energy materials to a minimum. Use secondhand/recycled materials where appropriate.
Minimizing Internal Pollution and Damage to health: Use non-toxic materials or low emission materials. Avoid fibres from insulation materials getting into atmosphere. Ensure good material ventilation. Reduce dust and allergens. Reduce impact of electromagnetic fields (EMFs). Create positive character in the building and relationship with site.
2.2 The construction principles of “ecodomima”
There is no ecological best way to build. The choice of construction materials will be based on the following principles:
Design for low energy use: Microclimate design, Super insulation and ventilation, Waste heat recovery, autonomy with zero carbon emission. Passive and active solar heating, stack ventilation, climate moderation with vegetation, fresh air maximized, low energy lighting, daylight designed.
Product requirements: Minimizing new resources and using materials so that they can be re-used, Local Materials, Sourcing green materials, Embodied energy reduced, Timber from managed sustainable sources.
Environment: Minimizing External pollution and Environmental Damage, Rainwater recycling.
Nonecological products will be used only if ecological products are not available in Greece.
3 THE SITE
Location: Makri, Alexandroupolis. Altitude: 90 meters above sea level. The distance from the coast is six hundred meters. Latitude: 40.45 °. Longitude: -23.1 °. On the site of hill overlooking the sea, south. Providing shelter to the north (Figure 1, 2). Wind predominantly from the north-east, mainly breeze, which has a cooling effect in the summer. Strong gusts from the north and the south-west at times. The climate data will determine the design of the house as the most important element in passive solar design is correct orientation. The “ecodomima” is built facing the south exposing on the greatest surface area and window space to the low-angled winter sun.
1.1 Climate data
Global Radiation Annual Total: 1172 kWh
Αverage Low 2004, average high 2004,balance of the average
1,5 (+0,4) 7,3 (-1,1)
0,7 (-1,2) 9,9 (+0,3)
5,4 (+1,7) 13,3 (+1)
8,1 (+1) 17,2 (-0,1)
11,1 (0,0) 21,9 (-0,5)
16,5 (+1,7) 27,3 (-0,2)
18,7 (+1,3) 31,0 (+0,9)
18,4 (+1.3) 29,4 (-0.8)
15,6 (+1,6) 26,9 (+0,5)
12,7 (+2,6) 22,2 (+2)
7,5 (+0,8) 15,8 (+0,7)
4,5 (+1,2) 11,2 (+0,5)
The house is built on a shelter from the north to the south. The surroundings are covered by trees, mainly olive trees, without shading the south side of the house
4 The house
4.1 The ground plan
The total square meters of the house without masonry is 146m², and the basement is 130m². The external walls of the basement are made of local stone thickness of 80 cm. The external walls of the house are made by “Poroton 28” plus “Poroton 33”, the total thickness plus the render is 68 cm. The internal walls have been constructed using gypsum plasterboards except for the wall at the corridor front of the patio: this is a solar wall and made by solid brick. The building has a steel skeleton. The roof is lined with timber, followed by its insulation and dressed with ceramic roof tiles. The ceiling, has been constructed using gypsum plasterboards. There is a lobby protecting the living room which restricts the cold air entering the house. The floor is made of wood, with the only exception the bathrooms and the corridor, which are floored with tiles .
4.2 The contribution of the sun
To successfully build a passive “ecodomima” house the key before starting is to try and marry together in the right combinations the following factors: Good design and building direction, features and building components that work optimally together to provide comfort during any season. This means supplies of fresh air, heat, coolness, and light to achieve a pleasant, functional indoor environment. The purpose of a building shell is to protect its interiors from ravages of the outside environment. A well designed building structure should be able to retain heat, in the winter and reflect heat penetration in the summer. Thus, it is utilizing less energy to heat and cool the house. Cool climates require insulation to contain interior heat, while warm climates need protection against the transfer of heat from the warmer exterior to the cooler interior.
