The 2017 hurricane season left flooding and destruction in many parts of the Southeastern United States and the Caribbean. In addition to large-scale recovery and cleanup efforts, homes and schools urgently need to safely respond to these natural disasters. To assist this effort, the UL NFP Education and Outreach team developed an infographic for classrooms, which acts as a checklist to guide discussion between educators and students.
“Safety After the Storm: Helping Teachers Get Back Into Their Classrooms” contains information about gas leaks, the use of portable generators, electrical safety, mold, and carbon monoxide poisoning. Educators can use the information contained in the infographic about these risk factors to ensure safety is a focal point as they and their students re-enter the classroom. The materials guide understanding and discussion around the unique challenges that teachers and students face as a result of a natural disaster.
RESOURCE #1: Post-Hurricane Infographic for Educators
Passive House Options
Passive House in short is a concept of a house which does not require any insulation for its thermal and electrical systems. If you are building a Passive House, the insulation of windows is not included for maximum efficiency.
Passive House has been developed by many people around the world. The technique was originally used to convert a larger number of buildings which were energy hogs into energy efficient. Passive House windows
techniques were also adopted by different architects for more efficient designs of buildings.
The Passive House Method converts a structure using very little heat, light and sunlight into a house that uses as little as possible the heat it receives from the sun, thereby creating the least possible heat for the occupants. This technique is used in homes or buildings of all shapes and sizes. House structures are being built in smaller units than ever before. Many new building types are being designed for this type of design.
Solar heating is the most common approach to a Passive House. The structure heats itself through direct sunlight. The heat is transferred from the walls and roof to the interior by the radiation or in other words radiative heat transfer. This heat is stored in the house structure.
If you have a non-insulated wall within your Passive House, then you can choose to have radiant floor surface heat exchangers installed. This type of heat transfer system will transfer heat evenly over the surface of the concrete, marble or concrete slab. When using radiant floor surface heat exchangers, you may experience an increase in the resale value of your home if your home is located near large asphalt parking lots.
Many Passive Houses include only small ducts or tube enclosures. You can choose to install very small ducts for the sun to come in through to the heating system. There are many advantages to using ductless radiative heat transfer systems inPassive House designs. You must be careful to use both heat exchanges, usually called side and top panels to circulate the air and warm it in a more efficient manner.
One more option is to have only one single wall insulated and to construct the Passive House as a single unit. This type of Passive House will use a smaller amount of heat for its systems, therefore it is also called a localized passive house.
Another popular option for heating a small Passive House is to have one single wall, sealed with vinyl windows, installed. Single-wall insulated heat pumps are very efficient in convectional heat transfer. These types of systems do require air barriers or skylights to prevent heat loss.
Other methods are also available to use traditional means of heat transfer. Consider the various options of the use of double-pane windows, as these are very efficient and are much more cost effective than other radiant heating options.
The Passive House method for heating was primarily developed for the United States and the real estate market. In many cases it has proven to be a solution that is desirable in the low-income housing market. Passive House strategies for the design of affordable housing are being implemented and this type of living has found a place in many buildings and communities for those that are in need of additional space.
A Passive House requires much less energy to heat its dwelling than a conventional home. This type of residence is a low-maintenance living option for those on limited budgets. You can find Passive House units that are pre-fabricated for easy assembly and less construction costs.
For those who are interested in this type of property, they should be aware of the great options available for building their homes in a way that will generate energy efficiently, as well as ensuring an environment that has constant access to and usage of energy and many options for efficient sunlight. There are some important steps that must be followed in order to create this type of building in your own backyard.