The Mechanical systems are a very important component in the 5×4 Project building. This balanced mechanical system provides us with fresh, filtered air all year round, and can recover up to 95% of heating and cooling throughout the building. The components have all been carefully chosen to work in harmony wiht each other, creating the most efficient and sustainable system possible.
The first part of our system is the Heat Pump Dryer from ASKO. Now we can almost hear environmentalists shouting that using a dryer to dry clothing isn’t sustainable, but here is a bit more information that might change your mind.
Based on our minute footprint and the lack of a backyard, having a washing line is out of the question and there is certainly no room inside to dry clothing! The dryer has an Energy Rating of 6 stars – that’s more than our 5 star washing machine! It uses only 900 watts per load, which, whilst being a big number, is actually tiny in comparison. The average electrical clothes dryer on the market uses up to 5,000 watts per load, which sucks valuable electricity out of the grid and valuable money out of your pocket! The electricity used by the dryer is sourced from either our own solar panels or sustainably produced energy through our retailer Diamond Energy.
Sitting underneath the dryer is the Washing Machine, also from ASKO. This washing machine has a 5 star energy rating, as well as a 5 star water rating, and can also use recycled water to wash a load of clothing.
The next component is the Heat and Energy Recovery Ventilation unit from Stiebel Eltron, which is part of the geothermal heating and cooling system. This is the area responsible for fresh air being vented via the ducting throughout the airtight house, as well as exhausting the stale, used air. It recovers energy from differentials in the air’s temperature, and can be boosted by it’s heat coil if it needs to bring the air back up to the required temperature.
Closely linked to the Heat/Energy Recovery system is the Water to Air Fan Coil Unit. Cold or hot water from the Geothermal buffer tank passes through the unit, which acts in a similar way to a radiator. Air is blown through the unit from the Heat/Energy Recovery system, which is then cooled or heated by the geothermal water passing through simultaneously. The amount that the air is heated or cooled is controlled by a thermostat, which means that the air through the 5×4 Building stays at an easy 18-22 degrees Celsius all year round.
The water being pumped through the geothermal piping also flows into the energy efficient Domestic Hot Water system. This means that the water needs only to be topped up to temperature, rather than heated from cold – and the energy expended doing that can be taken straight from our solar panels!
The final piece to the puzzle is the Climate Master Geothermal Heat Pump. This is the ground-sourced geothermal heating/cooling unit that is perhaps the heart of the whole mechanical system. It’s job is to monitor and control the water being pumped up from and down into the geothermal loop.
With all these systems working together the 5×4 building stays at a stable temperature all year round, and uses minimal energy to heat, cool, wash or dry the various lifestyle needs of an urban home.