To identify the measures for cost and energy conservation, we must examine heat gain, loss and its flows into a building. This can be best explained by three basic theories of heat transfer from the warmer area to a cooler area and how it can be reduced.
Conduction: Conduction is the transmission of the heat through materials in direct contact with each other with the heat traveling from hotter body to a cooler body. Materials which contain trapped air have the ability to reduce the rate of heat transfer by conduction.
Radiation: Radiation is the transfer of the heat energy in the form of the electromagnetic waves similar to light waves. Thermal radiation is the infrared heat which is absorbed when it strikes the surface of an object. Once the object is heated, it subsequently radiates infra-red rays from its exposed surfaces. A study has indicated that 87 percent of the heat which flows from roofs is via radiation and only 13 percent is through conduction and convection. As radiation is the main mode of heat transfer, efforts need to be channeled towards curtailing this heat to ensure a thermally comfortable ambiance.
Convection: Convection is the passage of heat energy by the flow of air. Materials designed to reduce convection will obstruct the free flow of the air to the surrounding surfaces.
When the sun radiates heat is automatically absorbed by the roofs and walls. This energy then passes on, to the interior heating inside. Taking into account the weaknesses of the renewable energy resources, we must manage the heat transfer passively and actively in order to retain the pleasant indoor temperature of 21,1oC. In this area a conventional house without a heating system in the winter has a temperature of 10 degrees Celsius. Increasing this temperature passively we gain energy from the required energy of the heating system. A key element in designing a near Zero Energy Home is first of all to reduce energy use and alternative energy and secondly, choose alternative energy sources that meet the new requirements in a sustainable way.
4.3 The construction materials
Masonry: The insulation offered by construction materials depends on many factors. No factor is sufficient by itself. Only the combination of factors such as insulating capacity, thermal mass, fast drying after being wetted and low retained moisture make a material into proper insulation. A basic precondition for temperature comfort inside a building’s space is low temperature fluctuation inside it, regardless of external temperatures. Thus, in winter, we expect construction materials to retain, as much as possible, the interior heat and also expect to stabilize temperatures, in order for the area not to become cold after the interruption of the sun radiation or the heating system. This can be achieved by materials with a high relative mass, which save heat while the heater is working and release it when it stops working. During the summer, the mass of masonry retains the additional ambient heat, thus keeping the air temperature inside low. “Poroton” combines insulation and thermal capacity more than other materials. We used “Poroton 28” plus “Poroton 33” which makes almost impossible to transfer the heat from the warmer area to a cooler. Poroton has one of the lowest steam diffusion coefficients in construction materials The smaller this coefficient is, the better the conditions for the necessary move of the steam, and the easier the area’s moisture is balanced and the environment becomes healthier. The characteristics of the “Poroton 28” are: Liquid absorption <1%, class="blsp-spelling-error" id="SPELLING_ERROR_1732">Dryness coefficient 0.28, Steam diffusion coefficient 10, 1/Λ (m²h3C/kcal) 1.76, κ (kcal/m²h3C) 0.54.
Windows and glazing: The weakness of the windows is the thermal leak of frames and windows. The speed of the flow from the warm to the cold area depends upon the thermal conductivity of the material. Our frame made by aluminum and the sash by three thermal-broken profiles. The k-value or U-value of the frame according to EN10077-2:2
Roof: The pitched roof is made by placing successive layers of insulation and tied up air. The roof is called by the supplying company a “cool roof” (figure 4). “Cool roof” integrates all roofing components to achieve optimum thermal performance and to minimize the solar gain of the roof, reducing the heat transmitted into attic and living space. In additions to counteract the thermal transfer, a protection barrier has been implemented in the roof system. We placed “Parsec Thermo Brite III” (Figure 5) The high reflectively surface can repel 95% of the solar heat, while the fortified backing is strong enough to withstand stretching and elongating. As it is tear–resistant it is not easy damaged on site thereby facilitating installation. The strength of the material permits it to be spread across purling or rafters without the aid of netting. Besides its principal role of being a radiant barrier, Thermo Brite also acts as a mater barrier to roof leakage for the tile roof.
