Sunday, July 19, 2009

LandArks zero carbon off grid homes

Off grid zero carbon homes are about the most environmentally sound lifestyle choice you can make. Producing their own electricity and collecting and filtering their own water they have virtually no impact environment whatsoever.

The last time I wrote about zero carbon homes that could be completely detached from the grid (water, electricity, drains) it was Earthships. These homes are made of recycled materials (tyres, aluminium cans, etc) and adobe. They user solar energy (photo-voltaic and thermal), thermal mass and reed bed water filtration. and are very cool.

However Earthships are a quite large investment in time and effort to build. If you are looking for a simpler zero carbon off grid home solution then LandArks or GardenArks could be the perfect choice. These homes are easy to construct kits that can be built by the buyer or the company and have the following design features: -
  • They are made of wood sourced from FSC managed forests with cavity insulation made from sheep's wool.
  • They have a curved living green roof that has a greater surface area than the land taken up by the Ark itself and can be planted with species that match the local grasses, heathers, etc. This roof makes the Ark far more pleasant to look at allowing it to blend in with the landscape, produces oxygen, insulates the Ark and acts as a rainwater collection and filtration system.
  • Power is generated by a rotatable solar array and a wind turbine.
  • The Ark can be connected to the grid to allow it to use grid electricity when it is not producing enough and to sell electricity back when it is producing too much.
  • The Ark is raised off of the ground which provides thermal insulation and also minimises the damage done to the land when the ark is built or removed.
  • The Ark contains a log burner for heating and cooking.
  • People wanting a larger home could have multiple arks joined together.
The Ark comes in two sizes, The GardenArk is perfect for a place in a large garden, a home office, spare bedroom, etc. Here are some pics including two I took at the Hampton Court flower show.

The LandArk is a larger building that can be used as a holiday home or primary home. Ideal for a group of friend wanting to buy some land and creating a small eco community. Here are some pics.

The Company site can be found here, good information can be found here and here is a page from the Grand Designs show website.

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