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Energy Efficient Construction
Environmental Design Consulting
Green Building and Development Techniques
Energy Efficient Construction
Environmental Design Consulting
Green Building and Development Techniques
Natural Heating and Cooling
Homes can be fully heated and cooled in most climates simply using natural heating and cooling processes. Different types of construction and landscaping methods can be used in various climates that can utilize the suns heat and the earths’ natural cooling processes to provide a comfortable living environment for the occupants. There are already many homes built that provide comfortable living environments without the use of mechanical heating and cooling units.

Homes can be naturally heated in the winter by orienting the structure on an east west axis and placing a sufficient amount of windows on the south side of the home to capture the suns warmth during the day. A predetermined amount of thermal mass is used to absorb the access heat during the day and release it at night as the structure cools. Utilizing this method provides for a very comfortable and stable inside temperature. During the summer the sun travels across the sky almost directly overhead in North America, but in the winter the earth tilts on its axis such that the sun drops so that it shines at an angle into the windows on the southern side of the structure. Properly capturing the suns heat during the day is enough to provide all the heating needs in a properly designed direct solar home.

In the summer a home can also be cooled with the use of natural ventilation and earth tubes. Earth tubes are piping that is buried beneath the earths frost line that transports outside air through the earth and deliver it into the structure cool and dehumidified. The earth remains at a constant temperature just four foot below the frost line in any given area and ranges between 55º and 60º degrees F which can also be utilized to preheat air in the winter as well as cool it down in the summer. External temperatures can vary from extremes of 50º F below zero to 120º F, and the air coming from the earth tubes can enter the structure up to 30º warmer in the winter or 30º cooler in the summer. The air flow can be naturally conducted or mechanically controlled which consumes very little energy. There are many structures in existence today that safely use this method as the only source of cooling and preconditioning cold winter air. In fact the Europe is leading the way in this field and it is gradually gaining ground in the U.S. Earth tubes provide a safe and healthy air supply system when properly constructed, filtered and maintained.
 
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