The transmission rate of extremely low water vapours is reinforced through its barrier properties providing very useful in the case of insulation air-conditioning ducts and chilled water pipes, if condensation is to come inside the results cold be fatal. This remarkable low permeability to the passage of moisture and gases is critical in cold climate conditions. Thermo Brite III: reflection 98% (BBA) (λ10=0.027 w/mk K=0,023 kcal/mh oC). Thus, when the Thermo Brite III reflects the radiation it also warms the incoming air from the open fascias and goes out from the open ridge. Since warm air rises, the passive stack ventilation automatic starts. The truss of the roof made of timber and all the beams (purling, rafters) and the roof decking (timber shingles) are painted with Super Therm (Figure 6). Super Therm is a ceramic based, water-born, insulating coating, designed to reflect heat, developed with the assistance of NASA. Reflects over 95% of the radiation from the sun (UV, shortwave, long wave), and it gives an insulation equal to 6-8 inches of fiberglass. It also reflects 68% of sound waves and in case of fire will help to prevent spread of, and will not contribute to the burn. The fire rating is Class A. We use the same coating to protect all the steel parts of the building in order to minimize the contraction and expansion of metals due to the climate changes (λ=0.09 w/m²k.).
Inside the house the ceiling is flat made of gypsum plaster boards (λ=0.21 w/m²k). In between the ceiling and the plasterboard it is insulated. The insulation used is insulation recycled PET (λ10=0.0340 w/mk K=0.0292 Kcal/h.m.oC). The area between flat ceiling and pitched roof works as a buffer space for the heat transfer. Installing roof and ceiling insulation can save up to 45 percent on heating and cooling energy.
Floor: The floor of the house is actually an immediate floor. Under the floor there is a basement. The massive wall of the basement keeps the temperature stabilized. The basement has a stabilized temperature ranging from 17 to 23 degrees Celsius and it is going to work as a preheated area for the incoming air to the house. Although, there is no need for significant insulation, we have insulated the floor protecting the under floor heating system. The layers of the floor are: Timber 19mm, aluminium sheets 1mm, beams 130mm high with 50mm insulation (λ10=0.0340 w/mk K=0.0292 Kcal/h.m.oC), Timber 1,6 mm Timber 2,3 mm, air buffer, and gypsum plaster boards 10mm.
4.4 Rejected choices
Regarding the ecological matters, we minimised the use of concrete and for the masonry we used locally produced bricks and rough stones which are excavated 3 km away from the house. We avoided the use of non ecological insulation material like polystyrenes or rock wool. The insulation we used is coming from the recycled PET. The timber we used is coming from managed plantations and the floor is made of recycled timber. All the metals we used for the steel framing and aluminium sheets can be reused if it is necessary.
5 The passive systems
Passive solar heating means that, the elements of the building construction are themselves solar collectors. Passive solar provides 60 to 80 percent of the total heat required, and the backup system provides the rest. Using thermal mass in north-facing rooms should be a priority, particularly on those walls which receive direct winder sun.
5.1 Passive solar heating
Glazing and thermal mass: The 58% of the total windows, of the house are for glazing. Five windows with a total surface of 23.31 m² gain heat with direct radiation to the floor and walls. Two of them with a total surface of 10.52 m² are in front of the corridor. The wall in front of the corridor is made of firebricks. This wall and the corridor are used as thermal collectors in order to store heat for later use by adsorbing the heat when the sun is radiant and emitter the heat after the sun declines. The warm air simply circulates by natural convection in the living space. The characteristics of the firebricks are: time lag 22hours, (1.63w/m²k.). The material of the corridor is concrete and tiles (1.28w/m²k.). The floor of the living room and bedrooms is dressed by wood. They claim that wood is one of natures’ best insulator is true Wood has R-value three times greater than concrete, six times greater than brick and fifteen time greater than stone. Wood also has thermal mass and store heat. The wood is also supported by aluminium which already exists as a under floor heating system.
