The issue of sustainable housing is one that will dominate future housing design and provision. Living the eco life will increasingly focus around renewable energy resources. Solar power, wind power and biomass will likely creep into place as energy stables in every home. The aim of sustainable housing is to create passive buildings e.g. buildings that are 100% carbon neutral –zero energy input and zero harmful output.
Home and water heaters are arguably the biggest culprits when it comes to high energy bills. Heating supplies of the future will rely far more heavily on biomass fuel particularly.
The burning of fossil fuels like coal and oil causes harmful chemicals to be released into the earth’s atmosphere. Trapped inside the protective Ozone layer these gases (such as CO₂) are damaging to life and the Ozone layer itself (each winter a hole in the Ozone layer is torn above Antarctica due to pollution in the atmosphere)
Eradicating fuels is another key objective of sustainable housing. Wind and solar power are termed sustainable thanks to the fact that they could, in theory, provide energy limitlessly without damaging the planet.
Biomass is a little different. Although technically a fuel, biomass is classed as a sustainable energy resource due to the rate at which CO₂ is released back into the atmosphere during incineration –the rate is proportional to that extracted from the atmosphere by carefully controlled plant growth. These plants will eventually become biomass fuel, making biomass a carbon neutral energy resource.
The heating supplies of the future are most likely to be powered by biomass water heaters. Currently in its infancy, the UK biomass industry notes potential domestic savings of around £450 per year upon instillation of a biomass water heater.
Further than household water heating, the application of biomass as a viable energy alternative resource to fossil fuels continues to gain impetus.
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