Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

The Green, Green Technology Of Home

Date:
June 4, 2009
Source:
Furman University
Summary:
A newly built "Cliffs Cottage" has all the latest technological innovations in sustainable living. Geothermal heating and cooling, two solar technologies, bamboo floors, furniture made from reclaimed wood, even cisterns that collect rainwater from the roof. The home has 3,400 square feet, but is so energy efficient that it can be heated and cooled for less than $75 a month.

The Cliffs Cottage at Furman is a model of environmentally responsible design and energy-saving systems.

What would be the perfect “green” home?

For starters, its location in relation to the sun would maximize solar heat gain in the winter and minimize it in the summer. It would have a geothermal heating and cooling system, and it would also boast two different solar technologies — solar thermal for heating water and solar electric (photovoltaic) for generating electrical power.

In fact, even at 3,400 square feet, the home would be so energy efficient that it could be heated and cooled for less than $75 a month.

The house would also be furnished with products that are environmentally sustainable, like bamboo floors and tile made from recycled glass. The gardens would feature native plants that tolerate the region’s climate and soil conditions, and most of the gardens’ water needs would come from a 12,000-gallon cistern system that collects rainwater from the roof.

The Cliffs Cottage at Furman is Southern Living magazine’s first “green” showcase home. It was built on campus in 2008 to serve as a model of environmentally responsible design, sustainable building techniques and materials, and energy-saving systems.

The home features a passive solar design, which integrates an assortment of building features to reduce the need for cooling and heating and daytime artificial lighting. The home is situated along an east/west axis to maximize solar heat gain in the winter and minimize it in the summer. On the south side of the cottage, a long roof overhang shades the house in summer and allows the sun to heat the home in the winter months.

The home uses an energy-efficient, precast foundation, natural stone and two types of insulation to seal the home and preserve its thermal mass. The exterior stone absorbs heat that is slowly released after the sun goes down. The spray foam insulation, free of formaldehyde, seals off air leakage, moisture, airborne allergens and noise pollutants. The fiberglass insulation is environmentally sound, with a minimum certified recycled glass content of 25 percent. The pervious concrete, permeable brick and gravel pave used across the site in parking areas and main walkways allow stormwater to filter back into the soil instead of draining into streams and rivers.

The Cliffs Cottage has a geothermal heating and cooling system, which is the most environmentally responsible and energy efficient system available. The direct exchange ground source heat pump uses the earth’s constant underground temperatures to heat the home in the winter and cool it in the summer. Ground source heat pumps can reduce heating and cooling costs by as much as 50 percent, and they usually last three times longer than air source systems.

The Cliffs Cottage has two solar technologies — solar thermal for heating water and solar electric (photovoltaic) technology for generating electrical power. Heat from the sun is captured through two roof-mounted flat plate collectors, which is then transferred to an 80-gallon storage tank. The solar thermal technology can provide up to 80 percent of domestic hot water needs. Photovoltaic (PV) technology is the process where sunlight is converted to electricity.

Two PV modules on the garage roof are enough to power the entire house. Another pole-mounted PV tracks the sun as it moves east to west on one axis and north and south on another. In addition to the home, three other PV arrays help generate a total of 30 kW for the project. The solar features in the house are tied together by GridPoint, a computer-operated battery system that stores additional power and maximizes energy usage throughout the house. The solar technology, in fact, will produce more power than the house needs. The additional electricity created will be funneled to Furman’s utility grid.

The house is furnished with products that are environmentally sustainable and locally sourced, from the bamboo floors to the kitchen cabinets to tile made from recycled glass. Much of the furniture is constructed from reclaimed or sustainable harvested wood or trees removed for real estate development, and fabrics are made without toxic dyes. The bathrooms contain low flow showerheads and faucets.

The formal and organic gardens that surround the Cliffs Cottage are an important part of the project. The gardens feature native plants that can tolerate the region’s climate and soil conditions as well as typical ornamental plantings that are drought tolerant and easy to maintain. Most of the water needs for the gardens are supplied by one 12,000-gallon cistern system that collects rainwater from the roof.

In addition to Furman and Southern Living, the principal partners in the project are The Cliffs Communities, Duke Energy and Bank of America.

The Cliffs Cottage will be open to the public through the end of August. After August, the house will be retrofitted as the university’s Center for Sustainability, which will provide office and meeting space for the university’s sustainability initiatives.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Furman University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Furman University. "The Green, Green Technology Of Home." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 June 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090529185935.htm>.
Furman University. (2009, June 4). The Green, Green Technology Of Home. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090529185935.htm
Furman University. "The Green, Green Technology Of Home." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090529185935.htm (accessed August 29, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Friday, August 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Volcano Erupts on Papua New Guinea

Raw: Volcano Erupts on Papua New Guinea

AP (Aug. 29, 2014) Several communities were evacuated and some international flights were diverted on Friday after one of the most active volcanos in the region erupts. (Aug. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Have Figured Out Why Rocks Move In Death Valley

Scientists Have Figured Out Why Rocks Move In Death Valley

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) The mystery of the moving rocks in Death Valley, California, has finally been solved. Scientists are pointing to a combo of water, ice and wind. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Big Waves, Minor Flooding from Hurricane

Big Waves, Minor Flooding from Hurricane

AP (Aug. 27, 2014) Thundering surf spawned by Hurricane Marie pounded the Southern California coast Wednesday, causing minor flooding in a low-lying beach town. High surf warnings were posted for Los Angeles County south through Orange County. (Aug. 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins