TRANQUILITY is – quite simply – probably the lowest-energy house ever built.
But make no mistake. Before anyone raises claims of ‘zero energy houses’, it should be clearly understood that in this project ‘energy used’ is measured before any on-site generation of power. It describes net energy consumption within the building itself.
It is so easy to build a ‘zero energy’ building if, for example, a wood boiler keeps it warm, or a water turbine in a convenient nearby stream supplies the required energy. I know some houses that generate maybe 6 Kw of electricity on site in order to make the zero claim. But we don’t all have convenient streams or woods, or access to enough external wood to power our buildings on site. If enough energy were being generated on site (possibly with any excess being exported to the National Grid), the amount used in the building would simply be disguising the fact that the building itself was energy inefficient.
All the thinking is from first principles, and the outcome involves many solutions that to the best of our knowledge have not been tried elsewhere.
©Tranquility Houses 2010