The best materials near your zero energy, passive home. Save big on heating & cooling.

Have you seen | this dinosaur ?

Because it knows more than all of the architects, engineers and constructors about heat exchange.
Find out what we learned from him.

Show me dinos.

Can you see what’s on its back? You do the same thing with your balconies and sidewalk. The foundation and concrete slab is exchanging heat with the earth (30 30 30 rule). The sidewalks and balconies do the same and it gets way worse. Just think about a 60C concrete in the summer or a -20C balcony in the winter. Because they are not insulated from the house they suck up the heat and cold, transferring it to your home.

pavement, terrace ||| examples

Don’t pave the sidewalk beside the house if it’s not a must. Plant high vegetation instead (in case you can). Read about the chimney effect and about putting the house in the air. If it’s not a must then don’t pave 50cm beside the house. Let higher vegetation grow near your home.

If you can’t do it, then use big round shaped rocks instead of concrete. This way the contact between the house and the pavement itself it’s just a few points (basically where the rocks touch each-other). Heat transfer is limited to a few points. By choosing big round shaped rocks the angle of the “rain” changes.

Basically the rain won’t be able to throw back mud or earth on the building. Notice that a thin layer of earth on the facade is enough to form mud. This way the facade will not get moldy or rot away. It won’t be damaged.

balcony

With wooden balconies and terraces we don’t have this problem. With the concrete do the following: let 30–40cm of concrete come out of the house in a U shape. In case of concrete: “pour” the balcony similar to this U shape and put a huge wooden beam. Basically your balcony will sit on the wooden beam and the wooden beam will sit on a U shaped concrete underneath.

Heat transfer will not occur because the balcony is not in contact with the house. On the other part of the house you will have to put columns or cables that sustain and holds the balcony in its place. The engineer will hate you for that.

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