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A contemporary green home

by Tania Wannenburg
A contemporary green home

The “My Green Home” initiative is illustrating how normal households can help to save the earth through simple interventions.

The “My Green Home” project illustrates how a normal South African family gave their home a green makeover and improved their daily habits to reduce electricity consumption, water usage and waste landfill. Not only are they saving a lot of money, but they are also helping to save the earth and inspiring other families to do the same and be part of the change.

The Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA), with its partners and a group of sponsors which included Isover Saint-Gobain, spent six months working with the Ngewana family to install sustainable interventions in their home and show what is possible. (Website: mygreenhome.org.za)

In the big retrofit, the Ngewana house was transformed with energy-efficient technology and earth-friendly products to make the home as efficient as possible. Within six months, the family achieved significant savings:
•    Electricity consumption: 53%.
•    Water consumption: 44%.
•    Waste to landfill: 81%.

One intervention that made a noticeable difference in the thermal comfort of the Ngewana home was the installation of ceiling and geyser insulation. The entire ceiling was fitted with Saint-Gobain Isover 135mm-thick Aerolite Insulation with an R-value of R3,38.

In addition to making homes more comfortable for residents, each built-in ton of Isover glass wool insulation helps to save six tons of CO₂ every year.

The South African commitment
Under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Kyoto Protocol, South Africa committed to contributing its fair share to global greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation efforts. South Africa has committed itself to an emissions trajectory that peaks at 34% below a “business as usual” trajectory in 2020 and 40% in 2025.

It is critical that average global temperatures do not rise above 2°C from pre-industrial levels in order to avoid the most severe social and environmental consequences.

Insulate to save
For the manufacturing of Aerolite Insulation, Isover turns discarded waste glass by industry and households into a valuable raw material. Isover glass wool consists of about 80% of recycled waste glass, while the other ingredients such as quartz sand, soda-ash and limestone are virtually inexhaustible resources. This does not only sound to be ecologically sustainable, but it truly is. The use of glass wool helps to meet the Kyoto target and at the same time also realises energy-efficient living all around the globe.

Considering CO₂ emissions, the production of one ton of glass wool releases about 0,8 tons of CO₂. The annual CO₂ saving that can be realised by building with glass wool amounts to as much as six tons. Assuming a useful life of 50 years, a saving of up to 300 tons of CO₂ can be achieved, 375 times more than the CO₂ emissions caused by production.

Choosing the correct insulation to use in residential buildings depends on various factors such as climatic zone, R-value, combustibility of the product and performance. For more in-depth information on this, visit Isover’s website.

Isover
Tel: 0860 ISOVER (476837)
Fax: 086 673 1088
Website: www.isover.co.za

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