Eaves: Designed to leave the sun irradiating inside the house from the first week of October until the end of May.
The patio: The patio gives the opportunity for sunlight to reach every room and it is also an attached sunspace at the south side of the house. Patio has a frame with glass which opens in summer in order to protect the house from overheating. In effect, this sunspace works as buffer for the temperature difference between the house and exterior. It is also minimising the heating loss from the windows frond of the solar walls. 40 percent of the total windows are on this side of the house. We account that, with this sunspace we have less 25 percent of the heat loss.
Lobby: Entering the house, there is a lobby which reduces the ventilation heat loss caused by draughts from the external doors and acts as an airlock when doors are used.
Basement: At the basement there are storing tanks which support the heating system of the house. The thermal leak from the tanks to the air of the basement is passing through an air-duct into the house contributing to the active thermal system.
5.2 Passive solar cooling
Shading: Shading of the building and outdoor spaces reduces summer temperatures, improves comfort and save energy. Direct sun can generate the same heat as single bar radiator over each square meter of a surface. Shading can block up to 90 percent of this heat. Trees and other vegetation not only block the sun, they provide shade, but they also cool the air surrounding a home by evaporation. The olive trees, which surounding the house, are an evergreen tree with silvery green leaves of which, reflect the sun radiation.
ORIENTATION USED SHADING TYPE
North Planting and fixed shading
EastAdjustable shading - Awnings
SouthAdjustable shading - Awnings
Ventilation: A way to prevent overheating in the summer is also venting the airspace to the outside at the top. A whole house ventilation system has been designed. The pipes which bring the preheated air in the winter now bring cooler air from the basement. An under earth pre-cooling air system brings under air from the north side of the house.
6. The health matters
The goal in building a passively heated and passively cooled home is to create a healthy building that provides the best possible environment for the persons that live in it. In a healthy building, the indoor air is free of toxicants, irritants and allergens.
To ensure clear air, healthy-house experts recommend a three step approach.
Eliminate sources: We carefully select the construction materials avoiding products with formaldehyde, volatile organic compounds. We avoid using engineered wood products, carpeting etc. We don’t place a fire place.
Isolate sources: Radioactive material is found throughout nature. It occurs naturally in the soil, water and vegetation. The major isotopes of concern for terrestrial radiation are uranium, thorium, and their decay products are found everywhere. Some of these materials are ingested with food and water, while others such radon are inhaled. The dose terrestrial sources, varies in different parts of the world. Locations with higher concentrations of uranium and thorium in their soil have higher dose levels.
Radon is a cancer-causing, radioactive gas. Radon is estimated to cause 21000 lung cancer deaths per year in comparison to 17400 deaths of drunk driving in the U.S.
It typically moves up through the ground to the air above and into the home through cracks and other holes within the foundation. Any home may have a radon problem. For this reason first we chose to seal a below-grade opening in the foundation and walls in order to reduce soil gas entry into the home and second to place a 75 mm PVC runs below foundation from the gas permeable layers out of the house, to safety vent radon and others soil gases to the outside.
Ventilation: Sealing a home to enhance energy performance can create serious indoor air-quality problems. An energy-efficient solar home should under go approximately 0.35 to 0.5 air changes per hour or one third or to one half of the air in the house should be replaced every hour to ensure healthy indoor air. Replacing one-third of a home’s air every hour, while essential for healthy indoor air, can cause considerable heat loss during the winter and can increase cooling load during summer.
The paints, stains and finishes: There are a variety of ways that paints, stains and finishes can effect the health of the people living in the house. We use for interior painting low out-gassing (VOCs=1) and natural paints (linoleum). The exterior paintings are acrylic-latex. All of them are water based.
The sun is an enormous, inexhaustible energy source. A mere 0.05 percent of this radiated solar energy would be enough to meet the energy demand for the entire planet. Two technologies directly use the energy of the sun: photovoltaic and solar thermal energy.
