The 3C Company unveils Shunya, the self sustaining net zero energy home.
Leading the bandwagon of the ‘Green Revolution’, The 3C Company addresses the challenges of global warming and climate change with the net-zero energy home – Shunya – an evolved way of thinking and sustainable living. A net-zero energy home works on the principle of utilising maximum renewable energy from the sun, wind, etc. and is independent of any electricity grid.
Shunya is a net zero energy home that demonstrates how one can adopt sustainable living standards and reduce one’s carbon footprints without having to compromise on the comforts and aesthetics that are normally aspired for in a home. The word Shunya is derived from “zero” which signifies the beginning and the end. The self contained model Shunya works on the principle of attaining maximum efficiency in energy, material, water and waste minimisation.
To reach net zero affordably, the design team worked aggressively to reduce the energy demands of the house using both passive and active strategies like proper building orientation, use of courtyards and verandahs, effective building envelope, daylight optimisation, natural ventilation strategies, occupancy and daylight sensors, energy and water meters and photovoltaic panels for electricity generation.
Shunya emphasises the principle of bringing together the best materials, efficient systems, efficient lightings, lighting sensors, efficient appliances and day lighting strategies while constructing a building to suit the climatic conditions of the site.
Shunya is primarily built with old refurbished materials like old cargo containers, packaged wood and old furniture. It achieves more than 70% savings in electric energy as compared to a conventional building of the same climatic zone; almost 40% savings in electric energy is through passive energy conservation strategies. It has also incorporated a courtyard that serves as a primary source of (energy) light and natural ventilation and has shades with louvers designed optimally for summer and winter climate.
All energy uses of the building are met with electricity generated by a 100% solar and thus an emission-free energy supply. Shunya was designed to run on the electricity produced by the 3 kW photo-voltaic systems assisted with 96 volts battery bank, installed on 25 sq. m. of the roof area. The energy simulation predicts the annual consumption of Shunya to be 4,252 kWh. Thus the photo-voltaic modules on an annual basis are able to produce the same amount of the electricity required to run the house.
Water consumption of the house is also reduced with the use of water-efficient plumbing fixtures, low-water consuming plant species and an efficient drip irrigation system for the landscape. The landscape of Shunya is aesthetically designed with strategically placed evergreen and deciduous trees to enhance the microclimate of the site. A vertical landscape green wall and vegetable garden produces food on-site while reducing the heat island effect and increasing the on-site water penetration to the natural ground. The disposal of waste is managed by on-site treatments which include composting; this treats organic waste and converts it into rich manure.
Shunya is designed as a pre-fabricated mobile house that was constructed within 45 days from scratch and emphasises on the principle of bringing together the best reused, recycled and renewable materials. The 3C team plan to apply Shunya to one of its current projects – Lotus Panache, which is a Net Zero Energy School. The focus is on reducing the peak energy demand of the building to as low as 1.5 w per sq. ft., against 8 to 10 w per sq. ft.