Welcome to Eco Home Fundamentals. We are collating a series of articles about Eco Homes, which hopefully will be of interest to our audience. We will be writing on many topics and areas, so please check back for updates!
The importance of home insulation cannot be understated. Having your home insulated is a great way to increase the energy efficiency of the household, decrease the electricity bill, and basically create a comfortable living space for yourself. To make this investment a successful one, you need to know which kind of insulation is best suited to your home, the climate conditions of the area you live in, and, of course, your budget. In this article, we will be talking about one specific type of insulation – spray foam insulation, [...]
Practically everyone is familiar with the three states of water: solid, liquid, and gas. Water, in its gaseous state, is an integral component of air that we know as water vapour. The percentage of water vapour is described as the air's moisture content (or humidity), and it is when this percentage is high that we begin to experience discomfort, difficulty breathing, and stickiness. Not only this, water vapour in the air has a high tendency to transform back into its liquid state on coming into contact with a cooler [...]
Nowadays, people are becoming increasingly aware of the need to create energy-efficient buildings because of their long-term impact on human health, environment, and finances. One of the features that go into constructing such a building that allows minimal energy losses and maximises cost saving is airtightness. What is home air tightness? Before we can fully understand airtightness, it is necessary for us to understand air leakage. Air leakage is an unintentional and uncontrolled outflow, or inflow, of air through gaps, spaces, and holes within the building fabric. This is [...]
Condensation is a phenomena that we are all too familiar with –from fogging up the glass windows with our breath in the winters as kids, to watching it occur on the bathroom mirror after a bath. It might seem harmless (and is in a lot of cases), but sometimes it can prove to be a threat to the comfort of our homes. What is Condensation? Condensation is the process by which any gas changes its state to liquid. In the realm of construction and buildings, the term ‘condensation’ usually [...]
If you're thinking of having your home insulated, or even re-insulated, there are a lot of factors you need to account for before you do. Thermal insulation is vital for a home to make the most out of its energy budget and keep the inhabitants in good health. Without adequate insulation, much of the heat stored within a building will be readily lost to the outdoors, causing the indoor temperature to drop to uncomfortable levels. Conversely, unwanted heat may warm up the house during the summer months and result [...]
If you are looking for ways to optimise the energy efficiency of your home in order to cut back and save on heating costs, then you should definitely look into installing a Heat Recovery and Ventilation System. Not only does this system allow you to save costs, but it also reduces greenhouse gas emissions from Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) which contribute to contribute towards climate change and global warming in a significant way. Equipping your household with a Heat Recovery Ventilation (HRV), also known as Mechanical Ventilation [...]
What is wall breathability? Anyone who has done even a little research on sustainable buildings, or looked into designs that diverge from the mainstream ones, is sure to have come across the term ‘wall breathability’ – only because it is an indispensable component of safe and healthy infrastructure, but the term is often confused with having something to do with ventilation and aeration, when in fact it does not. ‘Wall breathability’ is a term that actually pertains to that particular characteristic of a wall which allows it to transfer [...]
In our fast-paced lifestyles, we have become used to working long hours behind four walls – whether our work is in a corporate sector, the food industry, the public health domain, or practically anywhere. Most of us are more indoors now than we are out, so it has become imperative that not only do we keep our indoor environment just as healthy as we want it to be outside, but should also focus on creating an atmosphere within our buildings that does not threaten the well-being of our planet [...]
Our guide to understanding what limewash is, the history and traditional uses, as well as what is available and how to use. If you are looking for something particular, please use the jump links below. If there is something that you are looking for but we have not covered, please get in contact and let us know. What is limewash? What limewash colours are available? What is the difference between limewash and whitewash? What are the physical attributes of limewash, and what does limewash look like? Where can [...]
Modern buildings have a bad reputation, and it's easy to see why. From the brutalist concrete shells of the 1960s to the materialist excess of the 1980s, right up to the wave of cheap, featureless housing of the 1990s, humanity seemed to be at odds with the organic environment, and the idea of ecological sensitivity was nowhere to be found. Now, thanks to the generation of architects who have grown up in the midst of the green revolution, modern buildings are embracing a more harmonious approach, and contemporary homes are [...]
When most of us hear the idea of a house made of straw, the first thing that comes to mind is the tale of the Three Little Pigs. But with straw now being recognised as the low carbon, low impact building material, it looks like it might take more than a huff and a puff to knock down this innovation in eco-friendly home design. The primary reason that straw bales are attracting the attention of today's environmentally-conscious architects is that they are made from plant matter. Not only is plant matter [...]
Why is Deforestation an Issue? Forests are useful to life on earth, including humans, in a number of ways. Perhaps the most important of these is in the way in which they absorb carbon dioxide in the process of photosynthesis, producing oxygen as a natural waste product. What is a waste product to the trees is a source of life for us and the millions of other species that occupy the planet with us. As well as acting as the ‘lungs of the planet’ forests also sustain an incredible variety [...]
A beneficial way of helping our cities to adapt and mitigate the effects of climate change is utilising green space. Green roofs are and will be an increasingly important technology. The ecosystems services that are provided by green roofs will be especially significant in regard to a reduction in the Urban Heat Island Effect (our summers are predicted to get much hotter).They will also help to decrease the impact of flash summer storms that are predicted to increase as the climate changes. In this article I highlight the benefits [...]
What is Passive house? (Passivhaus) – We give you the latest low down on this ultra efficient energy contruction.
This construction standard was “rediscovered” in the early 90s by the German physicist Wolfgang Feist, who worked, studied and built in 1991 in the city of Darmstadt, southwest of Frankfurt, the first modern Passive House. A few years later, in an effort to develop and promote the existence of this standard, he founded the PassivHaus-Institut, which has branches in many countries worldwide and it is the official certification body of all passive houses internationally. Passive house is an ultra-efficient energy construction, which provides excellent thermal comfort conditions ensuring great indoor [...]