In re: Energy free housing

thumbnail.jpgWell the house in this story isn’t really energy free, its just that it gathers all the energy from the sun and earth without solar panels or other electronics. So how does it work? Well I can’t say I fully understand but after watching a video on it on youtube and reading about it, I’ll try… The house relies on having two sets of walls with the gap between the two serving as a space that is heated by the sun and rotates around the house allowing the house (which acts as a solar mass – retaining heat) to remain at a comfortable temperature year round without any carbon consumption, or any electricity of any kind.  (Like your basement if you have noticed)

In 1981 the National Institute of Standards and Technology constructed six test buildings in Gaithersburg, Maryland and tested them for energy efficiency. Much to their surprise, Building 5, with walls made of solid wood, was the most energy efficient. This was attributed to “thermal inertia,” a phenomenon where the solid wood walls stored energy during the day, and released it during the night.

It sounds too good to be true, but apparently it works and the history channel picked up on it and picked it for an award as a modern marvel. The question is, if it is so easy to build (kit homes) why is our country not making a big push towards this and other energy free living (lets remember cars are not the only source of energy dependence we have) considering that we have the technology now to develop housing that is very energy efficient yet we continue not to do so (I am currently looking into moving into a new ‘green’ unit (The North Block at the Jeffrey Place), not just to make myself ‘feel’ better about myself, but because of the purely economic sense of reducing my electric bill). So I say, if we can rebuild other countries, put a man on the moon, why don’t we make a massive push to get houses like these on the market now, do it in the name of national security if your a righty or do it because your green – either way it makes sense.

See Enertia (who builds these) and the science behind it, and the AP story on it


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