Sustainability News
  • The main parts in the "One Tonne Life" project: Climate-smart wooden house, electric car and advanced energy solutions

    2010-09-27
    The “One Tonne Life” house is a climate-smart house designed by renowned architect Gert Wingårdh and built by wooden house experts A-hus. The white wooden house has been made more energy-efficient and features a range of exciting design details, such as the protruding frames around each window, the entry hall and the large integrated veranda alongside the building’s living room area, as well as solar cells. The solar cells generate energy that is used to power facilities such as supplementary heating, ventilation, the fridge-freezer etc. Surplus production is used to recharge the electrically powered Volvo.

    The main parts in the "One Tonne Life" project:

    Climate-smart wooden house, electric car and advanced energy solutions

     

    With the "One Tonne Life" project, A-hus, Vattenfall and Volvo Cars aim to show what it means in practical terms for a family to live climate-smart. The technology and the solutions used in the project are already available or will be in the very near future.

     

    A-hus Managing Director Peter Mossbrant explains:

    "Our goal is to make low-energy wooden houses available to a broad market. More people should be able to live climate-smart - and without having to compromise on comfort, function or design. We give them all this under one and the same well-insulated roof and we are starting to sell this house type shortly."

     

    Thermos with an exciting design

    For architect Gert Wingårdh the house has been a thrilling challenge. He explains:

    "The climate shell of a house works like a Thermos flask, and the windows are one of the weak links.

    So we have to find alternatives to large windows in order to create an exciting interior and a light, airy indoor atmosphere. We have achieved this in a variety of ways that make the white wooden house more energy-efficient yet at the same time aesthetically appealing."

    Gert Wingårdh is referring to the protruding frames around each window, the entry hall and the large integrated veranda alongside the building's living room area. Together with the black roof and the solar cells facing south, this helps shape the unique character of the house.

    "The challenge with this type of house is not that it gets cold indoors in the winter, but that it gets hot in the summer. That is why the protruding frames have been designed so they shade the interior when the sun is high in the summer sky, yet let in light when it is low on the horizon in the winter months. The classic wind-catcher in the entry hall has double doors so the heat inside the living quarters does not disappear every time the door is opened," explains Peter Mossbrant.

     

    Both solar collectors and solar cells

    The house has a triple layer of walls with exceptional insulation capability and minimum air leakage.

    Compared with traditional windows that have a U-rating (which assesses the insulating ability) of about 1.2, the U-rating here is as low as 0.6 in the fixed windows and 0.8 in the opening windows.

    In order to ensure that the occupants get a supply of fresh air of the right quality in this well-insulated house, air turnover is handled by a ventilation unit that sucks out poor-quality air from the bathroom/toilets, the laundry room and the kitchen, while at the same time replacing it with fresh, tempered air in the bedrooms, living room and other public areas.

    The heat contained in the spent air is recycled and used in the tempered incoming air. The efficiency rating is about 80 percent.

    The building's heating requirements are met by the incoming air, the occupants' body heat and heatgenerating household apparatus such as white goods and kitchen appliances. Under-floor heating is installed on the bottom floor.

    The house is equipped with both solar collectors and solar cells.

    • The solar collectors on the roof of the carport provide hot water and the little heating that is needed.
    • The solar cells on the roof generate energy that is used to power facilities such as supplementary heating, ventilation, the fridge-freezer and so on. Surplus production is used to recharge the family's electrically powered Volvo.

    Volvo C30 DRIVe Electric in the driveway

    The family's Volvo C30 DRIVe Electric operates quietly and emits no carbon dioxide at all as it is recharged with renewable electricity. The electric car is part of Volvo Cars' offensive drive to promote electrification.

    It offers the very same safety, comfort and interior space as the standard car. The difference is that the Volvo C30 DRIVe Electric is powered solely by electricity. Participation in the "One Tonne Life" project gives Volvo Cars the opportunity to study how the electric car fits in with a modern family's lifestyle.

    "We will draw immense benefit from the project in our on-going development of electric cars. Here we are getting clear information about what we need to deliver so that buyers feel that a battery-powered car is attractive and cost-effective to drive and own," says Paul Gustavsson, manager of electrification strategy at Volvo Cars.

    The Volvo C30 DRIVe Electric is powered by a lithium-ion battery that is recharged via a regular wall socket.

    A full charge takes about eight hours. The range on a full charge is up to 150 kilometres.

    "150 kilometres is way more than most commuters in Europe cover in a day. In "One Tonne Life" the car will cover the majority of the family's transport requirements," says Paul Gustavsson.

     

    Smart energy solutions

    Climate-smart and energy-producing houses are an important piece of the puzzle in the development of intelligent electricity grids, which in turn are an important ingredient in a sustainable society. Vattenfall is aiming for and currently working on several projects that focus on the development of smart electricity grids and energy solutions for households in terms of electricity monitoring and energy efficiency enhancement. As a result, some home-owners can be both electricity consumers and small-scale electricity producers, for instance by utilising solar cell technology.

    In "One Tonne Life" Vattenfall contributions include new technology for measuring the family's electricity consumption in real time.

    "Vattenfall aims to be the partner that uses smart and individually adapted technology as well as energy advisory services to help our customers keep a watchful eye on their electricity consumption and use electric power efficiently. This approach also includes a further development of the electricity grid so that a family whose home is fitted with solar cells is able to sell its surplus to us when their own production exceeds demand. At the same time, they get secure access to electricity from green sources such as windpower or hydropower when the sun is not shining," says Torbjörn Wahlborg of Vattenfall.

     

    For more information please contact:

    Petra Cederhed, A-hus, phone: +46 (0)340-66 65 10, e-mail: petra.cederhed@derome.se

    Mikael Björnér, Vattenfall, phone: +46 (0)730-54 82 29, e-mail: mikael.bjorner@vattenfall.com

    Malin Persson, Volvo Car Corporation, phone: +46 (0)31-325 41 52, e-mail: mperss58@volvocars.com

    Or visit www.onetonnelife.com

    With the "One Tonne Life" project, A-hus, Vattenfall and Volvo Cars aim to show what it means in practical terms for a family to live climate-smart. The technology and the solutions used in the project are already available or will be in the very near future.
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