In places where temperatures can drop to 0 degrees C or lower during winter, heating units are absolutely essential. This means more electricity is needed and, as a result, more fossil fuels are burned. But a home in Sweden has come up with a much more innovative attachment to keep the house warm during the harsh winter. And it only uses the natural heat of the Sun!
The home is located in Sweden’s capital Stockholm. The unique feature of the house is that a greenhouse is built around it. This means, even during winter, it always remains warm. The eco-friendly home belongs to Charles Sacilotto, Marie Granmar, and a young son. The glass that surrounds their house is 4 millimeters thick. The installation cost for the glass was approximately $84,000.
The Inspiration Behind The House
Needless to say, the house’s unique design helps it remain warm regardless of the temperature outside. Bengt Warne, an eco-architect from Sweden and Sacilotto’s mentor, was the one who inspired the design. He had first designed a house inside a greenhouse back in 1974. He had called the house “Nature House” or in Swedish, “Naturhus”.
Like a normal greenhouse, the heat of the sun is captured by the glass during the daytime. The trapped heat is enough to heat up the bedrock underneath the house. As a result, during nighttime, the heated bedrock stores enough heat to keep the house warm during nighttime as well.
Sacilotto confirms that the temperature inside the home can be between 15 and 20C [59 and 68F] when the outside temperature is as low as -2C [28 F]. Furthermore, the roof has a balcony that lets the family enjoy normal summer activities such as sunbathing.
But, even with the greenhouse system, sometimes the winter is just too cold for the house to keep warm using only the sun’s heat. Sometimes, the temperature outside can drop into negative figures. At that time, the temperature inside can become cold as well. Just for that, there is traditional heating and insulation fitted in the house. The difference is that they are used very sparsely compared to other regular homes.
The Heating Is Not The Only Unique System
The eco-friendliness of the house is not limited to its heating systems alone. It can actually run by itself for most of the family’s basic needs. The family has a rainwater collection system to get what’s needed for the household and the plants. The kitchen and garden waste is turned into compost.
Sacilotto, who taught himself engineering, built the sewage system of the home all on his own. He explains that the system has a toilet that separates urine. It then uses cisterns, centrifuges, garden ponds, and grow beds to filter the wastewater. The solid remains are turned into compost.
He explains that the idea behind his home is not about living inside a greenhouse. Rather, he wants to make sure he lives while being as nature-friendly as possible. He calls it living “in another world”.
The family also gets their own produce from the greenhouse. This includes herbs, figs, grapes, tomatoes, and cucumbers. Normally, a lot of these products can’t be found in Sweden during winter. Plus, since they use solar power, they also save on electricity bills. There is not much damage to worry about either since the elements do not actually get to the house.
As for safety, the glass is security grade, so even in the off chance that it breaks, the pieces will be too small to harm anyone. According to Sacilotto, the only disadvantage is that summers can become really hot. But they have a roof opening that lets them control the temperature to an extent for such times.
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