leaf house - at the University of Maryland
LEAFHouse incorporates both systems available to consumers today, as well as new products being developed.
Plug into the sun. At the heart of Maryland's LEAFHouse is a photovoltaic (PV) power system. This system provides 100% of the electrical energy required to operate the house.
Take a hot shower without having to sell out to the utility company. Apricus solar water heating tubes provide all the hot water for the house.
An important innovation in residential dehumdification is being unveiled at the LEAFHouse during the 2007 Solar Decathlon. We call it the Liquid Desiccant Waterfall (LDW) and it is a must see.
LEAFHouse blends architecture and engineering to maximize the light afforded its inhabitants with creative use of glazing, energy efficient fixtures and an innovative twist to traditional electric light dimming systems.
Save energy the Smart House way. A lot of energy is wasted simply because people do not have the time and technical experience to manage their home energy use effectively. The LEAFHouse Smart House / Adaptive Controls system (SHAC for short) is a tool for managing the home's energy use against the energy it generates and adjusting operation to minimize waste.
Conserve precious water. LEAFHouse collects 'grey-water ' from the sink, shower, and washing machine, filters and stores it for use in yard maintenance or car washing.
Conserve even more precious fresh water. Rainwater is collected from the LEAFHouse roof, filtered by the green wall, and used to irrigate the garden.
Breathe easy. Energy Recovery Ventilators (ERVs) operate by exchanging stale, interior air for fresh, outdoor air, while preserving indoor temperature and humidity levels. They are a key component in creating energy efficient homes with superior indoor air quality.
Stay warm all winter. Radiant floor heating systems have been around for hundreds of years... because they really work. New technology has improved their performance, reliability and ease of use. LEAFHouse showcases these innovations in energy efficient and comfortable heating systems.
Keep your cool. Our ductless mini-split air-conditioning system has a SEER of 16.5, providing highly efficient cooling and dehumidification when needed. Its refrigerant is ozone-friendly R410a.
Thermal Mass is another age-old way of capturing and storing solar energy. It is an important part of passive solar design, but it must be integrated properly with your house. The LEAFHouse uses a dense composite subfloor that has a moderate thermal storage capacity. This allows the floor to respond more quickly to heating and cooling demands, but still makes it effective for passive solar heating.
Maryland's 2007 Solar Decathlon house will feature Aquatherm Fusiotherm polypropylene pipes. These are the next big thing in plumbing; they're easy to use and won't screw up the environment.
Get the white papers on our off-the-shelf appliances.
Take it on the road. Each team in the 2007 Solar Decathlon gets around town during the competition in a new Electric Car (compliments of the DOE). Cars are recharged with electricity from the houses themselves (Solar Power). Teams are judged on how many miles they can log using that energy.