It’s hard to make anything energy-efficient, especially an entire house. However, Active House was truly up for the challenge.
Active House is a non-profit with a simple goal. The organization wants to make better buildings, in order to “create healthier and more comfortable lives for their occupants.” After all, you spend a lot of time at home, why not enjoy it?
However, non-profit’s mission isn’t just to create a comfy space, but also make it nice for the environment.
The skylights and motorized shades all tie into the energy plan for this home.
If you think it’s hard to put “energy-efficient” and “technology” into the same sentence, try putting them into a home. However, Great Gulf made it happen in Thorold, Ontario, using a dual-zone HVAC system and Somfy’s TaHomA home automation system, which manages all of the motorized window coverings, lights and thermostats.
The finished home has over 40 lighting loads, 23 motorized roller shades, 10 motorized skylights and three thermostats. It sounds like a lot of technology, but it’s all incorporated into the home’s “Energy Triangle.” That’s a fancy way to describe the home’s natural light, artificial light, and temperature and how the three work together — and work with the Somfy system.
Specifically, the house was designed to maximum natural light, so that no artificial lighting is needed during the day. Then at night, the occupants can adjust the temperature in each bedroom, without having to crank it up throughout the rest of the house.
TaHomA’s interface can be accessed through computers, tablets and smartphones, both in and outside of the home. However, it also offers a “set it and forget it” approach, by automating daylight, ventilation and artificial light so that nothing is wasted.
Other features of the home include low-flow faucets, LED lighting, built-in rainwater harvesting, solar thermal panels, and more. For more information about this home and other Active House projects, check out the non-profit’s website.
Ventilation, low-flow faucets and LED lighting are also part of this home.