Model illustrating sustainable architectural features and functions

Above: Model created by the author during his Endeavor Fellowship in 2012 (Ministry of Education New Zealand). Host -University of Waikato. Fellowship managed by The Royal Society of New Zealand. 

  * EBook will be published by the end of January 2018.To be announced on this page.

Front cover of eBook (preliminary). Book in progress. Not available yet. 

Back cover of eBook (preliminary). Book in progress. Not available yet.

Model Sustainable Architecture: Harvesting sun energy, wind energy and rainwater.


 The model illustrates how sustainable features and functions work in sustainable architectural design; harvesting of the energy from sun, energy from the wind, and the harvesting of rainwater. It also includes illustrations of passive solar design and passive ventilation. See additional tutorials on this channel touching in-depth on all sustainable components and systems.


Model architecture, sustainable architecture, harvesting energy from the sun, harvesting wind energy, harvesting rainwater, passive solar, passive ventilation, wind turbine, photovoltaic panel, solar panel, solar thermal panel, green roof, clerestory, grey water tank, white water tank, water filter, louvers, vents, stack, LED lights, transmitter, receiver, 12 volt DC, heatsink, thermal mass, deciduous landscaping, sun’s position, triple glazed windows, servo.


CHAPTER 1: Overview of the model: Sustainable House

CHAPTER 2: Illustration of model aircraft (Stryker jet by Parkzone). Focus on servos (movement).

CHAPTER 3: Illustration of the flight of the Stryker Jet - remote controlled jet (model).

CHAPTER 4: Illustration of some of the sustainable features and functions of the House Model: passive solar, passive ventilation and more.

CHAPTER 5: Images of the first House Model and the evolvement into the new model. Images include the construction phases of the new model.

ADDITIONAL TUTORIALS: See more in-depth tutorials on all the sustainable aspects touched on in the YouTube video channel of the author.


Back of the model: Sustainable Architecture



The back of the model illustrates the small wind turbine, servos, receiver, battery pack, electrical cables, transmitter, water pump, water tanks, LED, and photovoltaic regulator.


Small wind turbine, servos, receiver, electrical cables, water pump, water tanks, louvers, photovoltaic panel, regulator, LEDs, transmitter, battery pack.

See more illustrations of the SUSTAINABLE ARCHITECTURE MODEL on this channel (YouTube): William van Zyl

Read more at:

LED Lights in context of the world’s energy use: Sustainable Architecture

Description: Overview of the progression from incandescent lights to LED lights (light emitting diodes) and the saving of power (sustainable architecture). Focus is on solar (photovoltaic) power, wind power, batteries, and LED lights as a renewable source of energy in a sustainable architectural context. Statics of the world’s consumption of fossil fuels, the lifespan of LEDs, and the world’s use of renewable energy are discussed.


Renewable energy, fossil fuels, LED lights, light emitting diodes, photovoltaic panels, wind power, 12-volt batteries, dynamo, incandescent light, spiral fluorescent light, lifespan, spiral fluorescent lamp, magnets, armature, sustainable architecture.


Chapter 1: Introduction to LED's 

Chapter 2: How a dynamo powers a LED light (3 volt).

Chapter 3: Life span of LED light compared to typical old incandescent lamps

Chapter 4: Looking at the world's energy use from a global perspective. Fossil fuels and renewable energy compared. A quick calculation of the amount of barrels of oil used in the world in 2013 (online calculator).

Chapter 5: Charts comparing fossil fuels with renewable energy use (global perspective). Focus on photovoltaic panels, wind power, batteries (12 volt DC) and LED lights.   

See more at:


Illustrating the function of thermal mass and heatsinks (Passive Solar-Sustainable Architecture)

Credit thumbnail YouTube:“All the buildings are southwestern adobe in style”.By Karol M from Arizona, USA - Flickr, CC BY 2.0,


The tutorial illustrates how heatsinks and thermal masses absorb and release heat in a passive solar context. The process is illustrated by using a sustainable architecture model, halogen work light (heat source), thermometer, concrete blocks and ceramic tiles.


Passive solar, heatsink, thermal mass, thermometer, ceramic tile, concrete, concrete block, probe, absorb heat, release heat, sustainable architecture model

See more on passive solar design on YouTube channel (William van Zyl):

Link to more resources:

Rainwater Tanks & Solar Thermal Panels: Sustainable Architecture

Credit thumbnail image YouTube: (free images).


In this tutorial the rainwater tanks and solar thermal panels of a house are illustrated and discussed.  A house model is used to practically illustrate how it works. In the context of sustainable architecture, the energy efficiency and the benefits of these sustainable systems are explained. 


Sustainable architecture, rainwater tanks, solar thermal panels, solar collectors, white water tank, grey water tank, cistern, water filter, water pump, sun energy, harvesting heat from the sun, harvesting rainwater, energy efficiency, power saving.

See more at:

Inverter and battery pack: Sustainable Architecture



 The tutorial illustrates how a battery pack powers an inverter. It includes an introduction to current, as well as some details of the inverter, is discussed. It includes the difference between AC and DC current, the input and output, and the appliances the inverter is able to power.


 Inverter, battery pack, sustainable architecture, current, Watt, alternating current (AC), direct current (DC), USB, 5 volts, 500 milliamps, converts 12 volts (DC) to 220 volts (AC), input, output.

 See more at


 Closed captioned YouTube:   

This tutorial illustrates how an 1800 Watt power converter works. It is used to run small electronic devices like an MP3 player, charging a cell phone, and so on. Typically used from a 12 Volt (DC) car battery used in a motor-home, SUV, and a passenger car. What is the difference between alternating current and direct current? Alternating current (AC), is an electric current in which the flow of electric charge periodically reverses direction, whereas, in direct current (DC, also dc), the flow of electric charge is only in one direction. An interesting fact about DC and AC power -alternating current and direct current- is at the very end of the 1800s, American electrical pioneer Thomas Edison (1847-1931) went out of his way to demonstrate that direct current (DC) was a better way to supply electrical power than alternating current (AC), a system backed by his Serbian-born arch-rival Nikola Tesla (1856-1943). Edison tried all kinds of devious ways to convince people that AC was too dangerous, from electrocuting an elephant to (rather cunningly) supporting the use of AC in the electric chair for administering the death penalty. Even so, Tesla's system won the day and the world has pretty much run on AC power ever since. 


Credit background thumbnail YouTube: (public domain-no attribution required).