Through solar photovoltaic technology, sunlight is converted into electricity. In the following system, solar energy and wind generators (Figures 8, 9, 10) produce DC electricity which is stored in batteries and then converted to AC current when needed. There are a number of things to consider when deciding whether to live off-grid with solar. First, one must determine just how much energy is needed. This is done by calculating the total power used by all machines, equipment, lights, appliances, pumps and other loads. At this building the electricity consumption by month is:
Daily consumptions in Watts
March 8650 July 5680 November 6850
April 6040 August 5680 December 6850
May 5680 September 5680 January 6850
June 5680 October 6180 February 6850
Lighting: Compact fluorescent lights. They convert electrical energy into visible light much more efficient, using 75 percent less energy.
Appliances: All household appliances are category A at the ENERGY STAR rating.
To fulfil all the needs of the house we established the following system:
10 SΗΑRP panels, SΗΑRP NE-Q7E3E (167Wp)
12 Batteries Εffecta BTL 12V / 150Ah
1 STUDER inverter HPC 8000/48V
1 XANTREX C-40 /48V , 40Α
1 Southwest Windpower Whisper WHI-200/48V 1kW
The system could expand to seventeen panels if these needed. The house will supply the same amount of energy from renewable sources as the energy it uses.
7.2 Solar thermal energy
For the temperature to remain steady in the house, heat loss must equal with heat gain. Our main criterion of the project is to provide the largest possible contribution of solar heating for hot water, and central heating. Ensuring year around comfort is one of the main reasons for installing a back-up heating system in a passive solar house. We decided to use two types of systems: first, a solar heating system in comparison with radiant floor and as back-up a wood stove-boiler and second: a ventilation system with a heat recovery.
Solar heating to provide in order of priority:
1. Domestic hot water (365 days) to at least 50 oC
2. The large majority of the central heating for 150 days (17th November to 15th April)
According to the climate data of the region there are two days maximum with clouds. If we can achieve a medium storage of one week, this is capable to supply the house with the needed heat.
7.2.1 The description of needs
Domestic Hot Water: Average Daily Consumption: 140 l. Desired Temperature: 50 °C. Load Profile: Detached House (evening max). Cold Water Temperature: February: 9 °C /August: 15 °C
Space Heating quotations for the project as follows: Outside minimal average temperature: +/- 0°C. Inside maximal average wished temperature: + 20°C. Surface to be heated: 143 m². Average height under ceiling: 3.00 m. Total volume to be heated: 429 m³. Standard Building Heat Flow Requirement: 9 kW Standard External Temperature: -4, 3 °C. Design Temperatures: 40 °C/25 °C. Estimated thermal needs in total 3904 KWH
7.2.2 Radiant floor
To reduce the needs passively is not the only precondition of a solar thermal system, but also the system must be efficient. With the radiant floor we achieve a healthier residence in a harmonious climate of the house without the dryness of air as it is observed in the classic heating panels. At the same time while the incoming of the liquid to the pipes has a lower temperature, we consume less thermal energy.
We have also chosen to use aluminium heat conduction sheets on the entire surface which creates comfort in living room and lounge room maximum of heating performance. Concrete screed has a very bad heat conductivity of only 1.4 W/mK, in turn aluminium has a very good heat conduct of 200W/mk. This means that the heat can be distribute 140 times faster. In practical experience, the low flow temperature accounts for energy conservation of up to 30 percent and more.
7.2.3 The heating system
For the simulation of heating system the program T*sol Pro4.4 has been used. It is the latest version but it still does not include all the construction that is involved in building our house.
