Monarto architect’s house in laboratory mode 1.The original construction focused on the ‘climate response’ passive warming & cooling the building could achieve. From this on-going experience and data has been accumulating.
To assist in this, temperature/humidity read-outs were mounted and tracked.
Owner InteractionThis web site inevitably focuses on the physical aspects of building development.
While a substantial part of building energy efficiency and ecologically sustainable development relies on the hardware, appliances and systems; just as important are the human contribution.
The way people live, behave, and utilise their environment decides whether all the architect's efforts are successful, or alternatively are in vain.
The best ESD project can be compromised by unthinking consumerist behaviour.
An energy efficient building can accrue its occupants large financial benefits when used intelligently.
A substantial part of the architect's task is to empower homeowners, building occupiers and users to gain these benefits. This is done for homeowners by the inevitable and often informal education that occurs between architect and client during the design phase of their own project.
A successful interaction leaves the homeowner afterward feeling that they knew all this stuff all along.
For building occupiers, the architect provides operating manuals, and induction training. The 'publications' file on this web site refers to such 'self published' material by this architect.
What occupiers can do for themselvesThere is an attitude that comes with successful building demand management.
The building is set up each morning and evening to anticipate the expected weather conditions. In summer the building is night time flushed to a low temperature, is closed early in the day to maintain passive 'coolth'; and is then opened mid-morning to the 'climate response' principles on this web site to achieve cross ventilation.
Over time this has become a habit which requires no thinking; it just happens. The benefit is that the available energy is sufficient to live comfortably in the building without external costs nor power shortages.
High energy draw appliances like the washing machine are used on sunny days, when the solar power system is fully charged, and outside drying is practicable.
Computers are only switched on when there is a stack of work to do (including writing this web site), thereby avoiding 'stand by' ghost load energy losses from the solar power system.
The refrigerator is sized down, because appropriate foods are stored in the ventilated pantry instead. Energy use is further reduced by switching off the refrigerator during low heat load periods, including overnight when internal temperature holds due to low environmental ambient temperature.
Demand management is not about 'going without'. It can be about putting on warm clothing rather than turning on heating - if the occupants wish. To some people, this represents 'value for money'; to others it is an intolerable lifestyle intrusion.
Each family makes its own choice of where effective demand management and a quality lifestyle meet.
The architect's contribution is to ensure that the building works passively. This permits the occupant decision often to be deferred, because building comfort is maintained steady for longer.
For occupants who think ahead, the energy efficient building provides more options and hands-on control of features to maintain comfort; as is described in the 'climate response' sections of this web site.