One developer’s solution to energy efficient houses
MYKULYCHI VILLAGE, Ukraine
– 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)