Sustainable House Design
for carbon neutral kit homes
Building a kit home using sustainable house design systems is achievable
with a well thought out plan and some good research. Kit homes aren't
necessarily the most carbon neutral structures as manufacturers are
working to a budget that is set by the market rather than aiming for a
zero net energy home.
Sustainable urban living is attainable with a
coordinated approach using simple green home designs, including products
and home features that reduce the carbon footprint to a 'zero energy
Green home designs
Ideal roofing design can have:
- Green roofing or 'living roofs' such as 'sod' over waterproof membranes which insulates the house
- Reflective roofing has high solar reflectance such as zinc galvanized sheeting or 'cool roofs' which are painted white
The best home insulation system utilises:
- High insulation 'R' values
- Attic insulation products
- Under roof insulation such as batts
- Cathedral ceiling insulation
- Crawl space insulation
Timber frame or steel frame cladding materials such as:
- High density, rigid polystyrene providing continuous thermal insulation
- Composite cladding such as Biowood
- Living walls: uses permaculture solutions to create a green insulating walls
- Straw bale houses use bales of straw, wheat, rice or oats as wall cladding
- Rammed earth homes use raw materials such as earth, clay, lime and gravel creating high thermal mass walls.
- Building stone houses or using stone cladding for houses significantly increases thermal mass
Green design strategies
- The 'equator' facing eave and window
setup to receive warmth in the winter when the sun is low and shade
when the sun is high in summer.
- Orientating the house to face the equator.
- Utilising the best home insulation products in strategic areas.
- Using thermal mass to store excess solar energy.
- Designing breezeways to dissipate heat
- Strategic windows for cross ventilation and clerestory windows to vent heated air
Solar power generation and solar power storage
Wind power generators
Ways to save energy
- Energy star refrigerators and washing machines
- Energy star water heaters and air conditioners
- Energy star light bulbs
- Master switch to turn off appliances on standby
- Recycled homes: renovating, converting barns etc.
- Recycled wood flooring
- Recycled roofing
Sustainable house design is a choice the kit builder should make at
the very beginning of the project. Adding green home designs later
cannot substitute for structural and positional set-outs.
There's more Sustainable pages here...
or Return to Kit home basics home page