A sustainable home of the future

by Tania Wannenburg

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

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.

The Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA), with its partners and a set of sponsors which included Isover Saint-Gobain, spent six months working with one suburban family to green their home and show what is possible in a project called “My Green Home”. (Website: mygreenhome.org.za)

“My Green Home” tells the story of how one South African family changed their home to help change the world – and shows how you can too. The Ngewana family got a green home makeover and were tasked to reduce their electricity consumption, water consumption, waste landfill, and improve their daily habits to show you how to save money and help save the earth.
The big retrofit transformed their house with energy efficient technology and earth-friendly products installed in their home to make it as efficient as possible.

In six months the Ngewana family managed to achieve these savings with all the interventions done:
•    Electricity consumption:     53%
•    Water consumption:      44%
•    Waste to landfill:         81%

One of the interventions was that their entire ceiling was fitted with Saint-Gobain Isover Aerolite Insulation 135mm thick (R-value: 3.38) and Geyser Insulation. The family reported that their home was noticeably more comfortable.

Each built-in ton of Isover glass wool insulation helps us save 6 tons of CO₂ every year.

The discarded waste glass by industry and households is turned by ISOVER into a valuable raw material. ISOVER glass wool consists by about 80% of recycled waste glass. The other ingredients such as quartz sand, soda ash and limestone are virtually inexhaustible resources. This does not only sound but definitely is ecologically sustainable in many ways. The use of glass wool does not only help us meet the Kyoto target but also realise energy-efficient living all around the globe.

Just consider: The production of 1 ton of glass wool releases about 0.8 tons of CO₂. The annual CO₂ saving that can be realised by building in glass wool amounts to as much as 6 tons. Assuming a useful life of 50 years, we can thus save up to 300 tons of CO₂. And this is 375 times as much as the CO₂ emission caused by production.

Choosing the correct insulation to use in your home depends on various factors such as climatic zone, R-value, combustibility of the product and performance, for more in-depth information you can visit our website.

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

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