In a stark contrast to the towering concrete apartments that overwhelm the Seoul skyline, the E+ homes are modest one and a half story homes. Just an hour outside of Seoul, in Kyeong-Gi, South Korea, Kolon Engineering and Construction is teaming up with Unsangdong Architect Corporation to develop sustainable housing that works with the environment to create a unique living situation that both helps the environment and boosts the inhabitants’ well-being.
Currently, a model E+ home is set up on the Kolon headquarters to showcase the 95 eco-technologies that work together in the design to achieve maximum sustainability. Through its efficient system of saving, producing, and recycling energy, the E+ home meets even the strictest German Passive House standards. The house uses a mere 27% of the average amount of energy used by a Korean home, and it generates 38% of the energy that is used by a Korean home.
The roof enjoys a thick cover of vegetation to boost oxygen production and trap heat. Its steep pitches and quarries maximize daylight, catch the maximum amount of water, and achieve optimum placement of the light tubes and photovoltaic panels. Large glass window and doors provide heat recovery ventilation and air filtration, which will reduce the need for additional heating and cooling units. The subterranean pipe system also captures and stores both rain and heat underground to further increase the home’s self-sufficiency.
People who are considering switching to an E+ home can book a one or two night stay in the showcase home to help them decide if they want to make the switch. Potential homebuyers can see firsthand if they want to live with the high-tech technology that runs everything from the interior furnishings to the roof. Hopefully these beautiful and sustainable homes will catch on and start beautifying Seoul’s current skyline that is filled with grey, looming high rises.
I really like the house’s innovative approach to solving urban problems, but it does seem rather impractical because of the far greater square footage of this house compared to typical apartments and the expensive new technology. I think is an interesting way of using natural beauty to enhance the typical simplicity of modern homes. The E+ home works very well in its environment, but I doubt it would be a practical housing solution for city life. I hope that more of these houses appear around in the world wherever there is ample land and funds to support an E+ home.
*Photos from Dwell Magazine’s April Issue