One devel­oper’s so­lu­tion to energy ef­fi­cient houses

Kyiv Post - - Business Focus - BY MARK RACHKEVYCH [email protected] Kyiv Post editor Mark Rachkevych can be reached at [email protected]


– Some 20 kilo­me­ters north­west of Kyiv stands a 129-square me­ter, sin­gle-fam­ily coun­try home that is as green as it is smart.

Built in June us­ing the latest avail­able energy ef­fi­cient build­ing ma­te­ri­als, it uses 65 per­cent less energy than a sim­i­lar home built to ex­ist­ing stan­dards. Thanks to such fea­tures as so­lar pan­els, in­su­la­tion, nat­u­ral light­ing, and energy re­cov­ery ven­ti­la­tion, the two-story house needs just 8,000 kilowatts of energy a year in­stead of 23,000 kilowatts that re­lated homes con­sume. Its frame is made of pre­fab­ri­cated wood filled with in­su­la­tion and has walls as thick as 350-400 mil­lime­ters.

Although the res­i­dence is used for show, it is ready for a fam­ily of three to move in. Ivan Pere­hinets, pro­gram man­ager of Dos­tupne Zhytlo, a non-profit hous­ing co­op­er­a­tive that de­vel­ops the prop­erty, wants to com­pet­i­tively choose a fam­ily to live there for two years so that he could mon­i­tor energy con­sump­tion and sav­ings.

“They would re­ceive Hr 2,000 month to use the energy ef­fi­ciency data, pro­vide us with monthly energy con­sump­tion rates and of­fer pro­pos­als on how to im­prove the sys­tem,” Pere­hinets told the Kyiv Post.

The units sell for about $129,000 or at $1,000 per square me­ter, and can be built on site any­where in Ukraine. It comes with an elec­tric oven, re­fre- Up to 10 Velux roof win­dows with blinds con­trib­ute to pro­vid­ing nat­u­ral sun­light, ac­count­ing for 3-5 per­cent of in­te­rior light­ing, 10 times more than in stan­dard homes. The blinds help keep rooms cooler by 4-6 C, and are re­motely con­trolled and pow­ered by so­lar bat­ter­ies. This helps save on elec­tric­ity costs and of­fers nat­u­ral ven­ti­la­tion when open and cuts down on over­heat­ing when shut. Even when closed, the win­dows al­low for fresh air to en­ter rooms through a ven­ti­la­tion valve that comes with a re­place­able fil­ter which pro­tects against dust and in­sects. Heat and sound in­su­la­tion is pro­vided by a highly elas­tic ma­te­rial pro­vided by Isover. Its low ther­mal con­duc­tiv­ity al­lows for max­i­mum heat pro­tec­tion and lasts for 50 years. The ma­te­rial in­creases the ef­fi­ciency of heat­ing and cool­ing sys­tems, and helps to re­duce noise pen­e­tra­tion. ger­a­tor, a bath­tub, two toi­lets, vac­uum cleaner, elec­tri­cal boiler, and light fix­tures.

The buyer just needs to own a land plot and join the hous­ing co­op­er­a­tive by pay­ing a Hr 1,000 mem­ber­ship fee, ac­cord­ing to Pere­hinets. Once that hap­pens, the buyer gives the non-profit group a man­date to de­sign, build and register the house in their name.

The home is branded as Op­tima House by a group five in­ter­na­tional com­pa­nies in­volved in build­ing ma­te­ri­als, as well as Dos­tupne Zhytlo. They each have equal par­ity rights to the trade­mark, ac­cord­ing to Tatyana Tu­ra­nova, spokes­woman for the Ukrainian unit of Saint-Gobain, a French maker and dis­tributer of build­ing ma­te­ri­als.

Ac­cord­ing to the group’s brochure, some 45 per­cent of energy the house con­sumes is pow­ered by re­new­able energy sources. It lets in 10 times more nat­u­ral sun­light than the av­er­age home, ac­count­ing for 3-5 per­cent of in­te­rior light­ing. It re­lies on so­lar energy to heat wa­ter, power ap­pli­ances, and uses an air-to-air pump to cool and heat the air. Pri­mary energy ac­counts for less than 150 kilowatts per hour a year per square me­ter, and an elec­tric boiler heats wa­ter when not enough so­lar energy is avail­able.

“In old homes, energy con­sump­tion typ­i­cally reaches 240 kilowatts per hour, in new ones – 150 kilowatts an hour per square me­ter a year,” said Sergey Nazrov, CEO of Saint-Gobain Con­struc­tion Prod­ucts Ukraine, in a Velux sun tun­nels pro­vide an ad­di­tional source of nat­u­ral light where roof win­dows can­not be in­stalled. It looks like an or­di­nary roof win­dow and is em­bed­ded in the ceil­ing cover at a di­am­e­ter of 35 cen­time­ters. These two el­e­ments are con­nected to each other by a cor­ru­gated or fixed pipe with a re­flec­tive coat­ing. A part of the façade is made of wooden block house that is pro­cessed with a pro­tec­tive so­lu­tion. Other parts, as the roof, are made of light­weight Metrotile com­pos­ite shin­gles, which serves as an energy-sav­ing sys­tem. A com­bi­na­tion of energy ef­fi­cient fea­tures make this sin­gle-fam­ily home of 129 square me­ters one of the green­est homes avail­able on Ukraine’s mar­ket. Branded Op­tima House by its de­vel­op­ers, it is lo­cated in the vil­lage of Mykulychi, 20 kilo­me­ters north­west of Kyiv. It sells for $1,000 per square me­ter and is built to or­der any­where in Ukraine through Dos­tupne Zhytlo, a non-profit hous­ing con­stuc­tion co­op­er­a­tive. (Pavlo Po­d­u­falov) The multi-layer, sound-in­su­la­tion frame con­struc­tion of walls is an ef­fec­tive means of noise pro­tec­tion. They con­sist of sev­eral lay­ers of Rigips hard dry­wall and soft Isover sound-proof ma­te­ri­als. Ex­te­rior walls have wa­ter-re­sis­tant ce­ment boards. news re­lease. “In Op­tima House we aim to achieve energy con­sump­tion up to 40 kilowatts an hour per square me­ter.”

