Environmental friendly production
The local, renewable and abundantly available natural resources can be exploited without significant ecological damage and reused without loss at the end of their life cycle. (cradle to cradle) The manufacturing process is clean. A very low amount of water is used.
Effective climate protection
The plant fibres wood, straw and reed are stocking a large amount of CO2 from the atmosphere. The concept is scalable, adaptable and economic – three criteria for an effective climate protection on a global level.
Energy saving construction
The thermal energy need of houses built with zoë is nearly zero. The modules are ready to capture solar energy substituting external non-renewable energy supply.
Solar passive house
The concept is based on the “passive” usage of the incoming solar radiation and the storage and distribution of the generated warmth inside the building. Thus the need for external energy for heating purposes and the building services infrastructure can be reduced considerably. The performance of the concept depends on the following elements:
- the building geometry, orientation and freedom from shadow
- a well insulated, thermal bridge free and air-tight building envelope
- highly efficient glazings
- the thermal mass available inside
- the recovery of heat loss due to ventilation
The zero carbon building element is offering a very good insulation, a high thermal mass and air-tightness. >figures
The modules are also ready to collect solar energy actively: Heat exchangers may be integrated in the outer clay layer to provide warmth. Such a simple solar collector may be less efficient than a flat plate collector or a tube collector but it is very cheap, low-maintenance and durable. Moreover it does not constrain the design freedom as it is invisible.
For the facades facing south the cladding can be made out of photovoltaic panels. Thus the wall element becomes a hybrid collector. Solar power is the key to go beyond the passive house concept and to produce more energy than the inhabitants consume for heating and mobility purposes.
Wall- / Ceiling-heating
Heat exchangers may be integrated in the inner clay layer too. The heat given off by low temperature wall- and ceiling heating systems is said to be very comfortable and energy saving. Low temperature heating is an ideal complement to heat pumps. The heat registers may also be used for cooling.