A Swedish family moved into a ‘climate-smart’ wooden house equipped with advanced energy efficiency measures and switched to an electric car this week as part of a project to lead a ‘one tonne life’.
House manufacturers A-hus, energy company Vattenfall and carmaker Volvo launched the ‘One Tonne Life’ project to demonstrate what it means in practical terms to live a low-carbon lifestyle.
“Our goal is to make low-energy wooden houses available to a broad market. More people should be able to live climate-smart – without compromising on comfort, function or design,” says Peter Mossbrant, president of A-hus.
The energy efficient house was designed by architect Gert Wingårdh, featuring a black roof and the south-facing solar panels, protruding framework around each window, a wind-catcher in the entry hall and a large veranda running along the living room.
The house, which will go on sale at the end of the month, has triple-layer insulated walls and minimal air leakage. The roof and foundations are also insulated, and the windows and doors are low-energy. The wind-catcher in the entry hall prevents airflow between the inside and outside.
The protruding window frames provide shade when the sun is high in summer, but maximise light in the winter when the sun is low.
The house has a ventilation unit removing poor-quality air and bringing in fresh air, while recycling heat from the spent air.
Most of the house’s heating needs are met through the incoming air, heat generated by the occupants themselves and household appliances, although there is underfloor heating downstairs.
Solar panels on the house and carport generate enough electricity to power the house, provide backup heating and charge up the family’s Volvo C30 electric car between April and October. In the winter months, the house’s electricity is topped up with renewable electricity from Vattenfall.
The Lindell family, which will live the ‘one tonne life’ for six months, beat off fierce competition from 50 other families to be the guinea-pigs.
“We’ve always liked adventures and challenges, and working out a climate-smart lifestyle is just about the most exciting thing imaginable. We’re getting the chance to gain unique expertise for ourselves at the same time as we inspire others,” says father Nils.
The family’s carbon emissions will be watched over and analysed by experts from the Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg and the City of Stockholm’s Environment and Health Administration.
For further information:
21 January 2011