Results of Annual Simulation
Installed Collector Power: 15.05 kW. Collector Surface Area Irradiation: 32.79 MWh 1.723,98 kWh/m². Energy Produced by Collectors: 10,25 MWh 538,92 kWh/m². Energy Produced by Collector Loop: 9.18 MWh 482,40 kWh/m²
DHW Heating Energy Supply: 2379,96 kWh. Space Heating Energy Supply: 11,62 MWh. Solar Contribution to DHW: 3,81 MWh. Solar Contribution to Heating: 2597,69 kWh. Energy from Auxiliary Heating: 9,09 MWh
Collector Loop: Manufacturer: Conergy AG .Type: F 4000 Number: 10.00
Total Gross Surface Area: 21,5 m².Total Active Solar Surface Area: 19,02 m².
Buffer Tank: Manufacturer: Conergy Type: P 3000Volume: 3000 l
7.2.4 The back up system
Our advantages using a wood stove is that there are free woods from the pruning of the trees of the property. We use a wood stove with boiler, with thermal efficiency 14.8 KW.
7.3 Ventilation and heat recovery
The house needs to be constructed as tightly as possible to avoid air leakage paths. The whole house ventilation provides a high standard of draught-free comfort and in low –energy houses it serves as the heating supply as well. We have designed a double system in which one part brings filtered preheated air from the basement and another one a heat recovery which extracts the air from the house and reverts the heat to the house (this one is not ready due to unavailability in the Greek market).
The parcel of land of the house is 12000 m². The house’s target is to meet the food needs of its residents. We use alternative farming practices-known variously as organic biological methods which come closer to meet such a criterion of sustainability. We rely on crop rotation, animal manures, green manures, biological pest control, and mechanical cultivation, to maintain soil productivity supply plan nutrients and control insertions, weeds and other pests. Organic gardening is not just a middle-class hobby. It’s part of a wider environmental movement; it is part of a sustainable future. Sustainable farming is the most precious resource of soil fertility, prevents erosion, maintains high level of biodiversity, and is environmentally clean. It promotes community health and nutrition and self-reliance, it’s the way of the future.
8.1 Farming and natural resources
Water: Water is the principal resource that helps agriculture and society to prosper, and it has been a major limiting factor in which mismanaged. Due to the earth shelter the rainwater used to flow to the gully. We have changed to a perennial irrigation system, providing irrigation to the trees of the land before the water flows to the gully again. Rainwater is also collected from the roof of the house, providing a simple, inexpensive supply of household water and water for watering the vegetation when the rain is not enough.
Planting: Native local plants were used to design the landscape of the house. More than 100 olive trees are planted which can live in a dry spell eliminating the needs for watering. We have also planted apple-trees, pear-trees, apricot-trees, almond-trees, walnut-trees and linden-trees. We grow organic vegetables (Figure 12) covering the family needs and we grow organic grapes producing organic wine (Figure 13).
For pest and disease control natural pesticides from chilli peppers, nettles, ash and traps and for soil amendment animal manures from organic animal farms and green manures composting leaves. We are confident that in addition the production of the highest quality fruit avoiding chemical additives makes a healthier land.
Apiculture: The honeybee (Apis mellifera) is vital component of agriculture. We are organic beekeepers (Figure 14). We don’t use chemicals, essential oils, FGMO, acids, fungicides, bacterial/viral inhabitants, micro-organism stimuli, and artificial feeds. The products that honeybees produce are only a small part of their true value. As bees visit flower nectar and pollen they transfer pollen grain from one flower to another pollinate the trees and produce fruits and trees e.t.c.
The terms sustainability expresses the human desire for an environment that can provide for our needs now and for future generation. Our target was to construct an exemplary house which could be presented to the environmentally concerned people and on the other hand to give us the know-how and the cost implementations in building such houses. “ecodomima” is a live example of sustainable living in a sustainable environment. With this house we have tried to combine environmental features and the needs of an average Greek family. Some residents which are generally motivated by environmental concerns are inconvenient with the cost consideration. The answer is that, the accelerating climate changes and the imminent peak of the oil production will compensate the investment earlier than they believe and soon it will be necessity to build sustainable houses, if we want to preserve our lifestyle.
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