My father is a retired architect and now fills his time doing a lot of work on his own home, or should I say, homes.
This time, he has decided to go eco-friendly and has been quoting words that I never learnt at school. We’re talking ground source heat and grey water, the latter of which, until he explained it, I thought was a new film he’d been watching!
He decided to go for ground-source heat, which meant laying plastic tubes well underground, then filling them with a mixture of antifreeze and water. Together with a heat pump which contains a compressor, the process increases the water temperature from a meagre 15 degrees centigrade to a very welcome 50 or 60, which is then circulated through the radiators.
Grey water is so-called because it is cloudy in colour, so it’s water that has already been used by dishwashers, washing machines or showers, as opposed to black water, which is sewage from toilets. In effect, the grey water could be used again, let’s say, for watering the garden or cleaning the car but, in a regular build, there is only one plumbing system, so grey and black water mingle to enter the public sewage pipes.
Today, many houses now have water meters, the cost of clean water encouraging us to use less. If there are two plumbing systems in a building, the less-contaminated water (the grey) could be recycled by easier means than catching it in buckets or allowing the outlet pipe to drain outside into containers. That initial outlay for a second plumbing system would not take long to recover, since there would be a saving on the water bill.
Energy efficient accommodation is what we all need to be thinking about. Builders of eco homes are now taking these important ideas and many more on board and, although it may cost a little more to get these new ideas installed, the savings will be enormous over time.
Getting back to my father, we’re all very proud of him and he is already thinking of taking on another project. My mother is over the moon, not only because they are going to live in an eco-friendly modern building but because it seems that the vibration from the underground pipes is keeping the moles at a distance!
Thanks to the knowledge that I have gained, not only from my father but also from supporting websites like My Space Pod, I’m hoping that many more people will research the subject and see the sense in opting for modern building designs.