Future House Community Expo in Beijing to CloseJul 09 2014 · 0 comments · NISHKIAN MONKS, Sustainable ·0
Six years ago ten countries from around the globe have been invited to participate in the Future House International Sustainable Energy Community Project Exposition at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing as part of China’s effort to promote energy-saving strategies and construction that will have a minimal impact on the global environment. In order to address their role as the second largest greenhouse gas emitter in the world, China’s Ministry of Construction, PRC, commissioned a demonstration project titled Future House Community Expo aimed at integrating a number of concepts including the use of new and renewable energy sources, energy conservation technologies, environmental compatibility, pollution reduction and the use of modern digital technologies to create a housing design for China’s future. As part of this project, the Ministry authorized the construction of ten demonstration homes located in the Changping district of Beijing, just 8 kilometers north of the Master Stadium for the Olympic Games. Each of the homes was to be built by a different country, demonstrating the most modern and environmentally sustainable housing construction practices and technologies available from each country—Canada, China, Japan, Germany, Spain, South Korea, Sweden, UK, USA and Italy. The Future House USA project was a consortium established to undertake construction of the entry from the United States. Nishkian Monks is proud to be a part of Future House USA, and this international green building exposition which will be closing next month.
Nishkian Monks served as the prime structural design firm directly responsible for the overall coordination of the design effort for the Future House USA, a two story model single family residence. In this role, Nishkian Monks provided project management and administration, development of the conceptual building design, and project structural drawings and analysis for the subject project. Nishkian Monks was also involved in the review of the wall and roof panel fabrication.
The key consultant in securing the United States entry and ultimate selection to the design challenge is Chicago-based company, Alternative Energy Living Foundation. After being selected as the lead consultant, Alternative Energy Living Foundation went on a nation-wide hunt for qualified sub-consultants who could step up to the plate and create a housing design that would address both the need for modern housing and the need to reduce environmental contamination. As a result, our team included Midwest Sustainable Energy Contractors, Inc. of Miami, Florida, who provided specialized consulting services for energy engineering, computer simulation, systems design and integration. Johnson, Avedano, Lopez, Rodriguez and Walewski (JALRW) of Moline, Illinois, were selected as our electrical engineering consultant for the power and Lighting systems as well as energy management system development. Big Sky Insulation, Inc. of Belgrade, Montana, was contracted to supply the project with a thermal envelope to keep the interior space clement throughout a variety of weather conditions. Since the home was built in China, a local building crew from Beijing constructed the home with strict instructions and guidelines provided by our team and the help of volunteer carpenters from the US.
Future House USA is a net-zero 3,200 square feet (297 square meters excluding the garage), energy efficient two-story structure with four bedrooms and four bathrooms. All of the building materials and products are made in the United States. The house itself was manufactured in Montana, shipped in eight containers from Portland, Oregon, and was assembled at the site in Beijing. Future House USA incorporates the five elements of what the builder, George Bialecki, Jr. of Alternative Energy Living Foundation, labels as Home Biology 101 – energy efficiency, indoor air quality, water consumption, storm water management and construction recycling. Future House includes these features:
- Energy efficiency: Eighty-five percent of the heating and air conditioning is produced from geothermal heat pumps, while the roofing system employs an air space and reflective heat barrier that reduces attic heat buildup and improves air flow. By using 2-by-6 wall studs and cellulose insulation, R-values of 50 are achieved in the attic and 23 in the walls. Special high-performance windows have an R-value of 8.5, more than twice the average.
- Indoor air quality: Doors and cabinets are made from renewable, natural resources without volatile organic compounds, and all carpeting is made from post-consumer recycling products to prevent off-gassing. Only zero-VOC paints and low-VOC adhesives are used in construction. Hard-surface floors are renewable bamboo or cork. Also, energy recovery ventilators reduce both heating and cooling loads and improve air quality, while whole-house purifiers eliminate chemicals, chlorine, odors and bacteria in the air. And garages are outfitted with a carbon monoxide removal system.
- Water consumption: Dual-flush commodes trim water usage by one-third compared with conventional toilets. Adjustable shower heads, motion-sensing faucets, pedal valves at the kitchen sink and front-loading washing machines also cut water waste. Rain barrels collect water for gardens and lawns. Upon complete implementation, the entire system reduces water consumption by up to half that used in a typical residence.
- Storm water management: Driveways and streets are made of permeable pavers to eliminate the need for storm drains. Rather than flowing down and out over solid pavement, rainwater is allowed to seep into the ground where it falls, eliminating runoff, pollution and standing water. A stone-coated, recycled aluminum and zinc roof eliminates polluting particle runoff that occurs with asphalt shingles. And barrels capture the rain runoff.
- Recycling: A typical 2,000-square-foot house produces about 8,000 pounds of construction waste. However, the Future House USA can capture 60 percent of that for reuse for soil control and mulch.
The ten Future Houses at the Future House Community Expo functioned as laboratories and classrooms with monitoring devices to collect data on energy efficiency since the Expo opened in July of 2008. After a six-year, record-breaking showcase the Future House Community Expo in Beijing will finally say “zaijian” to the masses on August 31st.