Descriptive Essay about Home

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Introduction

Energy-efficient homes reduce unnecessary energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and demands for non-renewable resources. They simultaneously provide healthier living conditions and offer homeowners significant money savings over conventional homes. Many factors can comprise residential energy efficiency, and both new and existing homes can be improved with energy-efficient strategies and products.

Energy Efficient Home Features:

Orientation

The main orientation of my house will be northern facing as will my windows; to allow for solar heat to reach the inside of my house. This will work as the angle of the sun is only 32 degrees in winter while summer reaches an angle of 67 degrees. Facing north uses maximum energy from the sun in winter while in summer using minimum energy from the sun. If the house was orientated another way the effectiveness of the sun’s energy may be either too powerful or not powerful enough meaning money will have to be spent on appliances to heat or cool the house. Using this orientation will also allow me to take full control of breezes for cooling and overall save the owner large amounts of money and energy.

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Windows

Windows are an important part of an energy-efficient house as they’re required to keep the house insulated while also being adjustable to cool and heat the house. This home uses double-glazed, argon-filled Insulated glass units (IGUs) that reduce noise and heating from outside. Using argon gas in-between the glass panels is ideal as it has the greatest specific heat capacity of any noble gasses which ensures complete safety to the homeowner as a large amount of energy will be needed to heat up the gas and expand on the panes, ensuring the panels will not break. Reflective window tint is also installed reducing the amount of heat entering through windows by up to 79% also saving costs on cooling. Using argon inside the double-glazed windows also means that due to the high specific heat capacity, the gas will need much more energy to heat up and will keep the house at a constant temperature. This ensures large energy savings on cooling and heating costs as little heat will be lost or gained through the windows.

The windows will be placed on the north side of the house to capture the full 32-degree solar rays in winter. My home walls will be 2.8 metres high meaning living room windows and theatre windows will be large to allow for heating during winter. 160 cm wide, 115 cm tall, and 30cm from the ceiling, will allow for maximum heating during winter. My windows will also harbor breathable reflective curtains to block sunlight but allow for a breeze to flow through the house if it is cool. The high placement of my windows will allow little sunlight to enter the house during the summer months of the year due to the large overhang of the roof and the sun's 67-degree angle in summer. Bedrooms and bathrooms will need smaller windows due to the smaller size of bedrooms compared to living rooms and theatres but should be in the same location on walls to take the same advantages as the ones in those spaces. Large roof overhangs and full-length blackout curtains will allow for cooling during summer and hot temperatures. Large windows will be installed on the western side of the house shaded by many large trees which allows for heating during the 32-degree angle in winter and cooling at the 67-degree angle in summer. The layer of trees will allow for additional shielding of the sun during the summer months due to their large size and placement in front of each window

The curtains covering the windows should be of two layers; a light breathable material that allows for cool breezes to pass through while having a silver finish that reflects the sun's heat and a blackout curtain that blocks out all sun rays to keep the room temperature stable. Having these curtains on the windows will help control the heat coming in and out and save energy/money.

Ventilation, Airflow, and Thermal Mass (other innovations)

Natural ventilation is the uncontrolled air movement in and out of the cracks and small holes in a home. In the past, this air leakage usually diluted air pollutants enough to maintain adequate indoor air quality. Today, we seal those cracks and holes to make our homes more energy-efficient (keeping our homes at constant temperatures without mechanical intervention). Ventilation is necessary to maintain a healthy and comfortable indoor environment. Opening windows and doors also provides natural ventilation, but many people keep their homes closed because they use central heating and cooling systems year-round, and in return, it costs lots of money. My house's back door is facing the strong westerly breeze for easy access to natural ventilation which improves air quality and provides a cooling alternative to expensive air conditioners, saving you hundreds of dollars per year. However, even when closed, and in winter, this could lead to very cold temperatures. To fix this problem I have made the back door a sliding double-glazed and tinted door. This will fix the problem of cold temperature leaks into and out of the house in winter (double glaze) while reflecting solar rays in summer(tint), keeping the house at a stable temperature throughout the year. I also placed a fireplace in the middle of the house which is surrounded by a thermal mass of thick stone. This allows the resident of the house to light the fireplace and transfer the natural heat to the stone before needed to allow the stone to radiate slowly through the night. Essentially this is like having a big stone wall which would be a problem in summer as it would keep all the solar heat and radiate it through the warm nights, making it unpleasant and the resident may need to use an aircon. To fix this problem a system where the large stone wall will have metal piping throughout which runs water through the wall, transfers the heat energy to the water in the piping, and releases the heat energy away from the wall will be installed. This is like the very useful water cooling in high-end PCs which works very well. This will solve the problem of heat radiating through the night while still allowing it to be turned off for winter and allowing the heat to radiate. The cooling system could be run by the strong ocean breezes on the ventilation fans throughout the house, meaning it’s all-natural.

