A Sustainable Life With a Profit

TIM Adams and Pip Watt live in a sustainably built, energy efficient house that is warm in winter, cool in summer and has no bills all year round.

Tim designed their 7-star energy rated home on about 7 hectares (about 17 acres) at Gherang near Geelong in the south eastern part of Australia in the state of Victoria. The home is fitted with alternative energy systems plus various heating and cooling techniques to make the building carbon neutral and comfortable.

Tim is the current president of the Victorian Building Designers Association who also runs a sustainable home design business, F2 Design, to produce high performance energy efficient houses. Tim is also an accredited thermal performance assessor for the organisation.

He became interested in energy efficiency and sustainable building design after the 1975 world oil shock.

Tim and Pip have designed a home that has its own power, domestic water and waste water treatment systems.

The house has 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and north facing open plan living areas with glazed walls to allow maximum natural light on the floor slab to capitalise on available solar heat.

There are no eaves on Tim and Pip’s home.

Tim said the use of eaves needed careful consideration as deep fixed eaves can hinder passive thermal effects if not used intelligently.

The day I visited outside it was around 13 Celsius (about 55 farenheit) while inside the house it was a steady 19.5 C (67 F) and the only footwear needed was socks.

Once Tim and Pip chose to install a solar power grid feed system they carefully calculated their annual electricity use and came up with an average daily consumption figure of 9.25 kilowatt hours.

They reasoned that a three kilowatt photovoltaic solar power grid feed system would capture enough sunlight to cope with their usage and produce an excess to sell back into the grid.

The house has a photovoltaic solar power electricity system that consists of a three kilowatt inverter with 18 solar panels of 180 watts each.

Tim said when they installed their solar power system there was a state government 66 cents per kilowatt hour feed-in tariff for alternative power systems so he arranged a 15 year contract on this rate with his power supply company.

“The first three-month electricity bill with the smart meter in place delivered a $205 credit, even though the average daily sunshine last summer (2010) was 1.5 hours below average,” Tim said.

The Adams have a normal array of household appliances that includes a kettle, toaster, microwave, espresso coffee maker, oven, an induction cooktop, full size dishwasher, fridge, front load washing machine and assorted entertainment equipment.

The roof’s wide V-shape design is an important part of the home’s solar power system.

The most northerly facing of the two sections of the roof is angled to position the solar panels for maximum exposure to the sun’s daily passage.

The thought behind the roof design is worth further examination as being inverted means people are protected from serious injury as any fall means a slip into the roof’s long box gutter, not on to the ground 4 metres below.

Tim designed the roof’s single box gutter so it was wide and deep enough to efficiently gather the rainwater needed for domestic use.

Cleaning it is also easier than a conventional gutter as it is wide (Tim calls it his lap pool) and can be easily swept and debris quickly removed.

Tim and Pip have plenty of roof space from three buildings that act as the catchment for their 120,000 litre (26,374 gallon) capacity rainwater tanks.

Warm water for a floor slab heating system comes from 60 solar evacuated tubes mounted on the roof plus back-up from an Italian combustion boiler with a high efficiency heat exchanger.

To allow the internal temperature to be controlled the house faces north and there is no under slab insulation.

Laying the concrete floor slab directly on to earth allows the choice of a cooler slab on hotter days.

To encourage further cooling in warm seasons the house incorporates cross ventilation design principles and employs other devices, such as temperature controlled switches on windows, ceiling fans and an evaporative water feature designed to channel cool air inside.

The home is a 7-star energy rated building due to only the southern side being fitted with double glazed windows.

There is insulation in the walls and ceiling with standard R3.5 rated insulation batts used (R rating in this case means about 160mm (6 inch thick) batts.

The house is essentially a square-shape building with rendered brick main support walls and picture windows otherwise clad with plantation native timber weatherboards.

The yellow stringybark weatherboards that clad the house were produced with innovative radial cut processing and sustainable growing methods to reduce environmental impacts and waste.

Tim explained that the most expensive outlay they had to build their home was for a worm-based black-water treatment sewage system.

This cost $10,000 Aus. to install and has an annual $300 service fee but they calculated this expense would be offset against the savings they make by owning their own power and water systems.

