Here is a snap shot of my current 3D green home design project, this shows what I am working on. It is incomplete at the moment however this is version 2, the first version is complete but lacks the fine details required for a to scale accurate model and so I am working on that in version 2.
Been away awhile and busy, however I have still been active in 3D design and exploration. My recent project is a turn towards something much larger than midsize houses, larger than a ranch house, I would say its a mansion inspired by a friend of mine's interest in such homes as many of our celebrities have. The thing about such homes is "How do we make then energy efficient, and what sort of renewable energy would be best to start out with in such homes?"
I think my concerns for such home designs made me call for some extraordinary applications, and a review of the loft in terms of how much insulation to add, and what would be best in terms of renewables. Would I use passive solar heating? Or a combination of passive and active solar features? And which would be best, heating with solar space heaters or solar hot water panels to heat water for in floor heating? Currently in floor heating seems to be winning since it has the advantage of being able to squeeze the water lines into places that duct work can not go, while the system can be used to heat hot water in the summer for general hot water use. In which case, the system can be a hybrid system of solar heating with tankless water heaters to switch between a winter time to summer time scenario. I have been researching such hybrid systems and what equipment would be best.
In floor heating does seem to be the more practical means to heat such homes, in fact it can be used in smaller home designs to solve the problem of where to locate duct work by getting rid of the furnace altogether, this in turn leaves room for duct work that come from other systems such as solar space heating panels which can also be used with solar hot water heating, and with running heat recovery ventilator ducts to specific locations in a home.
In floor heating by means of solar hot water does require some study since the system may be devoted entirely to heating the floors instead of delivery of hot water to the home during the winter months, where hot water for cleaning and bathing can come from tankless water heaters. However in the summer the expense of the system means that it would be unwise not to use the system for hot water heating in the summer and so switch to providing water for cleaning and bathing which would then be backed up by the tankless water heaters relied upon during the winter. If the tankless water heaters are used to back up the solar heated water for general in home use, then those heaters must be state of the art and sensitive to water temperature, in fact accurate so that they sense when the solar heated water is hot enough and not apply any more energy to heating that water. At night if very much Btu energy in the water is lost in the tank, then the tankless water heaters supply the energy to bring the water temperature on up. Hence here are some of the considerations one might undertake in designing a home and its systems.