Case Study for Sustainable/Ecological Housing
In response to the growing consumer demand for sustainably
conscious housing, a number of different sustainable, ecological,
eco-friendly, or low-energy housing options have been
created. With eco-homes, such as the Osborne Demonstration
House in Watford, developers seek to make individual single-family
homes more energy efficient using innovative architectural design
and start-of-the-art appliances (Appendices F, G, H; Energy Saving
Trust, 2007; Osborne, 2006). Green construction schemes like
Millennium Green in Nottinghamshire, extrapolate the concept of the
eco-home to an entire housing development (Appendices I, J, K;
Freerain, Ltd., 2007; Sponge, 2005). Bed ZED in London is an
example of a large sustainable development that features energy
efficient homes, community facilities, and workspaces, trying to
amalgamate sustainability, notions of "living a green lifestyle,"
and new urbanism (White, 2002). Tinker's Bubble in south
Somerset, a low-impact settlement, takes a different approach to
green living by minimizing the ecological footprint of the
development and its residents.
This report examines a recently constructed sustainable housing
development in the UK, the Hockerton Housing Project (HHP).
The first section presents a description of the selected project
with photographs and sketches. The second section discusses
the sustainable characteristics (features of design and materials
selected) of the development and building structures. The
last section offers the results of the sustainable efforts.
Attached appendices feature sketches, design specifications,
photographs, and other pertinent information for the HHP and two
other sustainable projects, the Osborne Demonstration and
The Sustainable efforts of the HHP seem to have yielded positive
results. Figure 5 compares the energy usage of homes at the
Hockerton development to that of conventional housing and homes
built under zero heating and zero CO2 schemes. Hockerton
homes consume one-third the energy of conventionally built housing
units and about one-half the energy of zero CO2 homes.
Through the use of innovative design and high thermal mass
construction materials, Hockerton creators have been able to
stabilize the indoor temperatures of the homes, adding to the
units' energy efficiency and the comfort of the residents.
Figures 6 and 7 show the temperatures in the bathroom, kitchen,
conservatory, and bedroom during cold and warm weeks. During
a cold week when the outside temperature is from -5°C to 10°C, the
temperatures of the internal rooms are nearly stable at 16°C.
This indoor temperature stability is impressive considering none of
the housing units have central or secondary heating systems (HHP,
2007). During a warm week when the outside temperature is
from -10°C to 35°C, the temperatures of the internal rooms average
25°C. The units' orientation, well-ventilating design, and
self-shading additions (e.g., blinds) reduce sun glare and the
amount of heat entering the homes.