Tim said he had long wanted to build a sustainable design home to prove his design principles but also to show how cost effective it was to build such a house.

“I wanted to be able to build a new house and actually put my money where my mouth is,” Tim said.

“I did this (design) to use as an example.

“You can do this sort of thing (build a sustainable house) without spending a lot of money.”

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The Irresistible Flats in Zirakpur for You to Buy

Amidst the three basic necessities of our life, home is one of them. It is the hearty desire of every individual and family to own at least a house in the preferred location. If you have not yet owned any home, there is no need to worry at all. Now every single family will have the golden opportunity to become the owner of a flat in the fully developed capital city of the state Haryana.

The many of the reputed builders have come together and made the people realize the limitless benefits of flats to buy. There are some companies engaged in the construction of residential and commercial projects at the different locations for the people to make the purchases. The residential projects include 1 BHK, 2 BHK, 3 BHK, and 4 BHK with fully furnished home and ultra-modular kitchen. The marbles, tiles, stonework, furniture works and other attractions are captivating enough to win your sweet little heart.

The Unlimited Benefits of Buying Flats in Zirakpur

Some of the Flats in Zirakpur and at other places are so well designed by the renowned architect that a single look is enough to captivate your mind. It gives you the feeling of staying in a five star environment at home. So why to wait now? Rush to visit the actual site and take a close look at the ready to live flats available for the possession for you in your own dream city near Chandigarh. You are sure to gain many other features in addition to the unavoidable deals on your bookings.

One should not miss the chance to win the attractive property deals. There are many advantages of owning your own house. It is indeed a matter of proud to become the owner of a Flats in Zirakpur, Chandigarh- the beautiful city in the country.

There are many good reasons that will encourage you make your stay in the city. Some of the major attractions include

(i) 2 states: it is a union territory administered by the Central Government. It is the capital of two states i.e. Haryana and Punjab.

(ii) Well Planned city: It is the first planned city in the nation. The town planning is done in a systematic manner in order to avoid the unwanted problems occurring due to natural calamities and manual activities.

(iii) Tricity: The neighboring cities of Chandigarh, Panchkula, and Mohali together form the ‘Tricity’.

It has been observed that growth and development is the ongoing process in the city as a result of it the rate of the property is constantly increasing. It is indeed a very good decision to make the investment in the booking real estate market in the city.

Natura Areas in Cyprus – Theory + Practice

No one in his right mind will not wish to preserve and even improve nature where this is possible. We, as Cypriots, upon joining the E.U., we leanred for the first time what Nature is and in order to prove ourselves better than the others, we started classifying just about everything which had some interest Natura. We started with Akamas and ended up at the Ayia Napa (3) caves and other rocky ground and the last but not list the Paralimni lake (a dry -seasonal water lake) for the protection of the local water snakes. We then went on to classify just about everything as an antiquity (e.g. even foundations of a building). If one is unlucky to find some sort of antiquity during development, the project must stop, the civil servants to inspect and excavate at their own leisure time and order the developer to stop completely the development, change the plans or whatever and all these the developer/owner having to pay the work hours of those civil servants who are engaged in the excavation and recording.

The financial crisis is bringing some sense to the above “admirable” behavior, since we suddenly discovered that we have no money to do the various Natura and other projects. Legal/constructional matters brought up compensation, which we could not afford and people’s attitude which were originally ignored by the Authorities, due to their reaction put a halt on the theories introduced.

So after 25 years of the Akama Odyssey we are back to square one, as well as for the Paralimni lake. The Natura scheme will be cancelled, whereas new ideas on such a scale and nature reserves are given second thoughts. It seems those who want preservation do not have in mind the costs involved. In the past there was no particular problem since we could “borrow”, but now?

Natura areas dear readers do not necessarily mean that no development can be allowed. The reply received from the E.U. regarding Akamas is an indication in hand – I.e. low rise development is allowed etc etc in such areas. As far as we are concerned a large percentage of Cyprus could be justifiably classed as an area of Natural beauty. Have you ever visited the Famagusta potato growing regions? Lovely red soil with acres and acres of potato plants and workers in rows picking up the potatoes. Have you ever visited Potamos at Sotira? Inandated by illegalities but yet not a Natura. Have you seen the Pafos forest area – an unbelievable side not a Natura.

