Sunday, 28 November 2010

Anthony's Trail: Ivo's Greenhouse

In the previous Blog post we shared some hints and tips on how to reduce your energy consumption in the home. This helpful information was passed on by Anthony (Greenhouse member) who attended a Grudtvig workshop in Lisbon, which was organised by a certain 5elemento, a Portugese NGO that focuses on sustainable energy and much of the information and presentations published in the recent blogs were prepared by Jose and Pedro, our friends from 5elemento
So, we've already seen what little things we can do to make our homes more energy efficient without spending much time or effort on it. 
Now, I'd like to introduce Ivo:
(Put pic 2 here)
Ivo is from Kuldiga in Latvia, a country were the temperature is below 0'C for most of the year and where it often goes below -40'C. This kind of climate is very hard to imagine for people who live in a country with such a mild climate, where we never ever have sub-zero temperatures (except for in walk-in freezers!). To get an idea of what it's like in Latvia in winter, the water pipes often freeze up during the worst part of the winter. Soil often freezes for the metre or so under ground. Let's just say it's pretty difficult to keep warm
Ivo had an incredible idea. He decided to build his own home from scratch. Apart from the daunting idea of designing building a timber house from scratch, only with the help of family and friends, Ivo also decided to make his home as energy efficient as humanly possible. He knew this would entail a lot of planning, hard work and a good bit of money, but he didn't let that get him down and he went for it. 

One of the most important aspects that Ivo had to consider when designing his house was good insulation. He used a type of insulation very popular in Baltic States called ISOPLAAT which is a composite material which provides very effective insulation. The photo shows Ivo's wife admiring the ISOPLAAT on the half-constructed house. He also used some interesting methods of heating, he built his own floor heating (shown in the next photo) and also created a great system for his furnace which circulated the whole house

When asked whether it was honestly worth all the work to create an energy efficient home he replied simply, "100%". 

Here's a powerpoint presentation about Ivo's Green-house, in which he explains how he carried out this great work, with details on the insulation, heating systems and chimneys. 

Ivo's Home Pt 1

Ivo's Home Pt 2

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