Sustainable Houses

The Most Sustainable House in South Korea

The Samsung Green Tomorrow house, designed by Samoo Architects, has become the first East-Asian to win the US Green Building Council’s prestigious LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) platinum status.

Located in South Korea’s Yangin city, Samsung’s Green Tomorrow eco-development includes a 423m2 zero-energy house and a 298m2 public relations pavilion, and is designed as a sustainability showpiece for the entire country. Consultancy firm Arup provided the sustainable building designs as well as LEED consultation, working closely with Samoo Architects to create the best project possible. The collaborative effort proved a historical success, as Green Tomorrow has become the first house in East Asia to receive LEED’s platinum award – the highest green building standard in the world.

An example of what an energy-efficient house should look like, the zero-energy house funded by Samsung has a whopping 68 green features for zero-energy, zero-emission and green IT including a high performance facade, daylight sensors, ground source heat pumps, radiant floor heating system and high-efficiency lighting that optimises and balances energy and daylight. All these systems work together to reduce energy consumption by an impressive 56%, while the other 44% is harvested from renewable energy sources like the 163 square-meters of rooftop photovoltaic panels. Water consumption was also taken into consideration and the Samsung Green Tomorrow house features fixtures such as a waterless urinal, dual flush WC and a low-flow basin and showerhead.72.4% of potable water is reusable thanks to a biological reactor that treats greywater and blackwater for irrigation, floor cleaning and flushing.

To ensure a healthy living environment, only materials that release fewer and less harmful compounds were used in the construction of the house, and outdoor air ventilation rates are increased by 30%. Sustainability was at the core of the Green Tomorrow home – – 54.8% of waste was sent for recycling, around 22% of materials were from recycled sources, and a quarter of the materials were sourced locally. The house also provides bicycle parking lots and electric car charging systems to encourage sustainable mobility.

Jonathan Hines, of Archetype – the company that pioneered the Passivhaus standard, argued that “buildings that are effectively zero carbon islands… are too small to be efficient or financially viable on a commercial scale”, and Samsung’s Green Tomorrow house makes no exception, with construction costs double those of a standard three-bedroom home. The South-Korean company plans to address the issue of cost and make it commercially available by 2013.

 

 

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