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David Saunders, Architect of S2 Design undertook the task of not only designing and building his own home, but also providing a best-practice example of environmentally aware and sustainable living. With specific focus on water and energy consumption, a range of Raven door and window seals were installed throughout the home.
The energy consumption used to heat the home reduced instantly by 50% with the installation of Raven door & window seals throughout - that's a cost saving of around $1,200 per year! Since Raven door & window seals are a cost effective solution to an expensive problem, David found that the Raven seals throughout his home will pay for themselves in less than 2 years.
Other particularly interesting sustainability elements of the home include:
Water supply - 43,400 litres of water is stored in 4 tanks in the basement to provide water for everything except drinking. Current mains water usage is ~30 litres per day for a family of 4 people = 7.5 litres per person.
Hot water - Solar boosting supplies 100% of hot water for around 70% of the year; the remaining heat is provided by a gas booster.
Electricity - Overall electricity use is minimal due to the incorporation of low energy consuming appliances, lighting, efficient sealing and sensible lifestyle practices. 50% of usage is currently subsidised by only seven solar panels.
Air conditioning - is not required in this house due to the combination of high levels of thermal insulation, double glazing with Argon insulated air gaps and the application of simply passive solar principles to ecourage natural heating and cooling.
Lighting - Skylights, windows, glass walls and glass floors allow natural light to flood the entire house. At night, ambient light from the moon, stars and three surrounding street lights is supplemented by LED and compact fluorescent lamps.
Heating - is mainly from the sun and supplemented by a highly efficient gas boosted hydronic radiator heating system. The heating system is monitored by a 'Nest' which documented during the last month of Winter we used 30 hours [total] of heating i.e. around one hour per day to maintain minimum temperatures of 16 degrees Celsius overnight and 18 during the day.
Cooling - There are three separate cooling systems in place: 1. Air is pumped from the cool basement up to the top level living area via an electric fan. 2. Cool humidified air is drawn from the two internal rainforests. 3. Ceiling fans push warm air out through high level windows thus drawing cool air into the house from the ground level courtyards.
Ventilation - Venturi, stack and convection based systems are used to encourage natural air flow, draw fresh air throughout the house and supplement the assisted cooling and heating systems.
Even after the application of all of the above sustainable and energy wise products and processes, David was able to achieve a further reduction of energy use instantly with the installation of Raven Door & Window Seals.
Generally speaking, products designed to reduce energy consumption such as solar panels, double glazing and insulation require a huge financial investment. The installation of Raven door & window seals achieves outstanding results at a minimal cost whilst also increasing the comfort of occupants by reducing the intrusion of draughts, noise and dirt intrusion in the home.