A solar greenhouse uses the sun for growing and all other heating needs. Solar greenhouses can produce warm environments using only the sun’s energy, energy-efficient design, and natural materials. Therefore, it is possible to grow fruits and vegetables year-round using less water and energy.
Building a home with green, eco-friendly materials requires a good amount of preparation work being done.
When building a solar greenhouse, follow these eight principles to create your eco-rich oasis.
Use of Safe Materials
This is one extremely important step in making an eco-friendly home, as the need for safe and non-toxic materials and products defines a green home at its core. Avoiding heavy metals, ozone-depleting chemical compounds, and dyes are not only essential to your health, but also on the environment directly.
"An asbestos screening goes through sampling, and technical analysis of the building materials will quantify asbestos fibers. If the survey reports that building material is good, then the maintenance plan will be said to be in a safe condition," says Pac Asbestos Surveys Leeds.
This will allow you to enjoy a home free of allergies usually brought on by common materials used in construction, as well as a much easier time dealing with some aspects of its construction. Whether it is tiling, roofing, or something else, it doesn’t matter; what matters are the green materials used by the builders and your choices throughout the process.
"If you've gone through the research process, you must have set your preferences about these natural products. But if you ask me, I would recommend bamboo, cork, glass, and salvaged wood,“ says Amanda Harvey.
Orient the Greenhouse Toward the South
The sun is a source of light and heat in the greenhouse, so it is essential for it to be oriented toward the sun to get excellent growing results. It is necessary to capture enough sun’s energy to heat the greenhouse for year-round growing, especially in cold climates.
Additionally, other things such as the trees and the terrain represent a purpose in building a home that takes pleasure from the natural elements in its environment.
The absolute volume of sunlight inside a house will depend on the local weather. While sunlight is imperative to stimulate the interiors, the aspired intensity will depend upon the locality of the house.
Insulate the North
Apart from capturing enough of the sun’s energy, trapping that energy inside the solar greenhouse to keep enough heat during cold periods is even more important. Every surface that is not necessary for collecting the light should be insulated, which means that you should insulate the north wall entirely. You can also insulate parts of west and east sidewalls, depending on your greenhouse location.
According to the US department of energy, it is most cost-friendly to go through insulation during the construction of the house, rather than retrofit it later.
Proper insulation can cut utility costs by an average of 20 percent.
To discover whether you have adequate attic insulation, regulate the diameter of the insulation.
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If it is smaller than an equivalent of R-30, you should go for adding more.
Insulating the ground is something most people overlook when attempting to trap the heat inside. A greenhouse will lose the heat to the ground when temperatures drop. Having an insulating barrier will prevent the freezing temps from entering through the floor.
Another opportunity for insulating an underground building is to use the insulating substances in umbrella design.
It is constructed by placing insulating substances above the underground roof of the building. Domed houses are most likely to apply this technique.
Light and Heat Increase in the Winter
The design of a solar greenhouse works on a basis of controlling heat and light in a strategic way. So, you need to maximize light during the winter and reduce it during the summer, when it produces too much heat.
Winter means cold weather, and our heaters are running – sometimes continually – to give us comfort from the coolest winter days.
To take control of your electricity bills, use LED bulbs which consume 75 percent lesser energy and nearly 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs.
Light and Heat Reduction in the Summer
There is too much light in the summer because days are longer, and that creates too much heat. The plants will be healthier if you put light-diffusing glazing on the roof.
If your local climate cools off during the night times, you can turn off your electric cooling systems. Freshen up with natural air, open the windows, and take a good sleep. The early morning, next day, close the windows again and let the room temperature remain as low as possible.
Adjust your thermostat, as up as possible, considering your comfortability in summer days. As you plan to minimize the difference between the temperature of indoor and outdoor, you would be able to lower your electricity consumption.
Use Thermal Mass
What is thermal mass? It is a material intended for storing large amounts of thermal energy. Some materials are able to store more energy than others, like water. Water is the most common thermal mass material in greenhouses because it stores four times as much heat as air.
Increase Natural Ventilation
Year-round natural ventilation helps the greenhouse to cool. Moving air keeps plants healthy and decreases disease and insect issues. Placing vents in the right places will do the job. Intake vents should be placed lower and exhaust vents somewhere higher. Cooler air from outside will be drawn in by intake vent. Warmer air will rise and be exhausted out. You do not need additional energy to get airflow.
Green home construction requires a lot of smart decision-making and careful planning to ensure you have lasting effects on your carbon footprint. You will need to do quite a bit to ensure your home is environmentally safe and cost-effective, as well as relatively independent from your local power grid. I hope the above tips have given you some pointers on making it happen.