Walls

My house will consist of a double insulated brick wall painted white with high thermal mass utilizing fiberglass insulation and aluminum foil for retaining heat in winter and expelling heat in summer. As the insulation is solid it does not allow convection currents to transfer energy. The aluminum sheets in the insulation are poor conductors of thermal energy due to their shiny color and their properties of reflecting nonionizing radiation. The light white color also allows for less heat to transfer into the walls during summer, keeping the house cool and not allowing heat to escape during winter. These walls are ideal as they stop/resist all forms of thermal transfer inside the home. The reason for double brick walls is because reliable and strong building material and can trap the heat in the walls to keep a constant temperature. The brick walls have a high thermal mass meaning that during the wintertime when exposed to the sun, the walls will radiate heat at night. This heavily impacts the need for artificial heating during the nights of winter/cold months.

Roofing

Conventional roofing materials reflect only 5 to 15 percent of the sun's rays. The coolest roofing materials such as tin roofs reflect 20 to 90 percent. Thermal emittance, which refers to a product's ability to efficiently release the heat it absorbs, is another important characteristic of a cool metal roof. The combination of these two factors has a significant impact on surface temperature. Bare metal roofs will reach 65 to 73 degrees Celsius in summer because of their high reflectance and low thermal emittance. With high reflectance and high emittance, cool metal roofs will reach only 43 c to 50 degrees Celsius. Cool metal roofs are one of several energy-efficient roofing systems on the market. Metal roofs offer advantages, including durability and long life. Additionally, they are compatible with other environmentally friendly home upgrades, including solar panels and rainwater collection systems. Many types of metals are recyclable or reusable at the end of their life. A major advancement in roofing efficiency, manufacturers are now producing “cool colored” metal roofing panels that contain pigments that reflect solar energy in the near-infrared spectrum. Formerly, cool roofs were bright white, but more colors are becoming available for home construction. The roof of this home will consist of a flat tilted cool tin roof with a cool colour coating which absorbs much less heat than darker coats and therefore keeps the house cool in summer. Having the roof flat has indicated many designs of higher energy efficiency, while also allowing rainwater to run off; off of the tilted roof towards the back of the house where the rainwater can be used to grow vegetation, and in return cooling the house even more.

The insulation for the roofing of this house will include a membrane-style rigid foam form to keep heat in during winter and expel heat during summer. The main insulation material used in this insulation is Polyisocyanurate, which is a closed-cell foam that has a high R rating of 8, giving the household maximum thermal comfort while keeping it cost-effective.

Landscaping

The landscaping of this house includes many natural resources such as shading from trees, wind breeze, and amount of sunlight from the position of the house, i.e. on a hill. The inclusion of large trees against the east and west sides of the house completely shields the building from the sun's rays in the morning and afternoon while still allowing small amounts of heat to enter through the roof in winter. The house will be placed near the ocean and in between two hills to funnel and capture the strong breezes following the currents. The house will also consist of small shrubs outlining the front of the house to channel the breeze even more. Having the house situated in this state and accompanied by trees and shrubs allows for large amounts of cooling during the hot months of the year in Australia and will help save large amounts on bills and energy.

Conclusion

The aim of my design was to create an energy-efficient house that can remain at suitable temperatures for the hot Australian environment while using as many natural and free (free of charge after initial payment) resources as possible. This was done through the correct use of building orientation in proportion to window placement and thermal mass placement, roofing, walls, landscaping, and other innovative designs that impacted the energy efficiency of this house and saved money for the homeowner while reducing their carbon footprint.

References

    1. http://www.greenenergybricks.com/energyefficiency.html -green bricks
    2. https://www.ecomaster.com.au/underfloor-insulation-r-value-explained/ - what is an r rating
    3. https://westroofingsystems.com/rigid-foam-insulation-for-commercial-roofing-polyiso-vs-xps-vs-eps/ - roofing insulation
    4. https://homeguides.sfgate.com/energyefficient-residential-metal-roofing-78846.html - metal roofs
    5. https://modernize.com/home-ideas/34127/flat-roof-more-energy-efficient - flat roof efficiency
    6. https://home-energy.extension.org/designing-energy-efficient-new-homes-for-a-warm-climate/ - design of energy-efficient homes in warm climates
    7. https://www.ergon.com.au/network/manage-your-energy/home-energy-tips/renovating-and-building/insulation - insulation
    8. https://www.bing.com/search?q=energy+efficiency&FORM=AWRE – what is energy efficiency
    9. https://economyglass.com.au/argon-gas-why-do-we-use-it-in-double-glazed-units/ - double-glazed windows and argon gas
    10. https://www.redenergy.com.au/living-energy/smart-homes/a-complete-guide-to-double-glazed-windows - double-glazed windows
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Descriptive Essay about Home. (2024, January 30). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 21, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/descriptive-essay-about-home/
“Descriptive Essay about Home.” Edubirdie, 30 Jan. 2024, edubirdie.com/examples/descriptive-essay-about-home/
Descriptive Essay about Home. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/descriptive-essay-about-home/> [Accessed 21 Jun. 2024].
Descriptive Essay about Home [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2024 Jan 30 [cited 2024 Jun 21]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/descriptive-essay-about-home/
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