In OTechnology designs, slab-on-grade foundations provide storage of heat from our passive solar features. These floors help to moderate spikes in summer temperatures and cold snaps in the winter. Concrete work is performed at the building site by local crews before the delivery of the SIPFS. The basic principle of sustainable, passive solar heating/cooling is that the house and the ground around it store heat all summer and release it all winter (passive solar radiant heating). Looking at the home itself as a means to store heat can save you energy and money. The analogy of a battery is often used to describe the way a high thermal mass home functions, storing energy (heat) when it is available and using it later, when it’s needed.
The slab foundation is one component to a passive house system. The passive house system is a very well insulated, virtually airtight building that is primarily heated by passive solar and internal heat gains from occupants, cooking, bathing, or electrical equipment. The passive house standard is the highest building efficiency standard in the world, with the promise of reducing the energy consumption of buildings by up to 80% while providing superior comfort and air quality—all at minimized additional upfront cost. When coupled with renewable energy systems, such as solar, using passive heating and cooling puts true “zero-energy” buildings within reach. If you are interested in the entire system, please look into adding on the following elements to your OHome, OClass, or OHousing designs.
- Passive cooling
- Passive solar
- Constant fresh air
- Highly insulated
- Slab Foundation
- Double or Triple Glazed Windows (dependent upon climate).
Slab foundation and solar design systems lower the monthly utility bills by reducing electric and gas use at the point of consumption. Due to the inefficiency of energy production and transmission, the small amount of electricity that is saved at the home reduces a larger amount of produced power demand at the power plant, thus reducing the demand for electrical power plants. Fewer required power plants means less air and water pollution as well as a reduction in the environmental impacts of resource extraction.
Health and / or Social Benefits
One major advantage of slab foundations is that there is little chance for water and outside gases to leak in, providing a healthier environment, free of mold or pollutants. Slab foundations also have the benefit of creating an airtight seal in the home, increasing indoor air quality. In the last several years, a growing body of scientific evidence has indicated that the air within homes and other buildings is often more seriously polluted than the outdoor air, particularly in the largest and most industrialized cities. Other research indicates that people spend approximately 90% of their time indoors, increasing their healthy risks and exposure to air pollution. Families that live in homes designed with air quality in mind report fewer negative health effects, including asthma episodes.
Slab foundation, coupled with passive solar design, for your home or building reduces construction costs through energy efficient design. Adding slab foundation and solar design dramatically increases the energy efficiency of a building and the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system can be downsized or even eliminated (depending on climate). This efficiency “sweet spot” is a basis for the slab foundation and solar design combination and is the key to its financial feasibility. Additionally, much smaller solar systems are required to reach zero energy, saving costs both upfront and annually for the lifetime of the home or building.
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100K House Website