Wednesday, November 23, 2005

NCC Concept House - the house without energy bills: community

The building is well insulated and has a good layout and intelligently selected installations. The use of solar energy and the rigidity of the building sections mean that the additional energy required for heating and cooling the building is minimal.

Solar cells and wind-power plants provide the direct electrical power required for the building’s daily operation. Surplus energy is stored in batteries and hydrogen-gas tubes for use at night and during the winter months. The building is heated by the surplus heat generated from the production and use of hydrogen gas. Energy wells are used for cooling.

Other aspects of the building are also more environmentally compatible compared with current construction practices.

Functionallity and use of design:
The Concept House is a 900-square-meter conference facility that can accommodate groups of up to 50 people, including 15 overnight guests.
Exterior: The building comprises two parts – the main body of the building and the energy spoiler. The main body is extremely well insulated, which means minimal additional energy is required for heating and cooling. The energy spoiler is made of transparent solar cells (585 square meters) and also protects the building from wind chill.

Two 30-meter-high wind turbines are located behind the building, and additional solar panels (375 square meters) are positioned on the roof of the parking lot.

Interior: Bright and open layout on two levels with large, well-insulated windows. Entrance level: lobby, bar, kitchen, dining room, elevator and combined bedrooms/meeting rooms. Upper level: auditorium, lounge, sauna and combined bedrooms/meeting rooms.

The building also contains other innovative solutions, such as transparent solar-cell panels, transparent insulation, daylight via fiberoptics for lighting purposes, a hydrogen-gas sauna and foldable sleeping/meeting modules.

The building also has a so-called “technology wall” where guests can monitor the building’s energy consumption and generation in real time.

Drawbacks of life improvement:
The NCC Concept House is not commercially feasible today. Although all technology included is available and working, the price tag for the building would exceed that of a “normal” building by more than 100%. However, as has been the case with almost all other modern technologies, increased demands could considerably lower the price and not only make the Concept House commercially feasible but also generate a demand for similar technologies in other building types.


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