RADIANT HEATING IN CONCRETE FLOOR
The concrete floor houses a radiant floor heating system. The system heats the house by means of a water-to-water heat pump that extracts heat from the earth in the winter and uses the earth as a coolant in the summer. This puts less strain on the system, making it more energy efficient. This geothermal heat pump system also produces free hot water as a byproduct during its summertime operation.
PHOTOVOLTAIC ARRAY AND ELECTRIC ACTUATOR
LUMENHAUS is completely powered by the sun. A powerful array of Photovoltaic (PV) panels provides carbon-neutral energy to the house. The PVs, arranged in a single array that covers the roof, are built into the house during construction. The panels are bifacial, meaning they use both sides to increase energy output by up to 15 percent. Using an electric actuator, the entire PV array can be tilted to the optimal angle for each season (from zero degrees to a 17-degree angle in summer and to a 35-degree angle in winter). Having the array at the correct angle allows for maximum solar energy collection. There will also be PV wafers located within the skylight in the bathroom.
An innovative transportation system allows the house to be transported easily without expensive permitting and very little on-site construction or assembly. The system, which is inspired by the double-drop lowboy trailer, is made up of removable and reusable components (axle/wheel assembly on the back and hitch hookup on the front) allowing for simple truck transport, flexible suspension and higher height clearances than conventional modular transport methods. The house’s strong steel structural frame supports it while in transit.
INTERIOR LIGHTING (LED)
The energy collected during the day will be symbolically radiated back out at night through a low-energy, long-lasting Light Emitting Diode (LED) lighting system. Built right into the insulating panels of the Eclipsis System and throughout the house in strategic spots, the interior and exterior spaces will be amply lit. LED lights are extremely energy-efficient light fixtures that emit a very high-quality white light. They produce more lumens per watt than traditional incandescent bulbs. They also have extremely long lives and are very durable, being resistant to heat, cold and shock.
HOUSE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM USER INTERFACE
LUMENHAUS uses technology optimally to make life simpler for you, while also minimizing energy usage, saving you money.
The house has a computer interface that manages all of its systems. Many aspects of these systems can be controlled by the user, at home or remotely, through either a computer or a smartphone. For example, you could easily turn on and off lights, relocate the Eclipsis System, lock or unlock your front door, change the temperature or lighting in the car on the way home after a hard day at the office so you can just relax when you walk in the door.
The management system gives live feedback of the house’s energy consumption, allowing you to be more energy conscious and to easily make changes to be more efficient. This feedback will also be available remotely.
RAINWATER COLLECTION AND GREYWATER RECYCLING
LUMENHAUS is not only energy-efficient; it is water-efficient, too. The roof is sloped to collect rainwater that is filtered for potable (drinkable) use in the house, while water used in the house (greywater – from the shower, bathroom sink and clothes washer) goes through a series of bio-filters in the surrounding landscape where it is cleaned for non-potable use.
The Eclipsis System is an advanced building façade comprising two layers: a metal shutter shade and a translucent insulating panel. The shutter shade slides along the north and south façades, providing protection from direct sunlight while simultaneously allowing for indirect, natural lighting, views to the exterior and privacy to those inside. The sliding insulating panel is a translucent polycarbonate panel filled with aerogel. Aerogel is a super lightweight, highly insulating translucent material that provides insulation equivalent to a typical sold wall during harsh weather conditions without blocking natural light.
LUMENHAUS is a prime example of how cutting-edge, sustainable technologies can be inserted seamlessly into a residential format. In addition to being completely powered by the sun, LUMENHAUS has many other sustainable features. The wood decking around the house has been harvested from fast-growth, sustainable forests. The concrete floor, which collects heat in the winter, contains recycled fly ash, while the translucent insulation panels on the north and south façades have an R-value equal to that of a typical solid wall. The zinc cladding and aluminum framing on the exterior of the house are extremely durable and recyclable. All of the companies that have provided materials for our house manage to maintain high quality, long-lasting products while finding innovative ways to be friendly to the environment. LUMENHAUS serves as an exhibition for these new technologies in the hopes that they will permeate the current home market.
PASSIVE ENERGY SYSTEMS
LUMENHAUS optimizes the use of passive energy through day lighting, natural ventilation and natural passive heating and cooling.
Day lighting is the natural lighting of the house through means of windows and other openings. In this case, the entire south and north façades are either translucent (when the insulation panels are closed) or transparent (when the insulation panels are open).
Natural ventilation is the ventilation/cooling of the house through means other than mechanical/electrical-powered systems. The house can be naturally cooled and ventilated by opening any of the sliding doors on the north and side façade of the house. These doors include bug screens to keep bugs out of the house and to let in fresh, clean air.
Natural heating of the house comes through the ability to capture the sun’s heat in the polished dark-gray concrete floor. When the sun hits the concrete slab in the day, it absorbs and stores heat, which it radiates to naturally heat the house throughout the night. This natural heating can be controlled by opening or closing the Eclipsis System to limit the amount of light that directly hits the slab. The amount of heat sequestered in the concrete will depend on the time of day and season.
The modular design of LUMENHAUS allows it to grow with your family. Multiple units can connect or stack with plug-in stairs and entryways to create two-, three-, and four-bedroom houses with the same efficient use of space of the single module. If used as a part of a community, the houses have the potential to become even more sustainable than the single house. For example, if a single person were to originally move into a single module, but then later got married, he or she could add another module to expand the space with little difficulty. As the family expands with the births of children, more modules could be added to increase living space. However, once the children reach adulthood and move out, all that extra space could be moved down the street to a new, budding family’s house to be used again.
A sustainable community, affectionately called LUMEN-o-CITY, has been developed by the team to model the different house schemes and see entire neighborhoods trading modules with each other to accommodate changing housing needs. When integrated into the framework of sustainable community planning, LUMENHAUS has the potential of creating a housing community that excels beyond the expectations of society. As a community, the key parts of sustainability – social, economic, and environmental – can be addressed on a larger, more effective scale.
From the customizable Eclipsis System, to the durable construction, to the innovative transportation system, LUMENHAUS takes pre-fab homes to the next level: pro-fab, or progressive fabrication. With no flimsy siding or laminate floors, LUMENHAUS aims to remove the stigma often associated with factory-built modular homes. LUMENHAUS is solid and durable, from the polished gray concrete floor to the solid steel beams and columns that make up the structural system.