Friday, 12 June 2015

Zero Energy Home with One Kit in One Week

Credit: Fast Company

It’s almost too good to be true: a group of innovators in the Netherlands have created a device that could turn an old house into net-zero energy homes in just a little over a week. How neat is that?

The device was invented to show that you don’t have to be loaded or extremely environmentally conscious to be able to own a net-zero energy home, and the point the project is meant to start will be the mid-century, low-income rental houses that all share similar layouts. What the kit includes is a system of prefab parts that can be easily installed on existing properties, from a roof covered in solar panels to facades onto old walls without the need of demolition, and a cube-shaped energy module that holds everything necessary for the generation of sustainable heat, hot water, power and ventilation.

The best thing of all? The kit is also designed to ensure that the retrofits will cause the least disruption to the lives of the renters. According to Linda van Leeuwen of the BAM Group, one of the construction companies behind the project, residents won’t have to move out; if anything, they’re only required to move the sofa or television a bit for the removal of window frames to make room for the installation of new front and back façade.

With the advancement in technology and increased support from material suppliers, the cost of the project has dropped drastically from USD144,000 two years ago to USD45,000 per townhouse today. Needless to say, utility bills for the renters will drop just as exponentially, for now their houses will be able to create renewable energy by themselves.

The system is said to work in many different world countries, and we in Hong Kong can only hope the engineers could come and make the net-zero energy houses a reality here! 

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