We have to learn to live in accord to our financial ability and not have our head in the clouds, that some so called conservationists have – see the initial tragic wrong decision for the development of Anassa hotel by greens etc only to become one of the best hotels, providing employment in the region and setting out the foundation of the development of Polis and other areas. This most poor region in Cyprus has remained stagnant (and it is so even now to a large extent) as a result of such attitudes.

We say all these and by projection we come back to the prohibition of single house development in agricultural areas. A good town planning measure on the one hand, but with negative affects, economic, social and otherwise to the people. So before deciding dear Minister of Interior on matters regarding development and its restrictions bear in mind if we can afford in financial terms the decision. The tragic decision by the previous Government of transferable building density from one area to another and the establishment of a compensation formula for Natura and archeological classified areas, are still with us giving us the shivers!!

There remains in our opinion the payment of compensation to the state for the various decisions made by those who by their narrow mindedless or even stupidity make/suggest measures that others suffer damage. It reminds us of the Larnaca port placing limitations which stipulated that buildings within the port should reach only 2 storey height in order not to block the views of the rear developments. The French consultants indicated that a cruise ship is approximately 14 storey height and a Cypress tree can reach 5 floors height. So what views would the sea lined buildings were to block? End result the originally density of 220% and the floors from… levels to 16 levels – But then it caused a delay of 3 years to overcome such a stupidity and at no financial or otherwise cost to those who suggested it. Approximately 10 years ago in a written statement we suggested to the Government that the planning requirements for the golf development were wrong. The density should have been greater (originally 15% – now 30%) the public green of 20% should be concentrated in certain areas (now it is) and that the public green space should have uses for sports facilities developed and runned for 5 years by the developer (now it is so). We also suggested the payment of €5.0 mil. for each golf by the developers due to the relaxation given (now it is so required). We suggested that the various desalination plants, energy saving installations e.g. windmills are all the worst (now cancelled) and that residential units to have a minimum size (now set). We do not know if the new Government dug up our suggestions from some forgotten rubbish bin by the previous 2 Governments – but better late than never.

We are trying to think of a way for those people who are all for “good things” provided it does not affect them, to bear some sort of responsibilities (including of course ourselves on the same basis). We will have in this way a more responsible democracy.

Background Of Green Belts And Their Share To Mother Nature

A Green Belt is not only about your expertise level in martial arts but also with the improvement of the earth. A Green Belt is really an unseen line specified as undeveloped, which remains so to allow wildlife to come back and gain a foothold in the area. These are similar to but distinctive from “greenways” and “green wedges,” which can run through an urban area instead of around it.

Green Belts greatly benefit the people that live within them despite the fact that such specified areas are seriously restricted in terms of development. It’s priorities relate to the natural environment, the air we breathe, wide open spaces and the integrity of the countryside.

Green Belts will not work well in all areas, and success hinges a great deal on the surrounding environment. These areas occasionally end up in uneven borders and the creation of “satellite towns,” which work more like suburbs than independent communities even though they are technically detached from urban areas by a Green Belt.

Although there is evidence that it is an ancient concept, in the contemporary world this kind of policy was started in the 1930s in Great Britain. You can find fourteen Green Belts in England today. Known as green space or greenspace in the United States, the boundaries tend to be smaller and are usually confined to small spaces, such as parks.

Mandated city plans, restrictive covenants, or land use designations are the usual ways in which these are established. Several communities have placed a priority on such installations, encouraging people to think about the significance of city planning on the natural environment.

A major criticism of this derives from the fact that a Green Belt is likely to spur the expansion of areas a great deal further away from the middle of the city, increasing urban spread. Urban sprawl has become a genuine predicament in Ottawa, Canada, in the suburbs of both Kanata and Orleans. Other problems, such as travelling difficulties and land reserve issues, can develop with this.

A Green Belt has its pros and cons, but it is more optimistic concerning its effects on the environment. Conserving water, regulating temperature and giving a home for wildlife are three important priorities relating to a Green Belt. It is a move in the right direction, even according to its many critics.