The ‘Z free home’, target zero negative print on the environment is the idea of this project. A return to nature design concept for designing a residential unit towards a negative carbon and positive energy future. Construction time, building cost and environmental impact are the main triggers that this project is trying to challenge. The project aimed at designing and constructing a 9 m2 demo eco-cycle home prototype reaches a six ‘Z’ target (i.e. ‘6Zs’), meaning zero emissions, zero energy, zero waste, zero cost, zero indoor air pollutants and zero impact on the environment after the building demolition. The house main components (roof, walls and floors) together with interior furniture are to be built out of plant-based materials (mainly straw, reed, jute, kenaf and wood).
The house will be equipped with passive and eco-cycle systems aim at closing the loop so the building will be self-sufficient with no waste outcome or harmful impact on the environment nor the occupants. The house innovative design intends to eliminate the energy demands for heating, cooling and power needed for water heating and cooking by using natural forces from sun and wind together with household bio-waste. Such innovative passive and eco-cycle architectural design solutions is expecting to perform beyond the current energy efficient buildings and should roughly save up to 40 % of the household energy compared to the current international and Swedish standards for energy efficient housing.
The house design also is planned to be energy self-sufficient using renewable energy sources and to produce more energy than the house consumes to transport the excess back to the grid for later use in case there is a deficiency in energy production. The idea behind the passive eco-cycle systems that they should be low-tech and easy to install as plug and play systems for flexible use by the house users. Also, easy to operate and maintain along the life time of the building. The house prototype will be built and tested in an urban living lab for cold climate. Lund is chosen as a location for application. The project methodological approach is capable to be applied for hot and humid climate as well.