The Florida Solar Cracker House – an energy efficient, solar-powered home

What is passive house?

  •  A passive house is a building in which a comfortable interior climatecan be maintained without active heating and cooling systems.
  •  The house heats and cools itself, hence “passive”.
  • cost-effective
  • Passive design is design that does not require mechanical heating or   cooling.
  • Homes that are passively designed take advantage of natural energy flows to maintain thermal comfort.

Following are the basic features that distinguish passive house construction:

  • Compact form and good insulation.
  • Southern orientation and shade considerations {0.15 W/(m²K) }
  • Energy-efficient window glazing and frames {0.80 W/(m²K) , 50% }
  • Passive preheating of fresh air (above 5°C )
  • Hot water supply using regenerative energy sources

Incorporating the principles of passive design :

  • Significantly improves comfort.
  • Reduces or eliminates heating and cooling bills.
  • Reduces greenhouse gas emissions from heating, cooling, mechanical  ventilation and lighting.

INTRODUCTION :

  • location & area : The house is near the middle of 60 acre southwest of Jacksonville , North Florida.
  • Designed by: Randy Cullom & his wife  L.Elizabeth

What is the climate of north Florida?

  • From mid-April to mid-October is generally hot and humid.
  • Daytime temperature varies from 90 – 70 *f.
  • Cool nights and warm, but not hot, days, and low to    moderate humidity.
  • December and January can be cold, with several to about a dozen freezing spells.
  • Rainfall is more uniform throughout the year in northern Florida.
  • Cool season rainfall (meaning the 6 months from mid-October until mid-April), from 2″ to 4″ per month.       

Features:

  • South-facing windows and doors
  • Windows are designed to reflect heat
  • No flat ceilings to allow air to stagnate
  • Both parts of the house are very open• windows or doors on each wall for good cross-ventilation.
  • Isolate the hot, humid kitchen and bath areas from the remaining living space
  • A cupola provides a very efficient way to bring natural light inside without allowing direct radiation to enter the house.
  • Most important building material in house is wood ( timber )
  • Cistern which can be used to collect rainwater for all household water needs
  • No fossil fuels
  • Use of the Composting Toilet (black water and gray water)
  • In a typical household, 35 to 45% of all household potable water is flushed down the toilet
  • Wooden cook stove
  •  Hot water for household use is mainly provided by a solar collector.
  • Able to generate a current or voltage when exposed to visible light or other electromagnetic radiation

The two-story greenhouse :

  • Temperature-moderating thermal mass .
  • Passive solar heating in the winter.
  • Open to the kitchen .
  • Food production.
  • 2500 square foot organic garden.
  • High level openable windows capture winter sun & create cooling currents in summer.
  • No Stagnancy of wind

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