Home with a dome A dome home is the most energy efficient and strongest architecture for various reasons. The amount of heat a home loses (or receives) during the winter is proportional to the surface area of the walls and roof. A larger surface means more loss (or gain). In the summer, solar heat gains the same relationship as in the winter. So, the more surface, the more heat lost or gained. This is why balloon-shaped houses are good for hot climates and tents make more sense for cold weather.
The reason a dome home is best for efficiency is that it allows natural light into every room without using much electricity. A sphere has the fewest possible corners so it has the least possible area to cover with insulation. Also, a dome has no such thing as a straight wall, which makes it harder to build tight spaces like rooms inside of them. Rooms inside of spheres have been built before and they work well; homes constructed by Native Americans often had roofs made of bent strips of metal covered in clay to keep out the rain and snow.
There are many other factors related to energy efficiency that come down to personal choice, but the overall winner is clear: a home with a spherical or dome shape uses the least amount of energy.
Energy-saving. Because of the excellent quality of new build homes and the good insulation, new build homes are far more energy efficient than older residences, which are draughty and cost more to heat. New houses also use less water per square foot than old ones do.
Old houses are by far the most inefficient form of housing, with staright-through walls, little or no insulation, simple framing, few modern amenities, and so on. They use a lot of energy just to keep out the cold and rain and let in the heat and sun.
New houses are improved upon over time, as architects come up with new and better ways to save energy. For example, double-glazed windows are very effective at keeping out heat and cold, but they're also very expensive - the government's recommended minimum level of insulation for new houses is R30 per m². It costs nothing to install a wallboard patch or repair some drywall, however, so people do that instead. The result is that over time, new houses become more and more energy efficient without anyone even knowing it happened.
It's hard to say which is more energy efficient: the old house or the new one. It depends on how you define "efficient".
Energy efficiency investments in buildings are likely to result in the following benefits: reduced energy use for space heating and/or cooling and water heating; reduced electricity use for lighting, office machinery, and domestic-type appliances; lower maintenance requirements; improved comfort; and increased property value. These benefits can be achieved without increasing the total cost of construction or operation.
The most effective means of reducing energy consumption is through improved design. This may include using energy-efficient equipment, recycling waste heat, and minimizing light intensity at night. If these measures cannot reduce demand enough to match supply, further reduction can only be achieved by changing gear or moving to renewable energy. Renewable energy technologies such as solar power, wind power, and hydropower are becoming more affordable every day. Their advantage over fossil fuels is that they do not run out.
Renewable energy technologies can replace some or all of our need for oil, natural gas, and coal, thereby reducing our dependence on foreign sources and greenhouse gases emissions. However, they cannot completely replace fossil fuels at this time because they require direct sunlight or wind speed conditions for their production to be feasible. Solar power works best when the sun is out and wind power is effective only at certain times of the day when there is enough wind blowing. Hydrogen technology has been proposed as an alternative to fossil fuels, but it has not yet been demonstrated as being efficient enough to be useful for large-scale application.
While design costs, options, and styles vary, most energy-efficient homes share the following basic elements: a well-constructed and tightly sealed thermal envelope; controlled ventilation; properly sized, high-efficiency heating and cooling systems; and energy-efficient doors, windows, and appliances. Energy-efficient homes also may include green features such as solar panels or geothermal heat pumps.
Energy-efficient homes are capable of reaching temperatures within 10 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit of absolute zero (minus 46 degrees Celsius), which is necessary for human comfort. At these low temperatures, any water that does not freeze will lose its resistance to the flow of current and conduct electricity, causing your heater to blow fuses or fail completely. A hydronic system uses electric heaters submerged in water tanks located either under the flooring or inside walls. The water is then pumped through the heaters when you want to use them, and it gets cooled after passing through them. This method requires less energy than other forms of heating because it doesn't need to produce as much heat as other methods to be effective.
Controlled ventilation is another important factor in energy efficiency. It means using air conditioners or heaters only on those days when you need to cool or warm your house. Excessive use of air conditioning can cause energy bills to rise. However, not using enough heat can result in cold spots in your house and discomfort for your family.
A two-story home is more energy efficient in principle. A two-story house has less surface area to heat and cool than a one-story house of the same square size. Nonetheless, green-minded specialists believe that a two-story home outperforms in terms of heating and cooling efficiency. The reason is that not only does a two-story house have fewer windows but it also tends to be better insulated.
The number of stories determines how much energy is used by a house for heating or cooling. If a house has several floors then it means that there are many rooms with their own independent heat sources or air conditioners. Thus, a multi-story house will use more energy than a single-story house of the same size.
The main advantage of a two-story house is that it allows for separate living areas on different levels which can be heated or cooled independently. This is useful when you want your children to stay out of the cold downstairs while you want to heat the first floor. It also allows for greater flexibility with regard to furniture placement since you don't need to worry about stairs being in the way.
Multi-unit buildings (more than three stories high) are common in large cities where space is at a premium. In these cases, the extra floor gives you more room inside the building envelope (the outer walls and roof).