03 Adobe Skytherm Home Plans
03 ADOBE SKYTHERM HOME
Living Area: 67.46 m2 | 726 sq.ft.
Occupants: 2 Adults, 1 Child, Pets
Humid Middle Latitude Climates
Should more than 600 million houses, which are required to house the world's homeless population, be built in a single row, they would spin around the circumference of the Earth nearly a hundred times over. It is unlikely that even half of these homes will ever be built using modern building materials such as bricks, cement and plastics. Thus, it is no wonder that traditional building materials
such as bamboo, wood, grasses, lime, pozzolanas, stone, cloth, animal skins and of course, soils would continue to be used.
The vast majority of urban and rural households around the world cannot afford to purchase even the cheapest modern house. Should world economy continue to worsen at current rate in the 21st Century, while cement and brick prices continue to rise being due to rising energy cost, the fraction of households that could still be able to afford modern housing will become even smaller.
Hence, making use of traditional building materials and patented passive solar systems, were the guiding principles on which this organic house design was based.
'Adobe' is a word commonly used to describe employing earth as a building material in places such Mexico, the southwest USA, and Spain, so stabilised earth – being one of the cheapest, most abundant building materials, has been used to design the walls of this house. Earth provides excellent heat insulation, so indoors, an adobe building is cooler in summer and hotter in winter, than a building made of steel and concrete. Structurally speaking, earth is difficult to squash, and thus makes good walls.
The alternative material for building walls of this eco-house is Pumice-crete, a low density concrete made from pumice aggregate, portland cement, and water, The walls are very durable,
fireproof, possess fine soundproofing qualities, and are very aesthetically pleasing because they can be formed to suit a vatiety of architectural forms and styles.
Skytherm® Roof Pond, patented by architect Harold Hay, has been incorporated in the design. The roof is made of water bags covered with movable insulating panels. During your winter season, the panels should be left open during the day to allow sun's heat to be absorbed and transferred into the house; at night, the panels are closed to conserve the heat. In the summer this process is reversed to close the panels during the day, thus insulating the water bags from the sun's heat and allowing heat to be drawn from the inside, whilst at night such would be left open to allow the water's heat radiation to the night sky above. The panels are rolled either manually or mechanically, using a 1/4hp reversible motor.
The rather unorthodox building form of this Eco-House can easily be derived thanks to the plasticity of earth as a highly moldable material, as well as the principles of Organic Architectural form, which suggests that there are no straight lines, symmetry, or right angles in Nature, implying that buildings should also be shaped accordingly. The aerodynamic walls also provide minimum resistance to strong winds and sandstorms, often found in Hot Dry climates for which this building is ideally suited. The parapet walls projected above the flat roof can be easily shaped and molded to your taste, giving your Eco-House an original, 'one-of-a-kind' look.
|Ground Floor Plan||m2||sq.ft||m2||sq.ft|
|Living & Dining||
|Total Ground Floor:||67.46||726|
REGISTER OF WORKING DRAWINGS (PLANS)
|Drawing Title||Sheet Size||Sheet Size||Sheet Size||Number of Sheets|
|Joinery Details (Doors & Windows)||A2||4|
|Specifications of Eco-building Materials & Products||A4||Complete Set|
|Materials Quantity List||A3||1|
|Interior Finishing Details||A2||1|
ECOTECTURAL DESIGN FEATURES
Feature 1: Earth, as Building Material
Earth buildings have been with us for over 10,000 years and they have not changed much in that time. They are warm in winter and cool in summer. They are laid out to take advantage of the sun, need little attention and pay off in clean air and low maintenance. Earth is a sound, sustainable building material that has proven its durability and viability in every climate.
Nowadays, there are about 3 billion people living in earthen structures, which underscores the significance of earthen construction around the world. For instance, about 15% of French population lives in earthen buildings, some of which are over 500 years old.
Our designs make use of stabilised soil, enhanced by bitumen, cement and lime, to improve the strength and resistance to water of the earthen walls. The walls can be built of sun-dried bricks, wattle and daub, lumps of ill-formed clay, rammed earth or building blocks, accordingly.
The term most commonly applied to earth building is "Adobe Construction" but there are many different names for various uses of earth in building. Different societies have used earth in different ways, and have given the technique many names:
|Word in use...||Used in…|
|Adobe||Mexico, southwest USA, Spain|
|Bauge, Torchis, Pisé||France|
|Nogging, Wattle and Daub||UK|
|Sod/Soddys||USA (Nebraska, Kansas)|
|Tapia||Africa, Australia, Zimbabwe|
|Tubali||Nigeria, West Africa|
Of the various traditional building materials available, earth is the most widely used, and will remain so long into the foreseeable future.
Earth is cheap, plentiful, an excellent insulator, and strong in compression. Its plasticity makes it quite a sculptural
material, that can be shaped and molded using many an aesthetic expression.
In regions of hot, dry summers and cold winters, earth buildings can be built without insulation, since its mass
provides a "thermal flywheel" that moderates temperature swings and ensures a comfortable home.
In less sunny areas, it is advisable to provide insulation, such as foam board applied to external face of walls, then plastered over with stucco cement or mud plaster.
Building with earth requires a lot of hands-on work. However, if the Eco-House is owner-built, using materials found on site, it can be most inexpensive.
The major concern with earth is seismic resistance. Classic earth buildings have withstood centuries of earthquakes as their buttressed walls are relatively thick as compared to their height, and are topped with sturdy wood beams.
The mix for the walls (sand/clay content and waterproofing compounds used to keep the blocks from deteriorating in the rain), careful detailing at foundation and roof, and the integration of reinforcing frames, are all extremely important for your eco-home's solidity and longevity, forming the basis of our design.
Feature 2: Skytherm® Roof Pond
a) Water-filled polythene bags on a steel-deck roofing, covered with polyurethane panels that can slide, bifold or roll, either manually or mechanically, to cover or exposethe bags;
b) Winter heating by day;
c) Winter heating by night;
d) Summer cooling by day;
e) Summer cooling by night.
Roof ponds, such as the Harold Hay's SKYTHERM® system, have been designed and used in hot dry climates of
Arizona and New Mexico in the USA, but also in moderate temperatures such as that of the California coast.
The roof pond, or SKYTHERM®, places the thermal mass in the roof structure. It depends on a switchable, exterior
insulation scheme, making it effective for heating and cooling alike. In the heating mode, the insulation is deployed by night, while in the cooling mode, it is deployed by day. The thermal mass, such as water in the containers, must remain in direct thermal contact with the interior of the building. A structural steel deck is a typical thermal connector for the system.
Effectiveness of the SKYTHERM® system has been well displayed in a 140.55m2 single-storey house in Shiraz, Iran, where it reduced the heating demands by 86% and cooling loads by 52%.