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A house seen from a life times perspective

 

How much energy does a house consume during its lifetime? We have found out.

 

A newly built house affects the environment in several different ways. It begins with the choice of materials, and how the raw materials are processed and prepared. Then the actual building procedure together with the manufacture and transport. Finally the house should remain for at least 100 years and needs energy for heat and electricity. When the house has completed its life cycle, there will be an environmental effect for demolition and disposal of its waste.

When KarlsonHus began developing the EKOMER concept, it was of vital importance to see the house in a long and comprehensive perspective. That was why we decided to commission the Swedish Environmental Research Institute IVL (Svensk Miljöinstitutet IVL) to run a life cycle analysis on a standard house, contra an EKOMER house, to compare how these affect natures' resources during their life time. The result was clearly in favour of EKOMER.

At the manufacture stage both concepts worked well. Timber is a renewable raw material, demanding relatively little energy in processing. The energy employed during the manufacture and build process is only a fraction of the houses' total energy consumption during its operational lifetime. However when the house is finally constructed things begin to happen. It's now that all EKOMER's advantages begin to tell, at all levels.

 

The dense, very effective cellulose insulation retains the heat and therefore reduces the energy required for heating. The change over from mineral wool to cellulose means a decrease in the total energy consumption from 52,000 to 19,000MJ, ie a total of 63%. Instead of cellplast (polystyrene) under the foundation slab, the recycled glass product, Hasopor is used in EKOMER. That gives a reduction of energy requirement from ca 76,000 to 30,000MJ, ie a total of 61%.

 

Besides that EKOMER offers the possibility to use renewable energy sources. All houses are prepared for the connection of a water jacketed pellets stove. Pellets are a bio fuel with low emissions. The use of solar panels is positive in an EKOMER house to reduce energy requirement. Solar energy is a so called free source.

 

Already from year 1 the EKOMER house gives an obviously reduced environmental effect, particularly when it comes to resource consumption and CO2 exhaust emission. After 100 years the positive effect has been greatly increased, and not least the EKOMER house owner will notice  economy in the wallet.

 

According to a newly released report from the World Wildlife Foundation, WWF, planet earth exceeds the total global consumption by 30%. If you choose EKOMER then you are siding with those who are battling to save our climate.

 

If you wish to read the life cycle analysis report in full, from the Swedish Environmental Research Institute IVL (Svensk Miljöinstitutet IVL), please get in touch and we'll forward to you in .pdf format.

 

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