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Below: Poster Endeavor Fellowship 2012 -Sustainable Architecture & Education for Sustainability

Completed poster at the end of the fellowship.   

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The PowerPoint file below (Slideshare) contains some of the basic features and functions of sustainable architectural design. Acknowledgement to Duncan Firth (architect & founder of Solarei) who kindly provided some images and diagrams for this presentation.

Link to Slideshare website:  

Link to Duncan Firth's website:

Link to the Royal Society (NZ):

House Solarei- Passive solar design .pdf House Solarei- Passive solar design .pdf
Size : 10770.175 Kb
Type : pdf


The picture below shows the model built by W van Zyl during his NZ Govt/Royal Society Fellowship at Waikato Uni in 2012. The model illustrates some architectural sustainable features and functions. Model aircraft components were use to show movement of the louvers (effect of the sun). Included are water tanks (harvesting rain water), a solar thermal panel (preheat water for hot water cylinder), photovoltaic panels and batteries (harvesting power from the sun), a green roof, and a small wind turbine (harvesting wind energy). A 12 volt battery provides the power for the house and is charged via solar panels. A small wind turbine is mounted to the top of the roof to illustrate how the wind energy is harvested. On the roof is a solar thermal panel (plastic tubes filled with water) which preheats the water for the hot water cylinder, saving power in the process. Small water tanks (model aircraft fuel tanks) act as reservoirs (water tanks) to store the rain water harvested from the roofs. A cluster LED light provides light to the interior of the building. LED's are about 70% more energy efficient than incandescent lighting (standard lighting as we know it). A green roof is installed, not shown here, which covers parts of the roof to keep the building cool. The sedum (grass) on the roof increases the quality of the oxygen around the dwelling. Photosynthesis is the process by which plants, shrubs, trees, etc., converts CO2 into fresh oxygen. The fresh oxygen improves the quality of the air around  the building which in effect impacts on the quality of the lives of the inhabitants of the dwelling. A clerestory ('stack roof') sits on top of the main roof, it is shown sitting on top of the v-shaped roof in the picture below. It provides additional windows that would allow more sun into the building. If the clerestory is constructed of a good 'heat sink' type building material (e.g. concrete blocks) it is able to store and absorb the sun's heat effectively and the heat could then be released during the cold winter months to heat up the interior of the building. The heat locked into the brick/concrete (thermal mass) during the winter season will be slowly released during the day and towards the end of the day and heat up the building, saving electrical power. Deciduous landscaping, not shown in this picture, is trees planted and positioned to the north of the building (location southern hemisphere) that shed it's leaves  during winter and allow the sun to reach the building in winter and will then heat up the bricks/concrete in the walls/structure. This is an important consideration when thermal mass is considered and implemented in the overall design. During summer the foliage of the trees will act as a sun screen and will block the warm rays of the sun from reaching the building. This requires technical skills and experience like the choice of deciduous trees, the position of the trees, the distance of the trees away from the building, the height of the trees and so on. Passive ventilation is the natural way the air flows through the building in an unassisted manner. The objective is to use the minimum energy, or no energy at all, to make all this happen. It means that planning an effective sustainable building could reduce the amount of energy used throughout its life time, saving money and resources. This specific perspective on architecture and building construction will have a profound impact on the earth's resources in future.

The above model (partially completed): Illustrates the passive solar functions, movement, and some other sustainable features and functions. See the water tanks (white translucent plastic aircraft tanks situated at the front) which stores the rain water harvested from the roof.The louvers move up and down remotely and act as a sunscreen to manipulate the amount of sunlight that enters the building at any given time through the windows. A model plane remote control system controls some of the movement of the components in the model (louvers). See more images of the model below. Hover with the cursor over the images to read the caption. 

Above image: The completed model illustrating sustainability features and functions for effective architectural design.