What makes our homes sustainable?
Our team of world class architects, sustainability designers, agricultural specialists and expert builders works directly with clients to provide custom homes incorporate cutting edge technologies with ancient design wisdoms and ecological principles
Passive Solar Heating
Using free energy from the sunlight to warm the home, South facing windows allow maximum sunlight to enter and heat the house, while the super insulated structure lowers energy costs by retaining heat in the evenings and maintaining a comfortable interior temperature in both hot and cold weather. Interior stone walls and floors provide mass to absorb warmth during the day and re-radiate to warm the rooms at night. To prevent over heating in the summer, the outdoor verandas are covered with deciduous fruit bearing vines such as kiwi and grape that provide shade for cooling in summer and lose their leaves in winter to allow sunlight to enter and heat the home.
"All natural and non-toxic”
Eden Homes use high-quality natural materials; wood, stone, tile and glass. Selecting building materials is one of the most important aspects of building sustainable and healthy homes. Interiors are designed with natural stone and wood to create warm and inviting spaces. Organic materials and non-toxic finishes are used exclusively throughout the house to ensure the health and tranquility of residents.
Genuine Wood – We use 100% real wood, as opposed to laminates, plywood and composites which all use adhesives, weaken over time, and give off toxic emissions.
Wall Covering – We often use unfinished wooden wall paneling for interiors because the bare wood remains alive over time, absorbing and releasing moisture to allow rooms to breath. Out traditional Japanese “tsuchi-kabe” walls are a special mix of stucco, straw and local soil which give a beautiful and durable natural feel to interior spaces. For wall paper, we are careful to select high-quality non-toxic products and adhesives. Clients can also request cloth covering for walls, carpets and furniture made from hemp, organic cottons and bamboo.
Non-toxic finishes – By using paints made from plant oils and bees wax varnishes, we avoid ‘sick-house-syndrome’ which is largely caused by vapors from chemical finishes.
Recycled Materials - Wooden beams and flooring can last hundreds of years and we are often able to rescue them from old building and incorporate into new constructions. Beautiful and durable counters and tiles made from recycled glass and concrete are also available.
Locally Harvested Wood - This reduces carbon emissions associated with transport. It also allows us to select suppliers who responsibly manage forests, as opposed to supporting clear cutting.
Solar & Wind Power
The cost of solar panels and wind generators has come down to very affordable levels, while increased efficiency can make pay-back on investment as quick as 7 or 8 years. We offer All-Electric homes that generate their own renewable energy for lighting, entertainment, hot water, in-floor heating and kitchen range. The system is grid connected which eliminates the need for costly batteries and allows excess electricity to be sold to the utility company for profit. Residents who make an effort to conserve and turn off lights may see their meters spinning backward and get monthly cash back.
The solar and wind systems are completely scalable to suit the client’s budget and energy needs.
Our experts will work with you to decide the best configuration depending on the house location, site conditions and family size. Whether you just want an affordable system for a secure weekend retreat, or your own for-profit power plant on the roof, we can design and install a complete package, with training and full warranties.
Natural Lighting - Lower energy costs through intelligent design.
Our homes utilize natural lighting through windows, skylights and glass block to welcome ambient daylight into the rooms and reduce the need for electric lighting. Large south facing windows light and warm front rooms with direct sunlight. Light colored walls and floors in these spaces reflect light into interior spaces. The open room plans allow light to penetrate deep in the house. Northern windows use double paned glass to insure the maximum amount of light enters the house without undue heat loss from lack of insulation. All rooms have natural lighting features. Even closets, laundry rooms and toilets include small window or glass blocks.
Earth Sheltered Foundations
Using the natural insulation of the Earth to warm and cool homes is high-technology, tested and proven since before the first builders painted the cave walls of Lascaux thousands of years ago.
Our Eden Homes may include steel reinforced concrete foundations which extend 4-6ft above ground to form the base walls of the first floor. The substantial nature of these walls compared to traditional wooden walls adds immense strength to the house while super-insulating the structure.
The north face of the structure which receives no direct solar gain, is backfilled with soil and landscaped to further insulate the home.
AquaPonics is a state-of-the-art growing system, combining aqua-culture (growing fish in tanks as a food source) with hydroponics (growing vegetables in nutrified water, without soil). The fish raised in tanks provide highly fertilized waste water which is fed to the plants as nutrition. The plants in turn filter and aerate the water which is returned to the fish as clean water.