Friday, 18 June 2010

The Basic Design Concept

The basic concept is to have a CO2 neutral home in Japan using traditional and modern technologies and design features. The house is on the edge of a mountain (plot location) and has private and exclusive access to   two forested mountain valleys. The location provides an endless supply of free fuel and means that much of the CO2 I do use will be offset through forest management (cutting down diseased trees to allow new growth and tree planting). The location has cold winters and hot summers with cool spring and autumn seasons.

The house will use a passive solar design (south facing glass and good insulation) for winter heating with a wood stove & wood fired boiler for backup heat and hot water. I will harvest rainwater for toilet flushing and clothes washing. Flat solar collectors will be used to supply hot water for most seasons. Passive cooling will be provided in summer with natural ventilation, shade, and salt dehumidification. Ultra-high efficiently LED lighting will be used throughout the house. The house electrical systems will be automated for increased energy savings. As far as possible all construction materials and systems will be low-impact, recycled or recyclable, and sourced from local suppliers.

Below are some preliminary architectural designs:

From North

From East

From South

From West

My architect team have been proposing a variety of conceptual ideas over the last few months. One that I liked was to have a separate building (like a tree house) that could be used as an apartment while the larger house was being rented out (when abroad for extended periods etc.). I have integrated this idea to the basic arrangement of buildings and orientations. I used Punch  home design software for these designs.

Any comments welcome!

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