More air is re­leased in pipes so that 25 per­cent less wa­ter is used, or on av­er­age, the equiv­a­lent 45-50 liters a day in sav­ings.

Thanks to the mod­ern cli­mate-con­trol sys­tem, the tem­per­a­ture in win­ter is never less than 21 C and not more than 24 C in sum­mer. Due to less energy con­sump­tion, car­bon diox­ide emis­sions reach about 1 ton a year, or three times less than a sim­i­lar house.

The real-time house mon­i­tor­ing sys­tem pro­vided by Sch­nei­der Elec­tric also tracks the pres­ence of in­door car­bon diox­ide con­cen­tra­tion. The ven­ti­la­tion sys­tem never al­lows the home have over 900 parts per mil­lion –more than 1,000 is haz­ardous to one’s health.

“By ‘smart’ we mean that all data such as, elec­tric­ity con­sump­tion…car­bon diox­ide, hu­mid­ity, tem­per­a­ture and wind speed, are mon­i­tored in real The wooden frame is made by the Dos­tupne Zhytlo build­ing co­op­er­a­tive us­ing Mitek In­dus­tries tech­nolo­gies. The an­ti­sep­tic and fire re­tar­dant treated wood is con­nected to­gether with jointed me­tal plates. time,” said Mariya Dud­nyk, spokes­woman for Sch­nei­der Elec­tric.

Home buy­ers are given a com­puter tablet with which to mon­i­tor the home, ad­just set­tings, and take with them to re­motely con­trol the res­i­dence.

“For ex­am­ple, when the house is empty, sen­sors de­tect storms or ex­ces­sive sun­light and au­to­mat­i­cally ac­ti­vate awnings and blinds in the rel­e­vant ar­eas as a pro­tec­tive mea­sure,” Dud­nyk said. Com­pos­ite Metrotile roof­ing shin­gles re­li­ably pro­tect the house from se­vere weather thanks to a steel base and spe­cial pro­tec­tive cov­er­ing. A spe­cial fas­ten­ing sys­tem makes it re­sis­tant to winds and hur­ri­canes. The cover tiles made of nat­u­ral stones make them silent, energy-ef­fi­cient and very com­fort­able for liv­ing. So­lar ther­mal col­lec­tors heat the wa­ter and are placed on the eastern and western side of the roof. So­lar energy heats 86 per­cent of the wa­ter and pro­vides 10 per­cent of the heat­ing, while a Mit­subishi Elec­tric air-to-air pump pro­vides heat­ing and cool­ing. The Veka win­dows re­duce costs by pre­vent­ing heat loss by up to 30 per­cent. Six Metrotile so­lar pan­els, each hav­ing 56 watts of out­put, pro­vide elec­tri­cal light­ing and power for house­hold ap­pli­ances – the home­buyer can add more if they want. They are in­stalled at the fac­tory to en­sure air-tight­ness and quick assem­bly of the main roof cov­er­ing. The pan­els gen­er­ate elec­tric­ity at any time of the year and are in­de­pen­dent of the pri­mary power source. A “smart home” op­er­at­ing sys­tem by Sch­nei­der Elec­tric con­trols heat­ing, elec­tri­cal equip­ment, in­clud­ing, light­ing, air-con­di­tion­ing and shad­ing. It is fully pro­gram­mable, sav­ing time and energy. The user can con­trol the sys­tem re­motely with ei­ther an iPad or smart­phone, re­duc­ing energy con­sump­tion, in­crease flex­i­bil­ity and adapt­abil­ity, and makes res­i­dents feel safe. Veka slid­ing doors re­li­ably pro­tect against the cold, noise and in­tru­sion, yet bring in nat­u­ral sun­light. They can be opened in such a way to ad­join the liv­ing room with the pa­tio, of­fer­ing max­i­mum space. The foun­da­tion is sealed with re­in­forced con­crete at a depth of 1.2 me­ters with a di­am­e­ter of 250 mil­lime­ters and a foot bear­ing of 600 mil­lime­ters with a load ca­pac­ity of up to 20 tons. The top in­su­lated fiber-re­in­forced con­crete mono­lithic slab is pro­cessed with We­ber wa­ter­proof­ing ma­te­ri­als.

Ivan Pere­hinets de­scribes the energy ef­fi­cient fea­tures of Op­tima House, a 129-square me­ter sin­gle-fam­ily home that he is pro­mot­ing, lo­cated in the vil­lage of Mykulychi 20 kilo­me­ters from Kyiv on July 7. (Pavlo Po­d­u­falov)

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